Managing a Secret Project

36 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2009 Last revised: 21 Jun 2012

See all articles by Edieal J. Pinker

Edieal J. Pinker

Yale University School of Management

Joseph G. Szmerekovsky

North Dakota State University - Department of Management, Marketing & Finance

Vera Tilson

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Date Written: March 13, 2012

Abstract

We consider the problem of scheduling a project when there is an adversary from whom you want to conceal the project’s progress. Interfering with the progress by the adversary is called interdiction. Interdiction may involve hiring away key employees, campaigning for a change in zoning laws, etc. In this paper we take the perspective of a project manager with an adversary. The project manager seeks to limit the adversary’s opportunity to interdict, and, therefore, tries to keep the adversary “in the dark” as long as possible while completing the project on time. In the context of a leader-follower game, we formulate and analyze a new form of project management problem for secret projects where the project manager uses a combination of deception, task scheduling, and crashing to minimize the time between the adversary’s awareness and reaction and the project’s completion. We formulate a novel mixed-integer linear program and determine characteristics of optimal schedules. Using a detailed example of nuclear weapons development we illustrate the interconnectedness of deception, task scheduling, and crashing and the resulting influence on adversary behavior.

Keywords: Project Management, Project Crashing, Project Detection, Interdiction

Suggested Citation

Pinker, Edieal J. and Szmerekovsky, Joseph G. and Tilson, Vera, Managing a Secret Project (March 13, 2012). Simon School Working Paper No. FR 09-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1434696 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1434696

Edieal J. Pinker

Yale University School of Management ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States
203-436-8867 (Phone)

Joseph G. Szmerekovsky

North Dakota State University - Department of Management, Marketing & Finance ( email )

Fargo, ND 58105
United States

Vera Tilson (Contact Author)

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
156
Abstract Views
2,001
rank
190,798
PlumX Metrics