Available online at www.sciencedirect.


International Journal of Project Management 33 (2015) 808 – 815

A review of analytical models, approaches and decision support
tools in project monitoring and control
Öncü Hazır
TED University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Ziya Gökalp Caddesi No. 48, 06420, Kolej, Çankaya, Ankara, Turkey
Received 30 January 2014; received in revised form 29 August 2014; accepted 9 September 2014
Available online 26 September 2014

This paper reviews the problems, approaches and analytical models on project control systems and discusses the possible research extensions.
We focused on literature in Earned Value Analysis (EVA), optimization tools, and the design of decision support systems (DSS) that will
contribute to helping project managers in planning and controlling under uncertain project environments. The review reveals that further research is
essential to develop analytical models using EVA metrics to forecast project performance. It also suggests that DSS should be model driven,
function as early warning systems and should be integrated to commercial project management software.
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. APM and IPMA. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Project management; Project monitoring and control; Earned Value Analysis; Decision support systems; Project management software

1. Introduction
Projects are one of the most important components of
today's organizations. In almost any firm and sector, organizations are becoming more and more project based. This may
be perceived as a consequence of the contemporary management
practices that have transformed organizations from hierarchical to
more flat ones. As they have receded from a hierarchical and
isolated nature, projects have become the medium for interdepartmental or even inter-organizational activities. Another
factor that reinforces the rise of projects is the increasing
competitive pressure. Competition, becoming fierce day by day,
leads the firms to seek excellence in accomplishing the tasks.
This pursuit of excellence in management has increased the
importance of coordination, monitoring and control functions.
From this perspective, project based organizational structures
support accomplishing specific purposes/outcomes, focusing on
responsibility and authority, ensuring better control and coordination, and facilitating better communication and customer
relationships (Meredith and Mantel, 2011).
E-mail address: oncu.hazir@tedu.edu.tr.

0263-7863/00/© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. APM and IPMA. All rights reserved.

In order to ensure these gains and the accomplishment of goals
even under the threat of various uncertainties (Aytug et al., 2005;
Herroelen and Leus, 2005), employing effective project monitoring and controlling systems has become essential in project
based organizations (Shtub et al., 2005). Considering this need
and importance, in this paper we focus on development of these
systems, their content and scope. Specifically, we investigate
models and algorithms that will support managerial decision
making and constitute the foundations of these systems.
To put formally, a project monitoring and control system works
to minimize the deviations from the project plans and consists of
identifying and reporting the status of the project, comparing it
with the plan, analyzing the deviations, and implementing the
appropriate corrective actions. Hence it includes the set of policies,
methods and tools that would ensure the achievement of the
project targets. An effective system should clearly define the
following policies:
(a) monitoring policy: what, how, where, when and by whom
to monitor,
(b) intervention and control policy: what, how, where, when
and by whom to prevent, intervene and correct.

