Conference PaperPDF Available

Construction Planning Efficiency and Delivery Time Performance: Analysing Failure in Task-Level 'Hit Rates'

Authors:

Abstract

Construction project delivery is considered successful by contracting firms if scope, time, cost, and quality outputs are attained, with any shortcomings in one or more of these representing a failure of sorts. Focusing only on the criteria of 'time', it is noticeable that more recent research efforts have been concentrated on poor time predictability and performance aggregated at construction 'industry-level', but minimal attention is retained on planning efficiency at individual 'project-level'. Yet it is precisely because time performance enactment of individual 'projects', and their 'project phases', 'work packages', and 'construction tasks' remains unsatisfactory that predictability of time at an industry level is also recorded as poor. The main aim of this work therefore was to advance the discussion of construction planning efficiency via an analysis of time performance on a small range of recently, and nearly, completed construction projects. Data were obtained from a convenience sample of several major UK contracting organisations, which allowed quantitative analysis to be employed by measuring planning-and delivery-efficiencies. The paper contributes through an explanation of the methods used, and discussion of the findings, which show how in this sample, planning and delivery efficiency is worse than previously considered, with an average of only 38% of project activities starting on and finishing on time. Evidencing such time-performance failure should inform further project-level predictability and productivity research.
CONSTRUCTION PLANNING EFFICIENCY AND
DELIVERY TIME PERFORMANCE: ANALYSING
FAILURE IN TASK-LEVEL 'HIT RATES'
Construction project delivery is considered successful by contracting firms if scope,
time, cost, and quality outputs are attained, with any shortcomings in one or more of
these representing a failure of sorts. Focusing only on the criteria of 'time', it is
noticeable that more recent research efforts have been concentrated on poor time
predictability and performance aggregated at construction ‘industry-level’, but
minimal attention is retained on planning efficiency at individual ‘project-level’. Yet
it is precisely because time performance enactment of individual ‘projects’, and their
‘project phases’, ‘work packages’, and ‘construction tasks’ remains unsatisfactory that
predictability of time at an industry level is also recorded as poor. The main aim of
this work therefore was to advance the discussion of construction planning efficiency
via an analysis of time performance on a small range of recently, and nearly,
completed construction projects. Data were obtained from a convenience sample of
several major UK contracting organisations, which allowed quantitative analysis to be
employed by measuring planning- and delivery- efficiencies. The paper contributes
through an explanation of the methods used, and discussion of the findings, which
show how in this sample, planning and delivery efficiency is worse than previously
considered, with an average of only 38% of project activities starting on and finishing
on time. Evidencing such time-performance failure should inform further project-
level predictability and productivity research.
Keywords: Construction planning, Failure, Measurement, Planning efficiency,
Predictability, Productivity.
INTRODUCTION
Project success is evaluated when considering the attainment of: longer-term, more
strategic 'outcomes', and short-term, more tactical, 'outputs'. Outcomes would
variously include the realization of project benefits, impact, relevance, and
sustainability aspirations, as well achieving stakeholder satisfaction (Craik, 2018;
Davies, 2017). In contrast, outputs are those elements that are measured immediately
post-delivery, against set scope, time, cost, and quality targets. Depending upon the
stakeholders' requirements, project failure has variously occurred when one or more of
these criteria does not meet with expectations. In the construction sector, where the
underperformance of on-site project delivery efforts, particularly regarding
'predictability' remains a principle concern (Crotty, 2012; Love et al., 2011; de Melo
et al., 2016), for contractors, shortcomings in meeting one or more of the 'Iron
Triangle' criteria of 'time', 'cost', or 'quality', more viscerally represents project failure.
Being more easily measured than quality, 'predictability' of project- and construction-
cost and time performance is presently quantified and recorded annually via industry
standard key performance indicators (KPI's) with project-level data aggregated and
reported at industry-level. Table 1 presents results of these indicators from 2007 -
2017.
Table 1: Overall project-level time cost and time predictability for years 2007 - 2017 -
percentage of projects delivered on target or better. (Table adapted from Constructing
Excellence, 2017).
KPI
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013/14
2015
2016
2017
Predictability
Time: Project
58
45
45
43
45
34
45
40
41
66
Predictability
Cost: Project
46
49
48
52
63
61
69
69
68
65
This work, which focuses on the criteria of 'time', differs from prior research
concentrating on poor time predictability and performance at aggregated ‘industry-
level’ (Gledson, 2017; Gledson and Greenwood, 2017, 2016), as instead, attention is
fixed on construction planning efficiency at individual project-level, specifically in the
delivery of the on-site construction duration of such projects. Although data relating to
the time predictability of the 'construction phase' level of projects are also captured
and reported on in industry standard KPIs (again, aggregated at industry-level, see
Table 2) it has nonetheless historically remained difficult to access performance data
on individual projects. Nor has it been possible to 'drill-down' to review performance
of individual tasks that collectively contribute toward the performance of distinct
project phases or work packages. To begin to address this concern, the present work
makes further use of, and builds upon, the only known method existing within
construction planning literature, of recording task-level planning efficiency. This was
established by Dawood (2009:2010) who refers to planning efficiency as the planning
'hit rate'.
