A new report says that the increasing volume and complexity of data on large, complex projects is outstripping stakeholders' ability to process and use it.

“The impacts are profound,” according to a new report from HKA, the dispute resolution and expert witness consultant. Misapplied technology has introduced new, unfamiliar risks, such as information overload or decision paralysis, into human interactions within the supply chain, the report states.

As information systems have increased, so too has "the illusion of control," says the HKA report.

HKA reached its conclusions after a review of over 250 troubled projects on which it worked. The report is part of a series called Crux Insight and is entitled, Claims and Dispute Causation: A Digital Perspective.

The pitfalls HKA sees in large projects also pop up in smaller ones, the company reports, because the same "myriad of primary and secondary causes'" plague small projects, too.

HKA looked at the causes of conflict in 257 of its commissions. Projects in Asia and the Middle East account for about $300 billion of the $400 billion in value that the examined projects represent. Over 3,000 individual causes were identified.

There were an average of 13 inter-related causes of trouble on each of the projects reviewed by HKA. The many primary and secondary causes HKA found, wrote Charles Woodley, an HKA director, shows that simple answers are rarely adequate in explaining what goes wrong. 

"This debunks the simplicity myth which is perpetuated by some commentators who choose to focus only on headline causes of claims or disputes," he wrote