Ö. Hazır / International Journal of Project Management 33 (2015) 808–815

Mathematical modeling is one of the means to formulate and
analyze these policies. It has been used to investigate various
project management problems and literature review papers were
published (some of them are by Herroelen (2005), Herroelen and
Leus (2005) and Kolisch and Padman, 2001). These reviews
cover studies that address a wide range of managerial problems
(time scheduling, resource allocation, quality assurance). Project
monitoring and control from mathematical modeling perspective,
conversely, have not received sufficient scholarly attention.
Accordingly, we aim to address this lacuna in the literature.
Different from its predecessors, this research presents a review
with a narrower scope. A more in-depth analysis of approaches
and models on monitoring and control systems is performed.
Furthermore, an initiative approach for designing model-driven
DSS for effective project monitoring and control is developed,
with an emphasis on recent developments and studies.
Current studies on project monitoring and control mainly
examine financial control tools and various accounting techniques
that managers use to monitor the project outcomes (Rozenes et al.,
2006). We will not cover these accounting tools in this review.
Instead, we will pay special attention to Earned Value Analysis
(EVA), since it is the most widely used managerial control tool in
the industry. We will elaborate on analytical aspects of EVA and
relevant optimization models. We will give emphasis to the
integration of these models into decision support systems
(DSS) and project management software. Regarding this specific
application area, research areas demanding further effort and
promising extensions are explicitly listed.
We organize the review and discussions as follows. First, in
Section 2.1, we present existing studies on EVA, as it is widely
used in practice. Then, in Section 2.2, we examine the optimization
models to set project control decision variables, since these models
serve as a basis for DSS design. Afterwards, decision support tools
and relevant project management software are discussed in
Sections 3 and 4. Finally, in Section 5, we present conclusions
and make a summary of future research areas.
2. Literature review
2.1. A widely used managerial control tool: earned value
EVA is a managerial methodology to monitor and control
projects and it uses monetary units as a common basis to
measure and communicate the progress of a project. It is based
on comparing the actual and the budgeted values of the work
performed, the time taken and the costs incurred. Hence, time
and cost perspectives of a project control system are integrated.
Cost and schedule variance are calculated to evaluate the
current project progress and also predict the total project cost
and duration. We refer the readers to the books (Fleming and
Koppelman, 2005; Shtub et al., 2005; Vanhoucke, 2009) for
more detailed explanations on the basic principles and metrics.
In practice, EVA has been generally used to measure project
performance throughout the life of a project. However, it could
also be used in forecasting the resulting project outcomes;
specifically to estimate the expected project time and cost using


the current status of the project. In this aspect, Vandevoorde
and Vanhoucke (2006), and Vanhoucke and Vandevoorde
(2007) developed three forecasting methods that are based
on EVA metrics and compared them in terms of prediction
accuracy. For that purpose, nine scenarios and possible outcomes
were considered and Monte-Carlo simulation was employed. In
addition, activity sensitivity measures and their relationships with
forecasting and use in deciding on project control strategy were
investigated (Elshaer, 2013; Vanhoucke, 2010).
In order to improve the prediction performance of EVA,
statistical methods could be integrated to the analysis (Lipke et
al., 2009; Narbaev and Marco, 2014; Tseng, 2011). In this
regard, Caron et al. (2013) followed Bayesian approach and
integrated experts' opinions in describing the probability of
events. In addition to statistical analysis, learning curves and
risk management tools were also combined with EVA. Plaza
and Turetken (2009) investigated the effects of learning and
developed a spreadsheet based DSS.
Concerning risk management, Pajares and Lopez-Paredes
(2011) developed two metrics that support managers in
differentiating whether project over-runs are within the expected
variability or due to structural deviations. In the case of deviations,
decisions on corrective actions become critical. For supporting
decision making, Aliverdi et al. (2013) and Acebes et al. (2014)
used simulation and statistical control charts. In addition to
analysis of risks, hedging against uncertainty is important to
achieve project targets. For this purpose, Naeni and Salehipour
(2011) modeled percent completions as fuzzy numbers and used
fuzzy set theory for estimating project performance.
All the abovementioned studies addressed single project
organizations. However, firms invest in many projects and
these projects have resource dependencies within the firms.
Portfolio management, which aims to choose and manage
multiple projects in a way that enhances business strategy and
contributes to achieving organizational goals, has become more
and more critical in organizations. To assess the performance of
the projects in the portfolio, Vitner et al. (2006) combined EVA
with a multidimensional control system and used Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a mathematical approach to
evaluate the efficiency of decision making units (DMUs). In the
project management context, every project was modeled as a
DMU and its efficiency was measured as a weighted sum of its
outputs divided by a weighted sum of its inputs (see Farris et al.
(2006) to evaluate the performance of engineering design projects
using DEA).
Other than examining the use of EVA in forecasting and
performance assessments, graphical illustrations of EVA parameters have been widely utilized by project managers before taking
control decisions. To illustrate the deviations from plans and
emphasize the need of corrective actions, graphical tools could be
very helpful (Anbari, 2003; Cioffi, 2005). For this reason, Hazir
and Shtub (2011) focused on graphical and tabular presentations
of EVA. They questioned the relationship between information
presentation format and project control. Monte-Carlo simulation
was used to replicate and model the uncertain project environments. This simulation technique was used by other researchers
to compare two project tracking methods: top-down or bottom-up