Table 2: Construction-level time predictability for years 2007 - 2017 - percentage of projects
and phases delivered on time or better. (Table adapted from Constructing Excellence, 2017).
KPI
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013/14
2015
2016
2017
Predictability
Time:
Construction
65
58
59
57
60
42
67
48
55
67
"If you can't measure it, you can't improve it" (frequently attributed to Peter
Drucker).
As evidenced from tables 1 and 2 above, the overall time predictability and
performance of construction projects (at project- and construction- level) can be
considered to be both variable, and less than satisfactory. This has also been discussed
at both 'macro' (e.g. Gledson, 2017) and 'micro' (e.g. Ballard, 2000; Dawood, 2010)
levels, where researchers have considered how productivity issues affect individual
construction task, work package, and construction project 'phase' performance, and
therefore overall project time performance. Kenley (2014), advises that efforts to
improve productivity and process are perhaps the “holy grail of construction
research”, yet within literature, reports of widespread measurement of task-level time
performance seems limited, and equally in practice, little evidence exists of any
dramatic improvement in this area.
Ballard (2000) sought to combat this with the development of the Last Planner System
(LPS), by identifying a range of problems that typically affect task conformance
against schedule and argues that the achieved 'planned percentage complete' (PPC) of
individual construction tasks (prior to applying LPS) is typically 50%. In this, the
work of Ballard contributes as much to productivity research, as to the overall Lean
Construction movement. Similarly, the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) aims also to
improve productivity in construction management, reinforcing why LPS was
considered a useful addition, thus: “traditional project planning was unable to produce
predictable workflow: only 54% of the assignments made by foremen to be completed
in the week were actually completed” (LCI, no date). Unfortunately to date,
widespread use of LPS is not apparent. Nor presently are other planning process
innovations advocated within wider construction planning literature, as being useful
for addressing this concern. These include the likes of probabilistic task duration
calculation methods (Baldwin and Bordoli, 2014; Morris, 1997; Winch, 2010), the
critical chain method (Goldratt, 1997; Herroelen and Leus, 2001), location-based
planning methods (Seppänen et al., 2010, 2014), and 4D BIM (Dawood, 2010;
Gledson and Greenwood, 2017; Hartmann and Fischer, 2007). Arguably, adoption and
use of any individual or combination of these methods should result in improvements
in planning efficiency, however just like time predictability itself, the adoption of
process related planning innovations remains a concern (Gledson and Phoenix, 2017;
Lindgren and Emmitt, 2017; Shibeika and Harty, 2015).
Returning, however, to the issue of measurement of task-level time performance, leads
to the work of Dawood and associates (2009: 2010), who devised a means of
calculating planning efficiency on construction projects. These researchers believe
that 'traditional' planning, undertaken without use of the types of planning process
innovations listed above, yields an average industry task percentage reliability of
around 55 per cent, meaning that for only 55% of the time, there is zero variance in
the planned start dates or planned finish dates of construction activities or work
packages. Dawood and Sikka (2009, p.445) further identify that a “critical success
factor for a construction project is the reliability of the commencement date for each
activity as per the planning schedule”. Inspired by this approach, a version of the
method was applied to analyse the planning and delivery-efficiencies across a small
range of recently- and nearly- completed projects undertaken by several major UK
contracting organisations, in order to provide comparator data. The subsequent
sections report on how this was done, and what was revealed.
METHODOLOGY AND METHOD
The work is grounded in the research philosophy of pragmatism, and it should be
considered as case study research, as it allows for investigation of an in-context
phenomena (Fellows and Liu, 2008; Proverbs and Gameson, 2008) by drawing on,
and triangulating multiple sources of evidence, then seeking to provide meaning
(Remenyi et al., 2002).
To analyse time performance, quantitative secondary data from 720 completed
construction tasks were reviewed. The data were obtained from a convenience sample
of three finished and 'handed over' projects (Projects A-C) and one partially finished
project (Project D), constructed by three different 'top ten' UK constructors. Secondary
data is that which has already been collected by someone else for an initial, different
purpose. In this case, the data were originally collected by construction team members
to facilitate the site progress reporting function. Here, the data obtained from the
following four projects, affords analysis of task-level time predictability:
Project A performed by Company A. £27 million, comprising of 4 Nr. NHS
accommodation blocks for children with learning disabilities.
Substructure: Concrete raft and pad foundations.
Superstructure: Four number timber frame and one steel frame build.
Finishes: Robust anti-ligature requirements.
Project B, also performed by Company A. £6 million, NHS adult mental health
learning facilities.
Substructure: Concrete raft foundation.
Superstructure: Timber frame, mixture of brickwork and cladding and a
'Kalzip' roof system.
Finishes: Robust anti-ligature requirements.
Project C performed by Company B. £11 million, NHS cottage hospital.
Substructure: Concrete ground bearing slab.
Superstructure: Pre-cast concrete frame building with stone cladding, curtain
walling and acrylic render.
Finishes: Internal partitions with suspended and MF ceilings.
Project D performed by Company C. £9 million, Energy Centre.
