Structuring a delay and disruption claim: an application of cause-mapping and system dynamics

T. Williams, F. Ackermann, C. Eden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


The idea of "Delay and Disruption" within projects is well-known and is often the subject of litigation claims. However, the term is ill-defined, and it is difficult to justify such claims within a legal process. This paper demonstrates a well-developed approach, which is a logical, transparent, auditable and sustainable means of presenting such a claim. It describes the format for a claim document that presents first the disruptive triggers, then using a formal qualitative model builds the case from the interacting effects of these triggers. Transformation of this model into a computer simulation and the ability to explore different scenarios provides the quantitative part of the claim document. Thus three elements are presented in the document: demonstration of causality, of responsibility and of a quantum for the claim. This process also provides additional benefits, including a high level of participant "buy-in", and the basis of a model that can be used to support the claim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-204
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • project management and scheduling
  • delay and disruption
  • litigation
  • cause mapping (structuring and analysis)


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