Are the Experts Really Experts? a Cognitive Ergonomics Investigation for Project Estimations

Budi Hartono, Bhery Aditya Saputra


Uniqueness is a major characteristic of any project systems. Hence it is virtually in-feasible for project analysts to utilize data from past projects as references for subsequent project planning and scheduling. Most project analysts would then depend on intuition, gut feeling and experiences to develop quantitative models for project scheduling and analysis which, according to past studies, is prone towards systematic errors. This study attempts to investigate the perfor-mance of both ‘experts’ and ‘non-experts’ when utilizing their cognitive capability to estimate pro-ject durations in group/non-group settings. A cognitive ergonomics perspective -which views human capability to make judgment as rationally bounded - is utilized in this investigation. An empirical approach is used to inquiry data from ‘projects’ on which ‘experts’ and ‘non-experts’ are required to provide prior estimate on project durations. The estimates are then gauged against the actual duration. Results show that some systematic cognitive judgmental errors (biases) are observable for both experts and non-experts. The identified biases include: anchoring bias as well as accuracy bias.


Project management, cognitive ergonomics, estimate bias, expert, group.

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The Journal is published by The Institute of Research & Community Outreach - Petra Christian University. It available online supported by Directorate General of Higher Education - Ministry of National Education - Republic of Indonesia.

©All right reserved 2016.Jurnal Teknik Industri, ISSN: 1411-2485, e-ISSN: 2087-7439

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