Managing a Secret Project
36 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2009 Last revised: 21 Jun 2012
Date Written: March 13, 2012
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
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