Article

Effect of project complexity on cost and schedule performance in transportation projects

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Project complexity is a contributing factor to project performance. Understanding how project complexity interacts with management actions and project performance is imperative. This study fills this knowledge gap by empirically exploring the relationship between construction project complexity and project performance and their interaction with resource allocation. Empirical data were collected from 79 transportation projects. Due to its capability to build several regression models by adding independent variables to previous models, moderated hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to identify the underlying effect of resource allocation on the project complexity and performance relationship. The results show that: (i) project complexity was significantly correlated with schedule growth (positive correlation) but not significantly correlated with cost growth; (ii) resource allocation was significantly correlated with schedule growth (negative correlation) but not with cost growth; and (iii) resource allocation had a buffering effect where increasing resource allocation significantly decreases the effect of project complexity on schedule growth. The findings from this study contribute to the extant literature on construction project complexity by empirically showing that the impact of project complexity on schedule performance interacts with the level of resource allocation. This understanding of the role of resource allocation may help construction managers and engineers to better administer and manage their complex transportation projects. The findings also imply that organizations should appropriately evaluate project complexity to allocate necessary resources to achieve project success.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... In construction projects, the concern about project complexity has increased significantly in recent years but fails to get sufficient attention which resulted in poor project performance (Nguyen et al., 2019). However, the complexity theory facilitates project managers to manage complex projects more successfully by avoiding scope creep and providing a better understanding of the varied system (Bakhshi et al., 2016). ...
... On the other hand, the construction industry has become more challenging for clients and contractors over the last few decades (Gunduz and Yahya, 2018). Also, the complexity of large-scale projects is the most critical and controversial feature in the project management literature (Nguyen et al., 2019). Nevertheless, project complexity often causes project failure concerning time and cost (Nguyen et al., 2019). ...
... Also, the complexity of large-scale projects is the most critical and controversial feature in the project management literature (Nguyen et al., 2019). Nevertheless, project complexity often causes project failure concerning time and cost (Nguyen et al., 2019). Joseph and Marnewick (2020) delineated that complex project requires an exceptional level of management instead of the conventional approach adopted for ordinary projects. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to investigate the relationship between scope creep and the success of construction projects in the presence of project complexity. This study employed a positivism approach. Therefore, a survey method is used to collect data from 327 Pakistan's construction industry practitioners. We employed regression and PROCESS techniques were used to test research hypotheses. The findings revealed that scope creep factors (i.e. technological , organizational, and human) negatively impacts the success of construction projects, indicating that more scope creep has fewer chances of project success. Furthermore, project complexity significantly moderates the relationship between scope creep and project success, and a more complex project has fewer chances of success. The finding implies that the organizational factors have the highest influence on the success of construction projects, followed by human and technical factors of scope creep, which need to be addressed during the initiating and planning phases of the construction projects.
... omplexity is one of the main causes of cost and schedule overruns (Xu, 2011;Gao et al., 2018;Zaman et al., 2019), and a number of studies have been performed to determine the main causes and/or early indicators of complexity in construction projects (Azim, 2010;Yugue & Maximiano, 2012;Lessard et al., 2014;Ramasesh & Browning, 2014;Dao et al., 2017;L. D. Nguyen et al., 2019). Rad and Sun (2014) identified the CIs that should be considered prior to beginning construction, and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC, 2009) espoused that CIs fall into one of two groups: external or internal. Complexity is a major concern, and some researchers and practitioners believe that managing it is the key to successfully ...
... e CIs that should be considered prior to beginning construction, and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC, 2009) espoused that CIs fall into one of two groups: external or internal. Complexity is a major concern, and some researchers and practitioners believe that managing it is the key to successfully completing a project (Ribbers & Schoo, 2002;L. D. Nguyen et al., 2019;Zwikael & Meredith, 2019;Delphine et al., 2019;Dikmen et al., 2021). Despite all this, however, complexity management has not received sufficient attention in the construction industry (Chapman, 2016). ...
... Measuring the complexity of a construction project is critical to effectively managing it (Cherkaskyy & Abdallah, 2005; A. T. Nguyen et al., 2015;Rad et al., 2017;Mirza & Ehsan, 2017;L. D. Nguyen et al., 2019;Potts et al., 2021) and serves as a reliable reference for project managers (Joseph, 2017;Larsson et al., 2018;Zheng et al., 2018). Sinha et al. (2006) and Sinha et al. (2011) developed an index for complexity measurement. Wood and Ashton designed a model by combining different approaches and methods to quantify Refereed Research Manuscr ...
