International project risk assessment
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International construction projects are managed most effectively by planning for and addressing the risks that occur to all participants across the project’s entire life cycle. The first step in this process is the identification and assessment of such risks; however, there are few tools that provide such assistance. This research was undertaken to produce a user-friendly, systematic management tool to identify and assess the risks specific to international construction with the ultimate goal of improving project performance. This dissertation presents the development of the International Project Risk Assessment (IPRA) management tool including the methodology to create it, an analysis of its effectiveness in determining the relative importance of the identified risks, and the steps necessary to document, track, and mitigate international project-specific risks. The IPRA tool consists of 82 risk elements that are assessed by likelihood of occurrence and relative impact to identify those elements having the greatest potential impact on the project. Baseline Relative Impact values were developed for each of the 82 based on input from industry experts reporting on recently completed projects. The IPRA tool was tested on projects to verify its completeness and to assess the relationship of test and workshop relative impact values. Project performance data on test projects was collected to identify the relationship between risk and performance. A standardized case-study format was developed to identify which IPRA elements had the most impact on project performance. These results show that the IPRA tool is a sound method to identify and assess the relative impact of international risk issues. Nonetheless, this research also reveals that there is no single blueprint that adequately captures all the risks associated with every international project. Therefore, use of the IPRA tool must be tailored to adjust for country, user, and business sector concerns. Finally, although this research was limited by the paucity of empirical data on risk in international construction projects, the IPRA may provide a framework for the future collection and organization of such data.