Substructure: Continuous flight auger piled foundation.
Superstructure: Steel frame, block work, SFS and cladding.
It should be noted here that although the projects were planned using computer aided
planning and scheduling software, none of them made use of any of the planning
process innovations listed above (probabilistic task duration calculations; critical
chain; location-based planning, or application of 4D BIM), thus they could be
considered to evidence 'typical' approaches to construction project planning (Gledson
and Greenwood, 2017). As discussed, Dawood's (2010) prior research posited that
there was an average industry hit rate percentage of 55 percent for 'traditional'
planning, undertaken without use of the types of such planning innovations, and the
method for calculating planning efficiency, known as the planning 'hit rate' established
variously in Dawood and Sikka (2009) and Dawood (2010) was the basis for this
work. Dawood (2010) advises that: "Hit rate percent indicates the percentage
reliability of the commencement date for each activity or package(s) by comparing the
planned programme against the actual programme". However, Dawood (2010) does
also go on to show that achieving planned completion dates are equally as important
to the calculation of planning efficiency. Thus, 'hit rate', is measured as the percentage
of activities which both started, and completed 'on time', as specifically, this is
contrasted against the percentage of activities which: (1) started early and finished
late, (2) started early and finished early, (3) started late and finished late, and (4)
started late and finished early. The present research team used a similar method of
data analysis to consider Dawood's 5 existing performance measures, but then also
expanded on this by considering 4 other possibilities to see whether an activity had
increased or decreased in duration. These 9 measures now listed in full can help to
establish the percentage of time activities:
1. Start on time AND finish on time, meaning planning is truly efficient (i.e. the
'Hit Rate' is achieved).
2. Start on time AND finish early, meaning a decreased activity duration.
3. Start on time AND finish late, meaning an increased activity duration.
4. Start early AND finish early, meaning duration may or may not be different
from planned.
5. Start early AND finish on time, meaning an increased activity duration.
6. Start early AND finish late, meaning an increased activity duration.
7. Start late AND finish early, meaning a decreased activity duration.
8. Start late AND finish on time, meaning a decreased activity duration.
9. Start late AND finish late meaning duration may or may not be different from
planned.
The following information therefore needed to be extracted from the project planning
data files provided by the research contacts in order to truly establish the planning hit
rate percentage:
Task ID, and Task name (as identifiers, for classifying the activity into one of
the three construction phases).
Planned start date.
Actual start date.
Planned finished date.
Actual start date.
Planned duration in days.
Actual duration in days.
Start variance: This being the actual start date, minus the planned start date.
(Note that an activity with zero variance indicates that the activity has started
on time, positive variance indicates the activity has started late, and negative
variance indicates that the activity started earlier than the planned duration).
Finish variance: As above, but for the finish date.
Total variance: the sum of the start and finish variance.
The researchers also sought to undertake further performance analysis by classifying
the data into one of three usual, separate construction phases:
Substructure: works below the ground, typically foundations and ground
supporting elements of a building.
Superstructure: structure or frame of the building above ground level and the
external envelope.
Finishes: internal finishing trades within a watertight building.
This was done for a secondary purpose, to test a common construction ‘maxim’ which
holds that major contractors are able to perform satisfactorily during the ‘substructure’
and ‘superstructure’ phases, but not the ‘finishes’ phase of a project.
Table 3 shows the planning efficiency measures and formulas used to calculate the
planning efficiency 'hit rate' percentages, and additional measures for each project and
stage in the project lifecycle. When calculating the average percentages of all four
projects, the researchers used a weighted arithmetic mean calculation; this takes into
account that some projects contribute more than others to the overall mean value, due
to the difference in the number of activities analysed.
Table 3: Planning efficiency measures and formulae.
Percentage of activities which
started on time and finished on
time*
(Total number of activities ÷ Total number of activities having
zero total variance value) x100
Percentage of activities started
early and finished late
(Total number of activities ÷ number of activities which started
early and finished late) x 100
Percentage of activities started
early and finished early*
(Total number of activities ÷ number of activities which started
early and finished early) x 100
Percentage of activities started
late and finished late
(Total number of activities ÷ number of activities which started
late and finished late) x 100
Percentage of activities started
late and finished early
(Total number of activities ÷ number of activities which started
late and finished early) x 100
Percentage of activities which
started on time and finished late
(Total number of activities ÷ number of activities which started
on time and finished late) x 100
Percentage of activities which
started on time and finished
early*
(Total number of activities ÷ number of activities which started
on time and finished early) x 100
Percentage of activities which
started early and finished on
time*
(Total number of activities ÷ number of activities which started
early and finished on time) x 100
Percentage of activities which
started late and finished on time
(Total number of activities ÷ number of activities which started
late and finished on time) x 100
Number of activities with no
change in duration
(Total number of activities ÷ Total number of activities having
zero start and finish variance value) x100
*Hit Rate percentage
The weighted arithmetic mean, of the planning scenarios
highlighted with an *. These are activities, which started early/on
time and finished early/on time.
