Hierarchical approach to project planning: the case of a petroleum pipeline construction

Prasanta Dey, Mario T. Tabucanon, Stephen O. Ogunlana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Projects exposed to an uncertain environment must be adapted to deal with the effective integration of various planning elements and the optimization of project parameters. Time, cost, and quality are the prime objectives of a project that need to be optimized to fulfill the owner's goal. In an uncertain environment, there exist many other conflicting objectives that may also need to be optimized. These objectives are characterized by varying degrees of conflict. Moreover, an uncertain environment also causes several changes in the project plan throughout its life, demanding that the project plan be totally flexible. Goal programming (GP), a multiple criteria decision making technique, offers a good solution for this project planning problem. There the planning problem is considered from the owner's perspective, which leads to classifying the project up to the activity level. GP is applied separately at each level, and the formulated models are integrated through information flow. The flexibility and adaptability of the models lies in the ease of updating the model parameters at the required level through changing priorities and/or constraints and transmitting the information to other levels. The hierarchical model automatically provides integration among various element of planning. The proposed methodology is applied in this paper to plan a petroleum pipeline construction project, and its effectiveness is demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-698
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996


  • project planning
  • project control
  • goal programming
  • pipeline construction
  • sensitivity analysis
  • integration


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