Ö. Hazır / International Journal of Project Management 33 (2015) 808–815

(project or activity based) approaches (Vanhoucke, 2011). A
project based method relies on EVA data that can be used as early
warning signals, whereas an activity based one is founded on risk
analysis and uses the activity sensitivity information to decide on
the critical activities to focus on. The project based approach was
found to be more efficient for networks with a serial activity
structure, whereas the activity based one performs better in
parallel structured networks (Vanhoucke, 2011).
Even though EVA has been increasingly getting attention
from project managers, there are some limitations in
implementing EVA in practice. Hall (2012) listed them as:

Critical and noncritical activities are not differentiated.
Activities are assumed to be independent.
Behavioral aspects of management are not taken into account.
Quality of processes and output are not assessed.
Information requirement is high.

In addition to these points, we note that EVA only considers
two dimensions of project planning and control: time and
cost. However, other performance measures such as technical,
operational and quality specifications could be also critical. To
broaden that limited focus of EVA, Rozenes et al. (2004)
proposed a multi-dimensional control system. Their system
emphasizes monitoring work breakdown structure (WBS) at
work package level (El-Mashaleh and Chasey, 1999). Another
recent critical point is on assessing schedule performance using
monetary values. To eliminate this, Khamooshi and Golafshani
(2014) focused on durations and measuring earned duration
instead of earned value. All these limitations and concerns
should be carefully analyzed and taken into account in the
2.2. Optimization tools: how to set control variables
In designing an effective project control system, it is critical to
find out the optimal timing and magnitude of project control
activities. For this purpose, operations research (OR) methods such
as simulation, dynamic programming and stochastic optimization
have been commonly applied. We will pay special attention to
these optimization based studies and discuss how these OR tools
are utilized.
Among those who employ simulation, Partovi and Burton
(1993) evaluated control-timing policies: equal intervals, front
loading, end loading, random and no control. Their study revealed
that the end loaded policy performs best in preventing time
overruns; however, there were no significant differences among
the policies for the cost required to recover from deviations.
Falco and Macchiaroli (1998) focused on effort concentration and
formulated a function that is linearly dependent on the total
number of active operations and is inversely related to total slack.
They increased the frequency of checkpoints at the critical time
periods, for instance, when resource needs are maximal. On the
other hand, Bowman (2006) examined activity duration specification limits. He assumed that durations that exceed the limits
could be moved back to the limits with additional costs.