Article
Full-text available
A common assumption made by construction professionals is that complex projects are more likely than simple ones to entail cost overruns and delays. Although several researchers have studied the critical causes of complexity and have identified their indicators (CIs), few of them have investigated how they actually impact a project’s schedule and cost performance during the design, procurement, and construction phases. This research aimed to study the impact of each CI and determine the most effective best practices (BPs) for preventing it. Data from 44 case studies were collected and analyzed, and the results revealed that implementing the BPs of team building, front-end planning (FEP), constructability, alignment, partnering, and change management significantly reduces cost overruns and delays in all three phases of complex construction projects and, in fact, can improve the cost and schedule performance, due to fewer complex challenges. The outcomes of this research will help project managers identify the challenges that stem from complex aspects of projects and lead to phase-base cost overruns and time delays. They will also assist decision-makers in deciding which are the most effective BPs for mitigating challenges stemming from the characteristics that make projects complex and will them improve phase-based cost and schedule performance in complex construction projects.
... This according to them could differ based on the PS, the resources available, the nature of the project team, and the degree of trust between project stakeholders (Bosch-Rekveldt et al. 2011). However, Nguyen et al. (2019) considered the newness of technologies adopted in a project to be an important indicator of technological complexity since it dictates the level of difficulty workers could have while putting such a technology to use due to insufficient knowledge of its processes. ...
... Habibi et al. (2019) asserts that the complexity inherent in construction projects is responsible for schedule delays experienced. Nguyen et al. (2019) found that schedule growth increased as the level TC rose. From the analysis of survey responses related to SEM, it was concluded that issues related to TC were negatively linked with SP (Floricel et al. 2016). ...
... The questionnaire survey strategy was adopted in the data collection because it has the capacity of determining the level of continuous and stable types of behaviour (Denzin 2017). In measuring the waste management construct, 4 measurement items adapted from Vieira and Pereira (2015) and Ajayi et al. (2016) were used, five (5) measurement indicators adapted from Collins et al. (2017), Macedo et al. (2015), and Chaichan and Kazem (2016) were used to measure SEM, while TC was measured with three indicators adopted from Trinh and Feng (2020) and Nguyen et al. (2019). All these constructs were measured on a 5-point Likert scale with the respondents being required to show their extent of agreement or disagreement with the questions posed (between 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree). ...
Article
Full-text available
Schedule overrun is one of the greatest hindrances to construction project performance, thereby making schedule management an integral part of construction project management. The aim of this study is to examine how the effect of sustainable energy management (SEM) and sustainable waste management (SWM) on schedule performance (SP) is mediated by technological complexity (TC) and moderated by project size (PS). Data were obtained by means of a questionnaire survey of 168 completed construction projects in Nigeria. The partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) technique was adopted in analysing the collected data. The results show that TC partially mediates the relationship between SWM and SP, while TC fully mediates the relationship between SEM and SP. Also, the findings of the study indicate that the negative effect of SWM on SP will be greater with large PS. This study contributes to previous studies in the area of schedule management, by providing empirical proof to explain the means through which SWM and SEM could lead to SP through TC, and how this would vary depending on PS. The study proffers ways for contractors to improve the SP of their projects considering PS and TC.
... Another related debate has focused on the key factors behind the underperformance of megaprojects [5,32]. Among the many factors that have been put forward in the literature, project size and complexity levels have emerged as two of the most common and impactful factors [33][34][35][36][37]. It then follows that by using project size and the degree of complexity involved, megaprojects (large and complex) have been categorized into small projects (small and non-complex), large projects (large and non-complex), and complex projects (small and complex) [26] (Figure 1). ...
... This point of reference is further justified by the debates around subjects such as megaproject performance measurement criteria [84][85][86]. One of the main gaps has been ascribed to the limitations associated with the traditional project management methods in addressing the complexities emanating from the interaction of the different megaproject characteristics [36,93]. Consequently, complexity has been highlighted as the single most impactful megaproject performance factor [5,36]. ...
... One of the main gaps has been ascribed to the limitations associated with the traditional project management methods in addressing the complexities emanating from the interaction of the different megaproject characteristics [36,93]. Consequently, complexity has been highlighted as the single most impactful megaproject performance factor [5,36]. It has been posited that megaproject complexity tends to increase in proportion to the size of the project [3,16]. ...
