Abstract for: The distribution of project performance: initial investigations of its nature and what we can learn from it

All too often projects perform very differently to how they are expected to, and indeed, how organisations would wish them to. There have been many attempts to further our understanding of the reasons for this behaviour by looking at the dynamics that exist within a single project environment. This paper looks to investigate the nature of the distribution of the performance of a number of projects, across a portfolio, and poses the question of whether unexpected project performance should in fact be expected. The aim of this work is to provide an initial framework to explore this question by investigating the distribution of simulated results from a System Dynamics project model based on the rework loop. Furthermore this research gives an opportunity to further investigate the hypothesis that this distribution may follow a power law, as has been discussed in literature and also within our own research team.