SUMMARY RESULTS, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
As discussed above, the critical success factor in any project delivery is the reliability
of starting and finishing an activity per the programme or schedule. This is referred to
here as the 'hit rate' percentage to establish planning efficiency. Summary
‘descriptive’ data of all four projects is first presented in Table 4, which reveals: two
of the projects (A and B, with 23% and 30% respectively) showed planning efficiency
to be much worse than thought by Dawood (2009; 2010); one project was comparable
(Project D with 59%); and one project performed slightly better (Project C with 70%)
When averaged across all projects, the results are that a typical 38% 'hit rate' is
achieved, thus being worse than the 55% believed by Dawood (2009: 2010).
Figure 1 shows planning efficiency by project phase across all four projects. However,
despite the 'maxim' discussed above, this study revealed no significant trends in the
'hit rate' of activities within certain project phases.
Table 4: Summary analysis of time performance across all tasks on all four projects (A-D)
PROJECT
Overall
Number and % of activities
%
%
%
%
No.
%
Analysed
-
-
-
-
720
-
That had no change in duration
49
36
83
84
421
58
Started early and finished late
3
13
0
2
24
3
Started early and finished early*
19
7
1
12
92
13
Started late and finished late
63
36
7
37
326
45
Started late and finish early
2
0
0
0
9
1
Started on time and finished late
6
19
23
2
81
11
Started on time and finished early*
1
1
1
6
11
2
Started early and finished on time*
0
3
0
0
3
0
Started late and finished on time
2
1
0
0
8
1
Started and finished on time*
3
18
68
41
166
23
*Hit Rate
23
30
70
59
272
38
Figure 1: Projects A-D, Planning efficiency by project phase (percentages shown).
!"#$
%"#"
&'#(
)""#"
*#'
(!#'
)""#"
%)#$
+"#+
)$#(
($#)
"#"
!"#"
%"#"
*"#"
&"#"
)""#"
,-./0123435%!$3
2.246341278727093
.:3;<71<=3)""3>-3
.-3!+#%?3
41<7080@32<07-3
A<723-420AB#
,-./0123C35*$3
2.246341278727093
.:3;<71<3!"3>-3.-3
!'#&?341<7080@3
2<07-3A<723-420AB#
,-./0123135)$(3
2.246341278727093
.:3;<71<=3)!!3>-3
.-3*'#$?3
41<7080@32<07-3
A<723-420AB#
,-./0123@35()3
2.246341278727093
.:3;<71<=3+"3>-3
.-3(&#&?3
41<7080@32<07-3
A<723-420AB#
9DEFGHDIGDHJ 9DKJHFGHDIGDHJ :LMLFNJF
CONCLUSIONS
The objective of the data analysis was to examine the performance of a sample of past
construction projects in an attempt to consider what typical levels of effectiveness in
the planning and delivery of time performance in the UK construction sector might be.
Whilst no significant trends in the 'hit rate' of activities across the four projects were
observed, analysis has enabled several key conclusions to be drawn, which are:
1. The average planning efficiency data across all four projects is lower at 38%
when compared with Dawood's assertions of 55%.
2. Planning activity appears to be somewhat effective at predicting the duration of
activities, with an average accuracy of 58% recorded in this sample.
3. In contrast, planning efforts appear poor at forecasting the exact timings of
when activities will actually occur (i.e. start and finish dates), as an average of
only 23% was achieved in this sample.
4. Out of all the possible planning and delivery outcomes for the 720 activities
analysed in this sample, the most frequent outcome was that on average 45% of
activities started late and finished late.
5. In this sample, activities tend to start on time and finish on time more
frequently only within the earliest, substructure phases of a project. Thereafter
no such trends were observable in the reaming project phases.
The quality of planning and delivery time performance appears variable across the
separate projects analysed in this study. In general, planning quality will always be
affected by a range of issues including the complexity and technological difficulties of
each distinct project, the skill level of the project planners themselves, the time and
information available at the time of planning, and the media used to communicate the
formulated plans (Gledson, 2017). Upon construction commencement, the quality of
delivery also affects time performance, particularly as projects are always prone to be
subjected to the various delays and disruptions of site activity. Furthermore, either
strategically or tactically, on some occasions, contractors may decide to expedite
specific, usually early-stage and less complex activities, to build in additional time-
contingency for later more complex activities. The scope of this research project did
not focus on any of these aspects, yet through a straightforward measurement and
assessment exercise, several valuable conclusions have still been drawn. Some of
these are perhaps tacitly ‘known’ in industry but effectively they are being ‘proven
here. Not least is that in this convenience sample, construction planning efficiency and
delivery time performance - or 'time predictability', seems poor, certainly when
performance data is considered at individual task level. The low averaged 'hit rate'
recorded here of 38% is a particular concern, and further, similar research efforts
performed on a diverse range of projects also using 'traditional' methods of
construction planning would be welcomed either to support or reject these findings.
Similarly, future research comparing the results of 'hit rates' achieved with projects
that use 'traditional' methods of construction planning, against projects that instead
make use of planning process innovations including the likes of 4D BIM, would also
do much to further inform construction predictability and productivity research.
REFERENCES
Baldwin, A. and Bordoli, D. (2014), A handbook for construction planning and
scheduling, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 1sted.