Article
Megaprojects have been associated with persistent underperformance technically, financially, socially and environmentally. This underperformance has been attributed to the inherent complexity attributes and the gaps in the form of the mismatch in the project management competences and processes used by the project management teams to deal with the complexity attributes. This study seeks to investigate the performance implications of these complexity attributes to recommend suitable management competences for the successful delivery of megaprojects. This conceptual study used an integrative literature review to analyze and synthesize findings from existing scientific articles related to the complexity constructs based on a comparative assessment of Information Technology (IT) and construction megaprojects. The Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) Theory was also used to highlight some of the factors that influence megaproject performance towards identifying suitable management processes and competences, which are required to deal with megaprojects complexity. The key findings include a nomenclature of the main complexity attributes, their implications on the performance of IT and construction megaprojects, and, lastly, the management competences and processes that are required to deal with the complexity attributes for improved megaproject performance.
... Inferential statistics-including bivariate Pearson correlation analysis and hierarchical multiple regression analysis-are used to test the research hypotheses. These analysis methods were selected because they were widely used to investigate the relationships of independent and moderator variables with a dependent variable in many previous studies (e.g., Chih et al., 2016;Chih et al., 2017;Nguyen et al., 2019), which is similar in nature to this study's research objectives. In addition to this reason, the sample size of the collected data (i.e., 79 valid responses) was also considered to be more appropriate with these analysis methods than structural equation modelling, which usually requires a larger sample size (i.e., at least 100 for results to be reasonably reliable and above 200 to avoid the risk of sample non-normality; Bagozzi and Yi, 2012). ...
... Specifically, bivariate Pearson correlation analysis, which could measure the linear correlation between a pair of study variables (Nguyen et al., 2019), is used to test the possible correlations of EMM, incentives, learning encouragement and collaboration encouragement with MD stated in H1, H1a, H1b and H1c, respectively. Then, to further confirm these hypotheses, the compound effect of incentives, learning encouragement and collaboration encouragement on MD was investigated using hierarchical multiple regression analysis, which allows to assess the incremental explanatory power of study variables in each block (Cohen et al., 2003). ...
... In analysis of the interaction effect, Aiken and West (1991) define low value/high value as -1 SD/+1 SD from the mean (average) for the independent variables. Similarly, the PROCESS output reports mean and -1 SD/+1 SD for the independent variables (Nguyen et al., 2019). In this study, EMM-related variables are considered as the independent variables, whose "low implementation", "average implementation" and "high implementation" levels are represented by -1 SD, mean and +1 SD, respectively. ...
Article
Full-text available
The construction industry should seek to enrich its workforces due to the increasing lack of trained and skilled employees. This study attempts to investigate the relationship between encouragement-based management mechanism (EMM) and manpower development (MD) in construction firms and examine the moderating effect of firm size on this relationship by conducting bivariate Pearson correlation and hierarchical multiple regression analyses to analyse empirical data collected from 79 construction firms in Vietnam. The results show that EMM positively affected MD, and this positive effect was stronger in small/medium-sized construction firms than in large firms. The findings could provide construction firms in Vietnam, as well as other developing countries, with a better understanding of the effect of EMM on MD. Hence, they could establish appropriate and wise encouragement-based strategies to enhance their manpower. This study could contribute to the extant literature on construction manpower development by providing empirical evidence of the EMM−MD relationship in the context of construction firms.
... SIBRAGEC -ELAGEC 2019 -From 23 to 25 October -LONDRINA -PR 2 On the other hand, other studies have determined the leading factors of cost overruns (MEMON;RAHMAN, 2013;PARK;PAPADOPOULOU, 2012;MANSFIELD;UGWU;DORAN, 1994). Among these factors, researchers and practitioners have taken an interest in construction complexity (NGUYEN et al., 2019). Some authors advocate analyzing construction complexity associated with the management process and not with the physical characteristics of the projects, which implies mostly a qualitative analysis (KIAN MANESH RAD;SUN;BOSCHÉ, 2017). ...
... Recently studies have suggested that project complexity is affecting project success (NGUYEN et al., 2019;DAMAYANTI;HARTONO;WIJAYA, 2019;MIRZA;EHSAN, 2017;DE CARVALHO;PATAH;DE SOUZA BIDO, 2015). These authors are investigating and associating complexity as a factor (NGUYEN et al., 2019;MAJEROWICZ;SHINN, 2016;KARDES et al., 2013) that influences the cost and schedule performance. ...
