Engineering design projects can be characterized by three dimensions: duration, budget, and scope. As projects grow in any of these three dimensions, there will be increased opportunity for uncertainty, and subsequently, increased risk. This study explored the relationship between the number of project activities and the presence of risk indicators. A risk indicator is a particular state of affairs that has potential predictive power about the likelihood of a risk occurring during the course of a project. This study was completed by examining eleven projects that were conducted within one division of a large engineering design firm. Projects were divided into groups according to the number of activities associated with each project, and interviews were conducted with employees, who worked in a variety of positions. A comparative analysis of risk indicators was then completed to identify potential “watch” areas and provide a basis for risk mitigation planning. The study provided conclusive evidence that the most frequently occurring risk indicators vary with the number of activities involved in a project. Project managers can use this information to create more specific risk management plans tailored to the types of risk indicators most frequently associated with the number of activities within a project.

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