To decide on timing of the control activities, Raz and Erel
(2000) used dynamic programming. They maximized the amount
of information that is produced by control operations. This amount
depends on the intensity of the activities that have been performed
after the last control operation and on the amount of time that
passed since activity completion. This dynamic approach is based
on the assumption that some of the information generated by
control operations will be lost over time.
To determine the inspection points, Golenko-Ginzburg and
Gonik (1997) formulated a stochastic optimization model and
developed a heuristic on-line control tool and set the proper
project speed. In the model, the progress of a project is assessed
only via inspection at control points and the project speed can
be altered at these points. Note that in modeling stochastic
project networks, usually a common PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) assumption is made meaning that
activity durations are independent. However, this assumption
might not be valid for many real life cases. Regarding this,
Markov chains have been used; this approach allows correction
or repetition of earlier activities (Hardie, 2001).
Regarding the content and magnitude of control activities,
simulation and optimal control theory have been applied to model
intervening policies and their impacts on project outcomes. By
means of simulation, Hazir and Shtub (2011) modeled the
impacts of two types of corrective actions: minor and major
interventions. Minors refer to short-term, operational actions such
as workers working overtime in a road construction project.
However, majors such as new technology investments create
structural changes on cost figures and have long-term effects. In
their simulation application, watching the snapshot views in a
given display format, simulation users decided on taking a
corrective action, and which corrective actions should be taken
for a given project in a decision period.
In addition to simulation, another appropriate technique to
model the effects of intervening activities is optimal control
theory. It is a field of mathematics that aims to determine effective
control policies for dynamic systems. Using this theory, a control
problem is defined as a function of state and control variables and
modeled using differential equations that express the impact of the
control variables to minimize the given cost function. Various
time-dependent control problems encountered in management
science and economics have been modeled using this theory. In
this regard, we refer to the book of Sethi and Thompson (2002)
for various applications. Even though this literature offers a
strong theoretical background to model dynamic, time dependent
behavior of projects, optimal control studies on project management problems are scarce.
In scheduling projects, optimal control theory has been used
to allocate continuously divisible resources in a least costly way
(Nowicki and Zdrzalka, 1984; Weglarz, 1981). Moreover, the
relationship between control efforts and project cost deviations has
been investigated: Kogan et al. (2002) developed a continuous
model to determine the optimal control effort with the assumption
that control activities have a negative effect on project performance
deviations. Concerning real life implementations of the theory, a
control model was developed to allocate testing resources in a
software development project efficiently (Kapur et al., 2013).

Ö. Hazır / International Journal of Project Management 33 (2015) 808–815

We note that the abovementioned optimal control applications
assume continuously available resources or model continuous
time systems. However, in real life, resources are usually available
in discrete quantities, such as the workers or the machines. In
addition, modeling the discrete time characteristics of projects such
as the timing of the beginning and end of activities and the
corresponding time–resource profile is important.
Considering these characteristics, Azaron et al. (2007)
presented a multi-objective model to optimally control the resource
allocation. They addressed the time–cost trade-off problem where
the cost of each activity is a non-decreasing function of the amount
of resource allocated to it. They optimized the project direct cost,
the mean of the project completion time and its variance.
Regarding these criteria, non-dominated solutions were determined by using discrete-time approximation. More recently, Hazir
and Schmidt (2013) analyzed multi-mode project networks
assuming a discrete time/cost function. They described an optimal
control problem that reflects the dynamic evolution of the cost
savings that depend on the level of control and the processing
technology (modes).
Having summarized the limited number of analytical models
on project control systems in the literature, we notice that
further studies, especially on optimization models and tools are
in need. Moreover, in order to make the results of all these
summarized studies concrete and applicable to the problems of
the industry, it is crucial to embed them in support tools that
guide managers in deciding on corrective actions.
3. Decision support systems
DSS are computer-based systems that support decision
making by combining and analyzing data and providing
analytical models and tools that contribute to the selection of
alternatives (see Shim et al., 2002) for a discussion on the
definitions, components and evolution of DSS technologies).
They have been widely used in planning, organizing and
managing manufacturing or service operations (Eom and Kim,
1997). From the project management perspective, project
planning and control are suitable application areas for DSS,
since unstructured or semi-structured decision-making problems
are confronted; and many alternative solutions should be
considered. Moreover, in today's rapidly changing, competitive
environment, organizations faces to manage portfolios of projects.
In this regard, we will discuss which OR methods could
be used to facilitate planning and control under uncertain,
multi-project environments and how these methods could be
integrated to DSS. OR literature has contributed to solving
operational and level problems in project management, such as
various scheduling and resource allocation problems (Tavares,
2002; Williams, 2003), but recently practitioners have also
been working on developing support tools for strategic-level
needs. Although DSS tools have been increasingly used in
production and operations management (Eom and Kim, 1997),
applications in project management are scarce. We start by
reviewing this limited number of applications.
DSS applications in the literature mostly concentrate on
scheduling and risk analysis. Kolisch and Padman (2001)