... Recently studies have suggested that project complexity is affecting project success (NGUYEN et al., 2019;DAMAYANTI;HARTONO;WIJAYA, 2019;MIRZA;EHSAN, 2017;DE CARVALHO;PATAH;DE SOUZA BIDO, 2015). These authors are investigating and associating complexity as a factor (NGUYEN et al., 2019;MAJEROWICZ;SHINN, 2016;KARDES et al., 2013) that influences the cost and schedule performance. Nonetheless, most of these studies show no consensus on project complexity definition (MIRZA; EHSAN, 2017), which affects the practice of researching this field. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Currently, cost overrun is a worldwide phenomenon in engineering projects. Severals studies have quantified cost overruns in projects, while others have determined the leading factors of cost overruns. Among these factors, researchers and practitioners have taken an interest in construction complexity. Some authors suggest further analysis of the relationship between project complexity and project success because construction complexity influences decision-making and produces adverse effects on project cost performance. This study aimed at both an alternative mixed analysis of project complexity and cluster analysis of cost performance, based on project data of published studies. This study proposed three levels of complexity, validated by a clustering silhouette coefficient (> 0.7), which indicated the extent of cohesion among projects. Projects related to urban infrastructure development indicated low complexity; projects related to transport infrastructure projects, medium complexity; and projects related to special construction, involving high uncertainty, indicated high complexity. The computed pooled mean of cost overruns suggested that projects with high complexity are prone to have higher cost overruns (25.6%) on average; low complexity projects showed a cost overrun of 8.0% on average, and medium complexity projects showed a cost overrun of 9.0% on average. This evidence leads practitioners to be aware of the complexity and its relationship with cost overruns.
... There is a need to manage project elements in a way that mitigates complexity and helps ensure effective results. Researchers (11,12) have examined the influence of complexity on project duration and cost. These studies concluded that when complexity increases, project cost and duration increase. ...
... However, limited studies have examined the relationship between project complexity and quality performance elements such as QA practices (i.e., material inspection and testing methods). Selecting optimal QA practices can have substantial implications for the long-term durability, safety, and lifecycle costs of transportation projects with different complexity levels (12,13). Specifically, Oechler et al. (13) examined QA state-of-practice via a review of DOT guidance documents, standard specifications, and minimum sampling and testing requirements. ...
Article
Full-text available
Construction of a highway project often involves various materials that require different inspection methods. Some materials are sampled and tested, while others are accepted through a manufacturer’s certification or visual inspections. The objective of this study is to investigate how project complexity influences the selection of inspection methods for different types of materials. This study examined three main types of materials: project-produced, plant-produced, and standard manufactured materials. Data were collected from a national questionnaire survey and focus groups. Kruskal–Wallis and Spearman’s correlation tests were used to analyze data to explore the relationships between inspection methods and types of construction materials and project complexity. Three focus groups, including representatives from 11 state departments of transportation, were conducted to verify the result. This study found that sampling, testing, and visual inspection methods are significantly used to accept project-produced materials. Certification and visual inspection methods are significantly used for accepting standard manufactured materials. For accepting plant-produced materials, inspectors often use sampling and testing, certification, and visual inspection. The findings also indicated no direct relationships between project complexity and construction inspection methods. This study benefits both researchers and practitioners by examining the relationships between construction inspection methods, material production methods, and project complexity. The findings of this study uncover knowledge gaps in contemporary research related to construction material inspection and provide guidance for transportation agencies to develop inspection methods for their highway construction projects.
... Research on the complexity factors that lead projects to low performance is prominent in many industrial sectors such as transportation (Nguyen et al., 2019), public administration (Mishra et al., 2016), construction (Antoniadis et al., 2011), new product development (Kim and Wilemon, 2003), energy (Rad et al., 2017), among others. Defence projects, for instance, are one of these well-known cases of complexity, budget overruns, and delays. ...
... Previous literature explored complexity in several industrial sectors (Antoniadis et al., 2011;Kim and Wilemon, 2003;Mishra et al., 2016;Nguyen et al., 2019;Rad et al., 2017), however project complexity affects defence projects in many ways and requires different strategies and competencies to manage it. Experienced and knowledgeable managers play a crucial role in navigating complexity within defence projects. ...
Article
Full-text available
This research identifies 18 main project complexity factors affecting defence projects and four new factors to the literature. Many interdependencies among the factors were identified, suggesting they form a contextualised project complexity network capable of creating emerging behaviours that would not be observable if they were analysed in isolation. These interdependencies make the project adapt and self-organise, resulting in emergent behaviour and unintended consequences beyond the team's ability to cope with them. These characteristics challenge the classic view of project management based on objectivity, reductionism, control, and predictability in favour of new approaches based on subjectivity, systemic thinking, and adaptability. Moreover, the lower the team's delivery capacity, the greater the perception of the project complexity's effects, given that the project team will not have the capacity to manage and respond to these many interactions and elements. This systemic view contrast with the usual functionalist approach used on project complexity frameworks.