Ballard, G. (2000), Last Planner System of Production Control, University of
Birmingham.
Constructing Excellence. (2017), UK Industry Performance Report 2017. Based on
the UK Construction Industry KPI’s, available at: https://www.glenigan.com/wp-
content/uploads/2017/11/UK_Industry_Performance_Report_2017_vF.pdf.
Craik, D. (2018), “Iron discipline”, Project. The voice of the project management
community, Vol. Summer No. 295, pp. 30–32.
Crotty, R. (2012), The Impact of Building Information Modelling: Transforming
Construction, SPON Press, Oxon.
Davis, K. (2017), “An empirical investigation into different stakeholder groups
perception of project success”, International Journal of Project Management,
Elsevier Ltd, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 604–617.
Dawood, N. (2010), “Development of 4D-based performance indicators in
construction industry”, Engineering, Construction and Architectural
Management, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 210–230.
Dawood, N. and Sikka, S. (2009), “Development of 4D based performance indicators
in construction industry”, Engineering, Construction and Architectural
Management, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 438–458.
Fellows, R. and Liu, A. (2008), Research methods for construction, Wiley-Blackwell,
West Sussex, 3rded., available at:
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip088/2008002534.html.
Gledson, B. (2017), Innovation Diffusion within the UK Construction Sector: a study
of the adoption of 4D BIM, Northumbria University, available at:
http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/32529/.
Gledson, B. and Phoenix, C. (2017), “Exploring organisational attributes affecting the
innovativeness of UK SMEs”, Construction Innovation: Information, Process,
Management, Emerald, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 224–243.
Gledson, B.J. and Greenwood, D. (2017), “The adoption of 4D BIM in the UK
construction industry: an innovation diffusion approach”, Engineering,
Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 950–967.
Gledson, B.J. and Greenwood, D.J. (2016), “Surveying the extent and use of 4D BIM
in the UK”, Journal of Information Technology in Construction, Vol. 21.
Goldratt, E.M. (1997), Critical Chain, America, The North River Press Publishing
Corporation, Great Barrington, MA, Vol. 8, available at:
http://www.amazon.com/Critical-Chain-Eliyahu-M-Goldratt/dp/0884271536.
Hartmann, T. and Fischer, M. (2007), “Supporting the constructability review with
3D/4D models”, Building Research & Information, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 70–80.
Herroelen, W. and Leus, R. (2001), “On the merits and pitfalls of critical chain
scheduling”, Journal of operations management, Vol. 19, pp. 559–577.
Kenley, R. (2014), “Productivity improvement in the construction process”,
Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 489–494.
Lindgren, J. and Emmitt, S. (2017), “Diffusion of a systemic innovation A
longitudinal case study of a Swedish multi-storey timber housebuilding system”,
Construction Innovation, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 25–44.
Love, P.E.D., Edwards, D.J., Han, S. and Goh, Y.M. (2011), “Design error reduction:
toward the effective utilization of building information modeling”, Research in
Engineering Design, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 173–187.
de Melo, R.S.S., Do, D., Tillmann, P., Ballard, G. and Granja, A.D. (2016), “Target
value design in the public sector: evidence from a hospital project in San
Francisco, CA”, Architectural Engineering and Design Management, Vol. 12
No. 2, pp. 125–137.
Morris, P.W.G. (1997), The management of projects, Thomas Telford.
Proverbs, D. and Gameson, R. (2008), “Case study research”, in Knight, A. and
Ruddock, L. (Eds.),Advanced research methods in the built environment, Wiley-
Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 99–110.
Remenyi, D., Money, A., Price, D. and Bannister, F. (2002), “The creation of
knowledge through case study research”, Irish Journal of Management, Irish
Academy of Managment, Vol. 23 No. 2, p. 1.
Seppänen, O., Ballard, G. and Pesonen, S. (2010), “Combination of Last Planner
System and Location-Based Management System”, Lean Construction Journal,
pp. 43–54.
Seppänen, O., Evinger, J. and Mouflard, C. (2014), “Effects of the location-based
management system on production rates and productivity”, Construction
Management and Economics, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 608–624.
Shibeika, A. and Harty, C. (2015), “Diffusion of digital innovation in construction: a
case study of a UK engineering firm”, Construction Management and
Economics, Vol. 33 No. 5–6, pp. 453–466.
Winch, G. (2010), “Managing construction projects: an information processing
approach”, Blackwell Pub., Ames, Iowa.
... For example, cost and time overruns in Sydney's cross city tunnel, Brisbane's river city motorway and Sydney's M7 Clem Jones tunnel affected Australian Government objectives (Love et al. 2016a). Similar challenges affect construction projects in Nigeria according to Zadawa et al. (2018), the Gaza Strip (Tayeh et al. 2018), UK (Gledson et al. 2018), Ghana (Ameyaw et al. 2017) and Kenya (Ngacho and Das 2014). ...