reviewed some of the scheduling studies that make use of exact
and approximate optimization tools. More recently, Trietsch and
Baker (2012) proposed a new stochastic scheduling framework to
enhance DSS so that reliable solutions are produced. Also in risk
management, planning activities are shown to be effective in
reducing the negative effects of uncertainty on project targets
(Zwikael and Ahn, 2011). Integrating scheduling and risk
analysis, Megow et al. (2011) developed a DSS for planning
large scale maintenance operations in chemical manufacturing.
To model and estimate the risks and quantify the consequences
on project targets, Monte Carlo simulation has been widely used
in the literature. The reviews of Kwaka and Ingall (2007) and
Vanhoucke (2013) summarized the advantages and disadvantages
of using Monte Carlo simulation to model projects, especially for
risk analysis and control. In addition, we cite four nice risk
analysis applications. In the first one, a DSS to predict project risk
and assess impact on the project cost was developed (Nguyen et
al., 2013). The decision making tool followed a scenario based
probabilistic approach. In three others, Analytical Hierarchy
Process (AHP), simulation and fuzzy logic were used (Dey, 2001;
Fang and Marle, 2012; Liu et al., 2006).
As a result of easiness and simplicity in modeling and solving,
existing academic studies have usually modeled projects individually. However, in practice, organizations engage in managing
project portfolios and work to share and distribute resources and
capabilities over many projects effectively. Following the existing
approaches and treating the multi-project planning problem as a set
of independent single-project problems result in local optimum
solutions for the organizations but a global analysis is required
to facilitate effective Project Portfolio Management and achieve
better results regarding strategic objectives of organizations.
Also in program management, there exist a limited number
of studies on using DSS. Slowinski et al. (1994) developed
DSS that address non-preemptive scheduling problems that
contain multiple activity modes. To solve these problems, they
employed three different heuristics: priority rules, simulated
annealing and branch-and-bound based approximation algorithms. Differently, Arauzo et al. (2010) used simulation to
evaluate various scheduling policies for multiple projects.
Considering the scarcity in theoretical studies, we emphasize
that multi-project organizations require novel program management techniques to cope with the inherent complexity in
distributing resources among various projects. We note that
application areas and DSS needs are not limited to scheduling
and risk analysis. Next, we summarize these limited numbers of
Cohen et al. (2005) focused on how projects are accepted and
added to the system. Thereby, they found out the optimal loading
of projects. Considering the dynamic and stochastic behavior of
the problem, they used cross entropy, which is a technique to
model and solve rare event simulation and stochastic combinatorial optimization problems. On the other hand, Hans et al.
(2007) examined multi-project planning under uncertainty. They
reviewed the studies in hierarchical planning and introduced a
generic hierarchical project planning-and-control framework.
Multi-criteria decision approaches and methods could be
effectively used in DSS (Olson, 2008). A recent interesting