... Moreover, previous project management research on public infrastructure has mostly focused on the management of building new, large infrastructure facilities (e.g. Eriksson et al., 2017;Nguyen et al., 2019), while the long-term and expensive O&M activities of such facilities have largely been neglected (Larsson and Larsson, 2020). These activities are also complex since they often involve activities pertaining to busy roads or other infrastructure, which disrupt the everyday lives of many people and stakeholders throughout the facilities' extensive lifecycles (Schoenmaker and de Bruijn, 2016). ...
... 198-199). In the construction industry, projects have traditionally been characterized as unique and complex in terms of their preconditions, delivery and products (Eriksson et al., 2017;Nguyen et al., 2019). However, in recent decades, there has been a shift toward more lean and industrialized processes and more permanent organizations, in which traditionally unique tasks have become more repetitive (H€ o€ ok and Stehn, 2008;Larsson et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the interdependencies between temporary and permanent aspects of project organizing and how they affect the management of public infrastructure operation and maintenance (O&M) activities. Design/methodology/approach The paper applies a case study approach and uses Lundin and Söderholm's (1995) framework of the temporary organization (with the themes of time, task, team and transition) to distinguish between temporary and permanent aspects of organizing two infrastructure O&M projects. Findings This paper adds to the literature on temporary organizations by recognizing a mixture of temporary and permanent aspects of project organizing in an empirical project-level example. In line with previous research, the themes of time, task, team and transition were shown to be interdependent. Furthermore, the paper broadens the theory of temporary organizations by presenting a project organization with significant permanent aspects. Practical implications Project managers of public sector projects need to be aware of the possible mixture of temporary and permanent aspects of project organizing. Management of projects that are found to have a mixture of temporary and permanent aspects should combine the perspectives and management practices of both temporary and permanent organizing. Not acknowledging permanent aspects could lead to management that is not adapted to the prerequisites of project organizing in this context. Originality/value The findings further develop the literature on temporary organizations by recognizing that there is not only a mixture of temporary and permanent aspects between the temporary organization and its permanent environment but there is also a mixture of temporary and permanent aspects of organizing within project organizations.
... Uncertainty and interdependence of elements have been known as two major causes of complexity (Shane et al. 2015;Williams 1999). While the uncertainty dimension has been investigated in most studies (Kermanshachi et al. 2020;Nguyen et al. 2019;Rad et al. 2017), the interactions among complexity variables have not received adequate attention. Previous studies frequently assumed linear relationships (Gransberg et al. 2013;Xia and Chan 2012), uncorrelated relationships Luo et al. 2016), and independent relationships Rad et al. 2017;Vidal et al. 2011) to analyze complexity variables. ...
... In other words, this study can serve as a practical reference to understand dynamic interrelationships among complexity variables, enabling practitioners to employ appropriate methods in complexity management, such as the complex project management tools proposed by Shane et al. (2015). Consequently, project performance will be improved (Nguyen et al. 2019) and project success may be achieved (Luo et al. 2016;Senescu et al. 2013). ...
Article
International development (ID) projects are characterized by their intangible and complex project goals, involvement of several stakeholders, and cultural diversity. These specific features have contributed to increased overall project complexity, resulting in the failure of most ID projects worldwide. This study developed a new assessment method specifically aimed at grasping complexity variables in infrastructure ID projects. Content analysis, a two-round Delphi study, and group discussion were conducted to identify 12 significant complexity variables. The interrelationships among these variables were captured through the decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The analysis results highlighted dynamic interrelationships among complexity variables, where a change in one relationship might loop back to affect the original. The complexity map and causal diagram showed that administrative procedure, site compensation and clearance, and project duration are the three most important complexity variables in terms of their overall relationship with the others. The practical implication of this research is that practitioners should focus on complexity variables that have significant interactions with others if they want to effectively manage complexity in ID projects.
... Additionally, the perception of complexity can be compounded by multiple project factors, which if not managed effectively may have negative impacts on the project outcomes. For example, Nguyen, Le-Hoai, Tran, Dang, and Nguyen (2019) found six factors that contribute to infrastructure project complexity including project objective, budget, method of delivery, technical concepts, and issues related to the environment. Moreover, project complexity can be of different types, Luo, He, Xie, Yang, and Wu (2017) did a comprehensive literature review study and listed different types of complexity including organizational complexity, task complexity, technical complexity. ...
... For years, project complexity scholars have tended to focus on the identification of complexity attributes more than any other aspect. Nguyen et al. (2019) found that construction complexity has become multidimensional complexity from a single-dimensional complexity. They found that around the mid-1990s the experts were concerned only about structural complexity but later, they became concerned about complexity caused by uncertainty, society, dynamics, pace, etc. as well. ...
