Project Risk Distribution during the Construction Phase of Small Building Projects

Anthony J. Perrenoud, Jake B. Smithwick, Kristen Hurtado, Kenneth Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Early identification and communication of risks throughout the construction phase allows project teams to manage and minimize cost increases and schedule delays while increasing customer satisfaction. A better understanding of the distribution of risks during a construction project can improve risk management. This research created a new term, risk encounter, which measures and defines when a risk is communicated on a project, relative to the project schedule. This paper examines risk-management data regarding 229 small building projects at a U.S. university. The project teams encountered 1,229 risk events. A risk encounter was calculated for each risk event and plotted against a project lifecycle timeline. Individual risks were found to have unique characteristics related to the impact on the project cost, the impact on the schedule, and the nature of the risk. This study attempted to identify whether the characteristics of risk affect the distribution of risks during construction. ANOVA results indicate that positive relationships exist between risk characteristics and risk distribution. Additional analysis shows that risks with large cost impacts are typically identified by project teams earlier in the project schedule and risks that cause greater schedule delays are identified toward the end of the project schedule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04015050
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Frequency analysis
  • Risk distribution
  • Risk identification
  • Risk management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial relations
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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