Ö. Hazır / International Journal of Project Management 33 (2015) 808–815

project management DSS application of Lauras et al. (2010)
addressed many performance criteria (cost, time, quality, risk,
etc.). Their performance assessment system contained a method
of defining the weights for criteria and allows making a global
analysis of project performance. To assess the performance, Wi
and Jung (2010) considered a project-oriented virtual organization and developed an index that contains quality, time
and budget components. For this purpose, fuzzy approach to
decision making was also employed (Dweiri and Kablan,
We also note that in project management DSS, scheduling/
rescheduling and control functions have been usually examined
separately. However, integration of these directly linked functions
is important for effective management. Control policies should
be determined in coordination with scheduling objectives and
data on the outcomes of control activities should be used in
determining the re-scheduling needs. Despite this importance, this
relationship has not been studied sufficiently. The relationship
between scheduling and control functions, characteristics of data
sharing among them and possible integration strategies should be
theoretically investigated. Moreover, from the application perspective, DSS are required in preparing schedules that can tolerate
uncertainties, and for determining when control is necessary and
when and how corrective actions should be taken.
As a final point, considering the assumptions and properties
of all these academic studies and projecting on the requirements
of the practice, we realize that there exists a theory–practice
gap. Academic studies mainly investigate closed systems, many
times assume that information is known in advance, and work
on less complex problems. However, managers face multidimensional, dynamic and open systems and require solutions/
predictions to more complex and non-deterministic problems.
To fill this supply and demand gap between academia and
industry, Herroelen (2005) emphasized the integration of
scheduling theory and risk analysis tools into the current
project management practice, particularly the use of commercial project management software. We believe that further
research on DSS, and their practical use in program management
will help to close the abovementioned theory–practice gap. The
compliance of DSS with program management applications and
project management software will facilitate these approaching
4. Project management software and DSS integration
Software support is indispensable in performing various
functions of project management (Shtub et al., 2005). Professionals widely use project management software packages such as
Microsoft Project, Primavera, etc. Some surveys (by Liberatore
and Pollack-Johnson, 2003; Liberatore et al., 2001) revealed
that these packages have been mainly used for critical path
planning (87% of 200 responses), whereas there is much less use
of more complicated methods like time–cost trade-off analysis
and probabilistic analysis or simulation (19%, 21% respectively).
On the other hand, for controlling, earned value is employed by
53% of the managers. Interestingly, critical path analysis is also
used for control purposes (66%).

Microsoft Project is the most commonly used software and
is mainly used for planning. Even if EVA tools are integrated to
this software, in practice, these tools have been mostly used
only to collect and present the data in various formats. This
limitation might stem from the following:
• Managers might not be aware of the relevant DSS or they
might find them too sophisticated to use.
• Acquiring these tools could be found infeasible regarding the
project budget, or expensive regarding the benefits expected.
To compare the well known software packages, Kastor
and Sirakoulis (2009) and Trautmann and Baumann (2009)
concentrated on scheduling and resource allocation capabilities.
These packages contain scheduling and resource leveling
heuristics. They can display the schedules using Gantt-charts
and resource usages and capacities with bar charts. However,
regarding scheduling outputs, there exists a great variance
among these packages and also when compared to the existing
theoretical results. Using the same data, the packages might
output schedules with considerably different project completion
times. Moreover, they perform evidently worse compared to
optimal solutions generated by well-known scheduling algorithms in the academic literature. Therefore, better performing
schedule-generation methods should be integrated to commercial software (Kastor and Sirakoulis, 2009; Trautmann and
Baumann, 2009).
Other than scheduling and planning, the second wide
application area of project management software is risk analysis.
Plug-in software such as @ Risk and Crystal Ball are well known.
The basic strength of these simulation based tools is integrability
to Microsoft Excel. Today, spreadsheets are inevitably used
in every industry. Many decision support functions can be
performed, even some optimization models could be implemented using them. For this reason, spreadsheet based DSS offer a
significant research and application potential (see Buehlmann et
al., 2000 as a good example in manufacturing).
In addition to these tools that support scheduling and risk
analysis, project managers require reliable early warning systems
(Vanhoucke, 2012), and the majority of existing software does
not include these systems (Trietsch and Baker, 2012). Analytical
project control tools that support the managers to intervene
effectively and stimulate them to undertake corrective measures
at the right time are needed. In this regard, statistical process
control techniques could be utilized (Bausch and Chung, 2001;
Chang and Tong, 2013). Simulation software could integrate the
effects of such managerial intervening actions (Williams, 1999).
Integrating DSS that counsel decision makers in determining the
timing and magnitude of corrective actions effectively will
contribute to fulfilling the needs of project managers. For
instance, this DSS could inform managers about the optimal
frequency of rescheduling during project application.
Moreover, the industry has a considerable need for the
model driven DSS in which quantitative models are the basic
components that allow decision makers to manipulate model
parameters, and perform a sensitivity or what/if analysis (see
the survey of Hahn and Kuhn (2012) on model-driven