Article
Full-text available
The study develops a binary logistic regression model to assess and measure complexity levels of a project. The complexity measures were statistically verified to create a basis for the model. The variable reduction process called Principle Component Analysis was used to combine the significant complexity indicators into component variables. The study enriches the complexity theoretical basis in the field of project management by providing an innovative approach that aids scholars and practitioners in assessing complexity levels based on the applicability of identified complexity measures. The research results also help facilitate the management process and formulate an appropriate complexity management plan.
... Oxford Business Group 2018). Yet the dynamic and complex nature of the project environment poses significant risks where construction projects are prone to delays, cost overruns, and poorquality deliverables (Kermanshachi et al. 2016;Nguyen et al. 2019;Parsamehr et al. 2022;Sambasivan and Soon 2007). ...
Maturity models are credited with raising project management awareness, but no conclusive evidence supports their use as a tool for performance enhancement in construction project settings. The present study thus examined the influence of time, cost, and quality management maturity on performance indices of building construction projects in Myanmar. The study further assessed how maturity in time, cost, and quality varied between public and private construction organizations. Four building construction projects, i.e., two operated by private construction organizations and two operated by public construction organizations in Myanmar, have been chosen for the data collection. The project manager and an individual from the upper management of each project were interviewed in three stages to obtain the maturity level. The performance indices of each project were evaluated quantitatively. The study's findings revealed a positive relationship between project management maturity and project performance. Specifically, a higher time management maturity contributed to greater time performance, and elevated cost management maturity projected higher cost performance. Contrary to the expectations, the study could not find a significant relationship between quality management maturity and quality performance. The results further revealed that the average time management maturity of public construction organizations was significantly higher. Still, the average cost and quality management maturity were considerably lower than that of private construction organizations. The construction organizations aiming to enhance the project performance should focus on reaching a higher maturity in time and cost management knowledge areas.
... Therefore, it is appropriate to apply the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to evaluate project complexity. Nguyen et al. and Nguyen et al. applied the fuzzy AHP to evaluate the complexity of transportation projects [15,52]. He et al. indicated that the AHP cannot characterize the interrelationships between indicators, and employed the fuzzy network analytic process (FANP) to evaluate the complexity of major construction projects [35]. ...
Article
The increasing complexity of megaprojects has brought severe challenges to traditional theories and methods of project management. Traditional evaluation models fail to support managers in properly allocating scarce resources based on project complexity levels because of their inability to capture the relationships between indicators. Therefore, this study aims to develop a complexity evaluation model of megaprojects that integrates a two-dimensional indicator framework and the DEMATEL-ANP method, and test the feasibility and applicability of this model using the Shapingba Railway Hub Project (SRHP). The results indicate that resources, technology and products are controlled and managed by environment, organization, institution and goal subsystems of SRHP, the overall complexity level of SRHP is high, and environmental complexity affects the complexity of SRHP most significantly. Furthermore, the model proves feasible and applicable and can be applied to evaluate the complexity of other megaprojects with minor adjustments following systems thinking and practical conditions.
... Large infrastructure projects often experience time and cost overruns (20). Nguyen et al. (21) surveyed 79 transportation projects to find that scope complexity, partially defined by project size related to capital cost, is positively correlated with schedule growth. Gkritza and Labi (22) examined 1,957 highway contracts in Indiana and showed that contracts of larger size or longer duration tend to increase cost overruns. ...
Article
The U.S. transportation industry has long called for a schedule and cost benchmark tool to assist project sponsors with developing project delivery plans benchmarked in reference to similar past projects across the nation. Such a benchmark tool has recently been developed in response to the industry demand and a mandate of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The tool capitalized on the Information Source for Major Projects database, which adopted standard processes and uniform terminology for documenting critical milestones throughout the project lifecycle. Based on 137 major transportation projects, the benchmark model produces schedule benchmarks on environmental study, procurement, and implementation processes. Also, the benchmark tool recommends a cost benchmark based on the Federal Highway Administration’s standard. Users have the flexibility to define a benchmark level and a suite of project features including type, size, class of action required under the National Environmental Policy Act, and delivery method such as design-bid-build, design-build or public–private partnerships. Benchmark level is the percentage of projects that outperform the other projects with the same selected features. The tool promises immense potential for milestone planning and can provide insightful expectation of project milestones in support of delivery method selection. Included in the tool are benchmark charts, a handy reference from which schedule benchmarks can be read. This paper demonstrates the use of the tool in a case example.
