Pilot studies are widely used, but surprisingly almost nothing written about them in the literature. This editorial tries to stimulate discussion to fill that gap. It is posited here that their main role is risk reduction on projects. A pilot study is an element of work of a larger project or programme, undertaken to gather data to reduce risk or uncertainty in the project or programme. A pilot study can be undertaken to help in the selection of the appropriate risk mitigation strategy, or in the application of the chosen method. The uncertainty in a project or programme will usually lie in the definition of the product to be produced or in the method of producing that product. A pilot study can be used to gather data about either or both to facilitate project choices, particularly in proving technical or commercial feasibility of options being considered. In the process, the pilot study may also contribute to organizational learning.

, , , ,
doi.org/10.1016/j.ijproman.2004.01.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/71923
International Journal of Project Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Turner, R. (2005). The role of pilot studies in reducing risk on projects and programmes. International Journal of Project Management, 23(1), 1–6. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2004.01.003