Top publication by Stein W. Wallace

17 March 2017 15:59

(updated: 26 April 2017 16:05)

Top publication by Stein W. Wallace

The article "The impact of design uncertainty in engineer-to-order project planning" has been published online in European Journal of Operational Research.

European Journal of Operational Research is on level 4 in the ABS Academic Journal Guide.

Vaagen, Hajnalka, Michal Kaut, and Stein W. Wallace: The impact of design uncertainty in engineer-to-order project planning, European Journal of Operational Research, Online 07.03.2017.


A major driver of planning complexity in engineer-to-order (ETO) projects is design uncertainty far into the engineering and production processes. This leads to uncertainty in technical information and will typically lead to a revision of parts of the project network itself. Hence, this uncertainty is different from standard task completion uncertainty.

We build a stochastic program to draw attention to, and analyse, the engineering-design planning problem, and in particular, to understand what role design flexibility plays in hedging against such uncertainty. The purpose is not to devise a general stochastic dynamic model to be used in practice, but to demonstrate by the use of small model instances how design flexibility actually adds value to a project and what, exactly, it is that produces this value. This will help us understand better where and when to develop flexibility and buffers, even when not actually solving stochastic models.