... By reviewing complexity research, it can be established that it deals with elements that affect the degree of complexity, the impact of complexity on the project, and methods for measuring and managing complexity during the project [45,46]. A significant number of surveys address the elements of complexity as determinants of complexity and show the disaggregated structures of the notion of complexity itself. ...
Article
Full-text available
Contractors are facing an increasing degree of complexity in their construction projects. Due to inadequately prepared project plans, they have been suffering significant losses during the execution of construction projects. One of the key disadvantages of such plans is that during the planning process, a construction project is mostly defined as a linear rather than a dynamic and complex process with a high degree of uncertainty. Therefore, a contractor who is in the planning phase of a construction project should consider the impact of the project characteristics on its implementation according to the elements of project complexity. In this research, we therefore first made an overview of the existing research related to the elements of project complexity. Based on the frequency of their occurrence in existing surveys, this paper singled out eight groups of complexity characteristics that contractors should be aware of during construction projects. After that, based on the frequency of occurrence in the existing surveys, fifteen elements of complexity were classified for each project complexity group. The research conducted among construction project managers identified key complexity elements of the construction project from the contractor’s perspective. Thereby, the classification of groups with the associated key elements determining the complexity of a construction project from the perspective of the contractor was performed. By properly analyzing the impact of key elements of complexity on project flow during the planning phase, contractors can be more successful when planning the project objectives to be performed.
... The project development and design processes in the construction industry are still often disconnected and based on individualistic principles where each involved party seeks to maximize their own local gains and optimize their own part of the project development chain, which can result in suboptimal performance on the project level [21,22]. With the increasing complexity of the projects and a greater number of internal and external stakeholders and perspectives involved, it will become harder to come to a consensus and that, as a consequence, could result in conflicts, project delays, and expanding project costs [4,[23][24][25][26]. Moving forward, the process will need to become more integrated, streamlined, and actively involve multiple stakeholders at all the stages of project development, starting from the earliest ones [21,25,27,28]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Within traditional design processes, decisions are often made based on individualistic values and late-stage assessments conducted on a predefined set of design alternatives potentially leading to suboptimal design decisions and conflicts. The issues are further amplified by the growing complexity of construction project management where an increasing number of stakeholders are involved. To address those issues, a shift is needed towards a collaborative early stage optimization-based design process. The current optimization-based design approaches are not appropriately integrating stakeholders and their preferences in the optimization process and thereby not reflecting the real-life design and construction process. In this study, we present a pioneering multi-stakeholder design methodology combining preference function modeling theory and a priori optimization enabling stakeholders to find the group-optimal design fairly representing their preferences. The application of the developed methodology is demonstrated on a real-life multi-storey building design case. The study provides a novel approach for managing design and construction projects for academic and industry stakeholders. It also sets the foundation for the further development of stakeholder-oriented optimization-based design.
... The review of the literature reveals two streams of research on measuring project complexity: (1) Perceived complexity approach that measures the complexity of projects based on experts' judgements (Schlindwein & Ison, 2004) and (2) Descriptive complexity approach that treats complexity as an intrinsic property of a system (Nguyen et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The complexity of projects arising from interconnectedness between activities is believed to be one of the most significant challenges for managing projects. Although the literature has long appreciated the significance of measuring complexity, research on this topic is weakened by the lack of a method that accounts for a diverse set of structural characteristics of project networks. To evade this pitfall, this paper introduces the concept of perfect uniformity and develops a comprehensive measure of structural complexity in projects. The proposed method is validated by applying it in two real-life projects. The validation results confirm that project complexity is positively associated with a higher level of deviation from a state of perfect uniformity. This research is among few studies that draw on the concept of emergence and point out the importance of a system-level approach in project management to analyze the interdependency between multiple interconnected activities.
... For cluster #1, the most cited document was published by Nguyen et al. [42] exploring the relationship between project complexity and project performance with resource allocation in construction projects. Findings from the empirical study show that project complexity significantly impacts schedule performance, influenced by resource allocation. ...
