Application of Delphi Method in Identifying, Ranking, and Weighting Project Complexity Indicators for Construction Projects

Sharareh Kermanshachi, Behzad Rouhanizadeh, Bac Dao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Experts believe that project performance ultimately suffers because of complexity issues. Although some studies have focused on identifying leading project complexity indicators (CIs), the weighted impact of each CI has rarely been studied. In this study, potential CIs were identified through a comprehensive literature review and presented to 10 senior subject matter experts (SMEs), three industry professional advisors, and three academic advisors, who were asked to assess the contribution of each CI to making an industrial project complex. Through three rounds of the Delphi method, 30 CIs were validated, ranked, and weighted. Analysis revealed that issues related to scope definition, project resources, and interfaces have the highest aggregated complexity weights. All of the primary stakeholders agreed on the critical impact of the six following indicators in making a project complex: (1) peak number of participants on the project management team (PMT), (2) magnitude of change orders, (3) frequency of workarounds, (4) familiarity with technology, (5) timing of change orders, and (6) project location. The outcome of this study will help researchers develop a complexity management model that will enable industry practitioners to effectively prioritize and allocate their limited resources in complex projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04519033
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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