Embracing Generative Risk Mitigation in Construction

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Embracing the philosophy of proactive risk management, generative risk mitigation heralds a new era of construction project management.

February 12, 2024
Georgia Stillwell - Construction Executive

Project delays have long plagued the construction industry, with risk often identified as the primary culprit. However, finding effective solutions to mitigate risk on complex projects has remained daunting. Traditional methods for simulating risk primarily focus on extending project timelines, overlooking the diverse range of opportunities available for risk mitigation. With the construction industry’s digital transformation, generative methodologies have emerged to handle complex decision-making in uncertain situations. This article aims to shed light on the limitations of existing risk modeling and introduce a novel approach known as generative risk mitigation to enhance decision-making under deep uncertainty.

According to McKinsey, 98% of megaprojects experience cost overruns exceeding 30%. Project delays have become so pervasive that the industry has grown accustomed to them. For example, in 2022, the UK government issued ‘The Green Book,’ which requires contingency funds in projects, such as a 44% contingency budget for standard civil projects. This implies that for a $100 million project, you should allocate $144 million to manage expected risks. There is no denying significant academic literature on the root cause of these delays: it is ‘risk,’ and there is an entire industry based on it.

Conversations with project directors and risk experts reveal the same issue, different project. And that issue is that we cannot easily forecast risk, qualify the impacts or fully understand the opportunities that exist to mitigate risks and make timely decisions. A method that will finally help us overcome this has emerged within the industry.

Reprinted courtesy of Georgia Stillwell, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


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