... These recommendations are vital for Uganda, other developing countries and first world countries. They would assist with problems identified, for example in Australia, UK, Gaza Strip, Nigeria and Ghana (Love et al. 2016a;Ameyaw et al. 2017;Gledson et al. 2018;Tayeh et al. 2018;Zadawa et al. 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
The construction industry is known for its underperformance. Globally, construction projects are often delayed and completed above-estimated budgets because of inferior works and contract variations. These in turn negatively affect the goals set by public sector client. Many studies aim to establish factors for successful construction projects that include public road construction projects. However, challenges remain. Using institutional theory, this research focusses on success factors for implementing public road construction projects in Uganda. Loss of funds in such projects significantly affects and stalls the implementation process. This study is cross-sectional and structured self-administered questionnaires are used with Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) data analysis by Smart-PLS3 subsequently conducted. The findings reveal that professionalism, monitoring activities, familiarity with regulatory framework; perceived inefficiency of regulatory framework and compliance with these frameworks significantly enhances successful implementation of public road construction projects. However, sanctions on staff and contractors' resistance to non-compliance are insignificant predictors. Governments should emphasize and embark on improving monitoring mechanisms and staff familiarity with public procurement regulatory frameworks to avoid manipulations by unethical project stake-holders especially on contract cost variation during implementation. These regulatory frameworks should be written in a less technical language that is easily interpreted by stakeholders. Recruitment of qualified staff is paramount.
... These challenges impact project performance, often with cascading effects on other projects. Researchers have reported examples of performance problems due to issues with cost and time in projects in different countries, for example, in Australia [8], Nigeria [9], Gaza Strip [4], UK [10], Ghana [11], and Kenya [12]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The success of a construction project depends on different factors, the knowledge of the project managers, and the type of project being developed. In this paper, based on a review of the literature, 23 factors are identified as critical and they are grouped into top-management support, project manager’s skills, project team skills, and stakeholder-management knowledge. A framework with 23 hypotheses is developed to assess the relation between these factors and project performance. The analysis of the framework is conducted based on the responses obtained from a survey of 266 engineers working on construction projects in Qatar. The results show a positive relationship between critical success factors and project performance. The highest positive perception is shown for stakeholder engagement by the top management (mean = 5.589 ± 0.582) and the lowest positive perception for the need to predict stakeholder influence (mean = 3.939 ± 0.852). The analysis of the relative importance of these factors shows that the top-management support category is ranked highest for the success of a project. Although the perceptions are based on Qatar’s study, the success factors, their relationship with project success criteria, and project performance are global; therefore, the framework could be tailored and applied in different project contexts.
... In consonance, Sohail & Cavill, [14] posited that, the global construction industry loses around US$340 billion annually due to fraudulent practices. These challenges of infrastructure project delays, failures and abandonments are however not limited to the Nigerian construction projects [15], as similar challenges are prevalent in the construction industry of other nations including UK [16], Gaza Strip [17], Kenya [18] and Ghana [19]. Owing to the project infrastructure development needs of developing nations, infrastructural projects are often embarked on within a nation's construction industry [20,21,22,23,24]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Globally, construction infrastructural projects are ongoing on daily basis as their relevance to human existence cannot be over emphasized. However, the construction projects encounters several challenges that led to their delays, failures and abandonments which subsequently affected their level of completion and overall output in Nigeria and globally. This study shows the review of literature in the field of Project and Construction Management with focus on the aforementioned factors between 2016 and 2021. Findings from this study indicated that, quite a large number of infrastructural projects are affected by these factors in the past and are still largely prevalent throughout the Project Life Cycle (PLC) and further posited that in every project, these factors plays a major role which can act as either a bridge or barrier to infrastructural project delivery. The study recommends that for projects to be completed on time, cost and scope, project failure factors have to be put into consideration throughout the PLC with reasonably sufficient time dedicated to their analysis and acquiring sufficient knowledge of these failure, delay and project abandonment triggering factors before embarking on a choosing infrastructure project.
