An optimal point is not enough: The motivation to cope with complex software project planning

M. Brokman, D. Perez, R. Gelbard

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The proposed study examines the notion that software project managers do not necessarily choose the optimal Gantt chart while planning a software project. This suboptimal choice is biased by psychological perceptions of complexity, as well as by perceptions of risk level (anxiety). We claim that since the optimal plan is naturally more complex, the perceived complexity of Gantt charts influences project managers' decisions and, when possible, causes them to avoid it. We assume that a “complexity adjustment” algorithm that would enable project managers to adjust the complexity of the Gantt chart to the required level of complexity will allow the manager to choose from among all relevant possible plans the one that meets project's constraints, while the structural relationships between plan' work units are at the level of complexity preferred by the manager (e.g., preference for serial activities over parallel ones). Such “feature” will enable managers to adjust the required level of complexity according to work-related anxiety levels. To assist in defining the research question and the relevant manipulations, a pre-test examined the perceived complexity of different basic relationships between work units (serial vs. parallel) and the perceived level of work-related anxiety.

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd..


  • Anxiety
  • Complexity
  • Gantt chart
  • Motivation
  • Project Planning
  • Software project management


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