Ö. Hazır / International Journal of Project Management 33 (2015) 808–815

approach). DSS should provide a simplified representation of
the problem in a simple, understandable way. In that sense,
project control problems are a promising research area for
model-driven DSS that have been utilized in various fields
such as production planning and supply chain management
(Power and Sharda, 2007). These DSS should contain these two
important components:
1. Analytical models and solution algorithms Model base
which encompasses simulation and optimization models:
The simulation module uses random distribution functions
to sample activity costs and durations and facilitates an
understanding of the complex, stochastic and dynamic
behaviors of real project systems. The distribution of the
total project cost or completion time could be estimated.
The optimization module addresses when and how the
intervention should be undertaken. Linear and integer
programming, and network analysis are the OR tools that
have been increasingly utilized in model bases (see Eom
and Kim (1997) for the tools embedded in DSS). In addition
to these techniques, dynamic programming and optimal
control could be used because of the dynamic and timedependent behaviors. From the multi-criteria decision
making perspective, AHP has been increasingly applied to
resource allocation and conflict resolution problems and project
control is claimed to be a prominent area (Subramanian and
Ramanathan, 2012).
Finally, simulation and optimization modules should interact.
For instance, the optimization module could invoke the
simulation module to generate random data. Using this data,
optimization models could be solved.
2. Data presentation and graphical interface Managers are
usually required to consider many alternatives before
deciding. They prefer to generate these alternatives, modify
them and make sensitivity analysis using various visual
representations. These visual interactive capabilities are
increasingly embedded in commercial software packages.
Information presentation format was shown to be influential
on the quality of managers' decisions (Hazir and Shtub,
2011). Particularly, variance graphs and numerical tables
are found to be effective. In this aspect, there is a managerial
demand for visual interactive systems that use appropriate
presentation formats and facilitate monitoring and controlling projects. Simulations supported with effective visual
tools might also aid learning, and they might be used as
an efficient and effective way of teaching and learning
complex and dynamic systems (Davidovitch et al., 2010;
Shtub et al., 2006).
5. Conclusions
The aim of the article is to review the current studies on project
control systems. The focus is on analytical models, algorithms, and
DSS applications. We comprehensively discussed the managerial
tools (basically EVA) and examined both the progress in academic
knowledge and the current needs of the practitioners. In these
regards, we emphasized the importance of embedding these


optimization methods in DSS and its integration to commonly
used project management software. We underlined that DSS
should be model driven and serve as an early warning system to
trigger effective corrective actions. We also noted the components
that it should involve. The software integration is crucial for
reducing the current gap between project management theory and
To conclude, we highlight the research areas that are worth
further investigation and summarize some possible research
There is a need to develop analytical models to forecast project
performance more accurately especially studies on predicting
performance based on new comprehensive EVA metrics and
integration of statistical control tools. Regarding EVA, there are
some limitations (Section 2.1) and new approaches that are more
flexible and suitable for more general cases are required to better
explain the practice.
Optimal control theory could be further studied in control
systems design. Accordingly, integrated models could be developed. How to combine scheduling/rescheduling and how to
control functions to facilitate information sharing, coordination
and effective resource allocation are open questions. The models
and algorithms developed could constitute the foundations of
DSS to determine the possible needs for corrective actions. These
systems should contain early warning mechanisms, and user
friendly interfaces and be integrated to commercial software
packages. Both interface design and integration to software
systems are effectively challenging but important issues.
Finally further studies on modeling and solving complex
real life instances are needed. Efficient approximate algorithms
to solve portfolio management and, multi-objective program
management problems shall be developed.
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest.
This study was supported by The Scientific and Technological
Research Council of Turkey under grant SOBAG 113K245.
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