... In digital twins, real-time is a period of a few milliseconds that can be made possible with the deployment of 5G technology. It is a rapid update considering time performance in the construction process is typically not that efficient and still unsatisfactory as it heavily relies on human enactment [7]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Space, logistics, manufacturing, and many other industries are looking into the economic value of digital twins. The interconnection with construction counterpart is not being discussed thoroughly despite various technology have been implemented into the industry. Hence, this study aims to determine the preliminary requirements of digital twins to succeed in as early as in a construction phase. The structured literature review in regards to the components and implementation of digital twins was carried out to identify the correlations in the industry. The settings based on the RIBA plan of work consisting of a high level of detail of the model, data quality, life-cycle cost, change of culture, and more are deliberated in this study.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The propose of this study is to focus on the mediating role of compliance with procurement regulatory frameworks in implementing public road construction projects. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional research design was adopted. Structured questionnaires were developed in a three-step process including generating items, purifying measurement items and validating measurement items. Variables were anchored on a five-point Likert scale because it is an efficient unidimensional scale that ensures all items measure the same thing and widely applicable in construction research. Findings The findings show that compliance with a public procurement regulatory framework significantly mediates the relationship between familiarity with a public procurement regulatory framework, monitoring activities, sanction on staff and contractors’ resistance to non-compliance and public road construction project success. However, compliance with a public procurement regulatory framework does not mediate the relationship between the professionalism of staff and perceived inefficiency with public road construction projects’ success. Research limitations/implications Limited mediation studies and examples in the public road construction subsector affected this study to comprehensively investigate and compare study findings. Furthermore, the study adopted a cross-sectional research design that limits responses to one point in time. Finally, the study missed out other participants in different organizations and departments that could have had relevant information. Social implications The study contributes to public procurement and construction management research fields by uncovering this strong mediating role of compliance with a public procurement regulatory framework that collectively would help the government to implement public road construction projects successfully. Because no single factor can reliably attain objectives, blending these factors through a hybrid governance system would enable the government to achieve value for money, increase the quality and quantity of paved roads and save funds that can be channeled to other priority sectors for economic development. Originality/value Despite scholarly efforts to establish project success factors, studies have been limited to factors directly impacting the project success without considering a mediating effect among the factors that affect the success of these projects.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose British construction industry KPI data collected over recent years shows a trend in projects exceeding their time schedules. In 2013, the UK government set a target for projects timeframes to reduce by 50%. Proposed interventions included more rapid project delivery processes, and consistent improvements to construction delivery predictions, deployed within the framework of 4D Building Information Modeling. This study uses Rogers’ Innovation Diffusion theory as a basis to investigate how this adoption has taken place. Design/methodology/approach 97 construction planning practitioners were surveyed to measure 4D BIM innovation take-up over time. Classic innovation diffusion research methods were adopted. Findings Results indicated an increasing rate of 4D BIM adoption and reveal a time lag between awareness and first use that is characteristic of this type of innovation. Research limitations/implications Use of a non-probability sampling strategy prevents the results being generalisable to the wider construction population. Future research directions and methods are suggested, including qualitative investigations into decision making processes around 4D BIM, and case-studies exploring the consequences of 4D BIM adoption. Practical implications Recommendations of how to facilitate the adoption of 4D BIM innovation are proposed, which identify the critical aspects of system compatibility and safe trialling of the innovation. Originality/value This paper reinforces 4D BIM as an innovation and records its actual UK industry adoption rate using an accepted diffusion research method. By focusing on UK industry-wide diffusion the work also stands apart from more typical research efforts that limit innovation diffusion exploration to individual organisations.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The UK construction sector of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has received criticism for a perceived lack of desire to innovate. Previous research has identified attributes such as company size and levels of research and development expenditure as being significant and causal variables determining this response. The purpose of this study was to further explore organisational attributes that determine innovation likeliness within construction SMEs. Design/methodology/approach Web-based questionnaires were administered to 101 construction professionals. Responses from large companies and SMEs were compared, and data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Findings The findings indicate that SMEs do implement a substantial amount of innovation to improve profitability. Both organisational maturity and in-house design capability were found to impact SME innovativeness. Originality/value The study provides further evidence that the UK construction SME sector is evolving away from traditional to more innovative practices.
Article
Full-text available
More than half of construction projects exceed their agreed time schedules. Attempts to remedy this have been monitored over a number of years in the UK using standard industry KPI measurement data. The aim of this research was to investigate how contracting organisations have adapted their existing construction planning practices by using 4D BIM to improve project delivery and time predictability. In the light of the current lack of robust case-based evidence in support of this premise, a survey of 136 construction practitioners was conducted to measure the extent and use of 4D BIM in the UK and the perceptions of its value. Results indicated a high level of general BIM awareness, and some experience of 4D BIM for work winning, methods planning, and the visualisation and validation of construction processes. The study revealed the perceived value of 4D BIM, the extent of its use, and those elements of planning which were its principal targets. It also provided a view of the drivers and barriers for 4D BIM adoption. Several associations were found between the characteristics of user organisations and the extent and use of 4D BIM (and BIM more generally). The study uncovers the areas in which 4D BIM is believed by practitioners to be more effective than traditional means of construction planning. The conclusion is that the benefits of 4D BIM are considered to be less concerned with creating, validating and controlling project timescales (all of which still require the skills of experienced practitioners) but are more related to handling and communicating information. Given that these aspects are, using traditional 2D methods, considered to be a primary cause of 'poor predictability', the study supports the value of 4D BIM in improving project delivery.
Article
Full-text available
The UK government is mandating the use of building information modelling (BIM) in large public projects by 2016. As a result, engineering firms are faced with challenges related to embedding new technologies and associated working practices for the digital delivery of major infrastructure projects. Diffusion of innovations theory is used to investigate how digital innovations diffuse across complex firms. A contextualist approach is employed through an in-depth case study of a large, international engineering project-based firm. The analysis of the empirical data, which was collected over a four-year period of close interaction with the firm, reveals parallel paths of diffusion occurring across the firm, where both the innovation and the firm context were continually changing. The diffusion process is traced over three phases: centralization of technology management, standardization of digital working practices, and globalization of digital resources. The findings describe the diffusion of a digital innovation as multiple and partial within a complex social system during times of change and organizational uncertainty, thereby contributing to diffusion of innovations studies in construction by showing a range of activities and dynamics of a non-linear diffusion process.
Thesis
The construction industry suffers from a time predictability problem. To address this, previous research has investigated various improvement strategies, including the exploitation of innovations. An innovation is some ‘thing’, unfamiliar to an entity, which can facilitate product, process or systemic improvements. Innovation diffusion theory (IDT) is the body of work concerned with explaining how some innovations successfully ‘stick’, whilst others fail to propagate. These phenomena occur across society, but construction is particularly perceived to suffer from a low ‘innovation rate’. 4D BIM is an innovation with potential to provide construction planning improvements that can address the time predictability problem, but there are concerns around its prospective industry absorption. This research investigates the applicability of classic IDT to the adoption of 4D BIM by the UK construction industry. A mixed-method study was undertaken, informed by a pragmatist philosophy. It combines an initial exploratory stage that uses case study and questionnaire survey research, with a subsequent explanatory stage concurrently employing a second questionnaire survey with semi-structured interviews. Classified as a modular technical process-based innovation, use of 4D BIM is found to advance construction planning. It increases feedback opportunities, planning efforts, and the quality and validity of the plans produced, whilst also having potential for improving project time performance. It is established that 4D BIM usage is principally limited to work-winning, methods planning, and the visualisation of construction processes, alleviating problems of communication and understanding. The importance of existing diffusion concepts of compatibility and trialability, are reinforced, and several new contributions are made. These include: how organisations using BIM risk employing hybrid project information delivery processes, resulting in duplication of effort and inefficiency; how personal use of 4D BIM is linked to organisational characteristics; and what the usual time lag between first awareness and adoption is. Furthermore, an existing innovation-decision process model is built upon, with additional stages, decision- action points and outcomes added. This new model can assist in the future adoption/rejection decisions of such modular technical process-based innovations.
Article
Organizations use projects to manage customized, one-off events across a wide range of functions. Project management is an essential operational tool and process that is utilized to effectively and efficiently manage resources, tasks and activities, and associated timelines. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibility that failure is a result of different interpretations of the criteria and factors used for success by multiple stakeholder groups. Currently, there is no recorded theory to determine project success within the project management literature, which includes both the perspective of multiple stakeholder groups and shared use of success dimensions for a given project. This omission is the basis of the current work, which explores the impact of using all stakeholder views as opposed to a selected few to define project success. The research outcomes are important for informed managerial decision making that enables the minimization of major financial losses.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that influence the diffusion of a systemic innovation in the Swedish construction sector. The focus is on high-rise multi-storey timber housing; the development of which was enabled by a change in building regulations. This allowed building higher than two stories in timber. Design/methodology/approach A longitudinal case study was used with multiple data collection methods to study the development and diffusion of a multi-storey timber house system by a case study organisation. Findings The findings contribute to understanding for a number of interacting factors influencing the diffusion of a systemic innovation related to the case study organisation. Originality/value The research provides a holistic view of interacting factors influencing the diffusion of a systemic innovation. The results have value to the Swedish construction sector and to the global community of construction researchers, as it provides empirical findings that further increase the understanding for diffusion of systemic innovations in a specific context.
Article
The authoritative industry guide on good practice for planning and scheduling in construction. This handbook acts as a guide to good practice, a text to accompany learning and a reference document for those needing information on background, best practice, and methods for practical application. A Handbook for Construction Planning & Scheduling presents the key issues of planning and programming in scheduling in a clear, concise and practical way. The book divides into four main sections: Planning and Scheduling within the Construction Context; Planning and Scheduling Techniques and Practices; Planning and Scheduling Methods; Delay and Forensic Analysis. The authors include both basic concepts and updates on current topics demanding close attention from the construction industry, including planning for sustainability, waste, health and safety and Building Information Modelling (BIM). The book is especially useful for early career practitioners - engineers, quantity surveyors, construction managers, project managers - who may already have a basic grounding in civil engineering, building and general construction but lack extensive planning and scheduling experience. Students will find the website helpful with worked examples of the methods and calculations for typical construction projects plus other directed learning material. This authoritative industry guide on good practice for planning and scheduling in construction is written in a direct, informative style with a clear presentation enabling easy access of the relevant information with a companion website providing additional resources and learning support material. the authoritative industry guide on construction planning and scheduling. direct informative writing style and clear presentation enables easy access of the relevant information companion website provides additional learning material.
Article
Location-based management systems (LBMSs) are becoming more commonly used to plan and control production in construction projects. The main use has been to compress durations and improve resource efficiency through real-time production control and forecasting. LBMS theory proposes that instead of continuously updating the plan with actualized completion dates, as with the critical path method (CPM), control actions can be used to manage an effective response to deviations in production in order to realign the schedule forecast with the approved plan. Three healthcare construction projects in California were monitored to document the effects of planning and control decisions on production rates, resources and labour consumption. First, the authors hypothesize that proposed control actions based on the system led to real actions in the field. Second, these control actions helped in controlling production rates. Third, control actions decreased subcontractor labour consumption. The results show that control actions were implemented as a response to production alarms and half of the implemented control actions were able to prevent production problems. Many control actions successfully improved production and labour consumption rates with a long-term impact. However, adding resources often increased labour consumption and negated part of the expected production rate benefit.