Article
Full-text available
The construction industry has been experiencing a rapid increase in complex projects for the last two decades. Simultaneously, project complexity has received more attention from academics and practitioners worldwide. Many studies suggest that perceiving complexity is critical for successful construction project management. This study investigates the current status and future trends in construction project complexity (CPC) literature from the Scopus database. This review systematically uses bibliometric and scientometric methods through co-occurrence and co-citation analysis. First, 644 academic documents were retrieved from the Scopus database. Then, co-occurrence and co-citation analysis were performed along with network visualization to examine research interconnections’ patterns. As a result, relevant keywords, productive authors, and important journals have been highlighted. The prominent research topics within the literature on construction project complexity focus on the following topics: identifying and measuring project complexity, schedule performance and cost estimation, system integration and dynamic capabilities, and risk assessment and uncertainty. Finally, the potential research directions are developing towards safety performance, organizational resilience, and integrated project delivery (IPD). The study still has a limitation. The review focuses only on the academic documents retrieved from the Scopus database, thus restricting the coverage of the reviewed literature relating to construction project complexity. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this study is the first study that provides a systematic review of the literature from the Scopus database on construction project complexity. View Full-Text
... However, the majority of the research accepted the definition of complexity provided by the numerous pieces of literature and focus on developing the impact of the complexity of project performance instead of suggesting a new definition of complexity (Rehman et al., 2019;Onubi et al., 2019;Nguyen et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The aim of this study is to ascertain and list the most effective management strategies in efficiently handling the project complexities to enhance the performance of the project. Design/methodology – To fulfill the aim of this study, a comprehensive literature review was conducted, and the qualitative Delphi technique in two rounds was applied. Participants of the Delphi technique were consisted of twelve subject matter experts (SMEs) with cumulative experience of 250 years in working in construction projects. In the first round of the Delphi technique, SMEs were asked to provide complexity management strategies (CMSs) to address the complexities due to 37 complexity indicators under 11 complexity categories. In the second round of the Delphi technique, SMEs identified the top three management strategies for each of the 37 complexity indicators. Findings – This study collected the outcome of the two-round Delphi technique and based on the output developed the list of strategies to manage complexities related to each indicator. For example, establishing a well-informed governance team, assigning a project manager when the number of projects is more than one in an organization, and assigning a project manager efficient enough to communicate with higher authority effectively will help in managing complexity that arises due to faulty assessment of the influence of a project on the organization’s overall success. Originality/value – This study will help practitioners in effectively managing the project complexities and thus will reduce the monetary loss associated with project complexities.
... Notwithstanding the above, research further points to the fact that project complexity is not necessarily correlated with rising project costs (Nguyen et al., 2019). In other words, implementing GDPR in a more complex environment would not necessarily mean more expensive implementation. ...
Article
In this paper, the key factors that affect the extent of GDPR implementation in enterprises are analysed. Since 2018, all organizations operating in the European Union or processing personal data of EU citizens have had to incorporate a new regulation in their work. After three years of experience, possible key factors that significantly affect the cost of the entire project have been theoretically identified. However, a research gap remains whether the factors thus defined actually have a real impact on the implementation within organizations. Therefore, this study focuses on an empirical investigation of those characteristics using quantitative approach combining Chi-squared tests and the Classification and Regression Tree method. Based on a survey of organizations in the Czech Republic, this paper outlines that the size of the organization, the typology of personal data processed and the way GDPR is implemented determine the scope of the implementation project within organizations. On the other hand, there is no clear evidence that there is significant role in whether it is a public or private organization.
... Moreover, considering more control variables such as an individual's prior project experience as well as team dynamics and collaborative management systems can provide more clarity on the impact of organisational and contextual factors on project performance. We also need to examine the impact of variables such as project complexity, team size and budget on project performance (Nguyen et al., 2019). An interesting future research study would be to examine the effect of entrepreneurship skills on entrepreneurship and non-entrepreneurship projects, to provide a comparative assessment of whether the effect of entrepreneurship skills on project performance differs between entrepreneurship and non-entrepreneurship projects. ...
Article
This study examines the effect of entrepreneurship skillsets on project performance. Building upon the theory of planned behaviour, we examine the impact of individual entrepreneurship orientation (IEO) and entrepreneurship self-efficacy (ESE) on project performance, using a sample of 243 observations from students’ projects in areas of science, engineering and technology. We examine our research questions using a combination of multivariate regression analysis and robust regression. The results show that the survey is valid and reliable in measuring IEO and ESE, and the survey can be used to assess the relationship between IEO, ESE and project performance. In addition, the findings indicate that appearance self-efficacy is the variable that most significantly contributes to project performance, followed by social skills, then management skills. The study provides insights into how entrepreneurship skills can be viewed as important skillsets for success in projects and how operations and project managers can emphasise certain entrepreneurship skills to enhance project performance. At the individual level, entrepreneurship skills can be viewed as skillsets that improve project performance even in projects that are less entrepreneurial in nature. The improvement in performance is primarily in projects that are more structured, have a specific timeline and have defined objectives.
... Relich and Pawlewski (2018) studied the relationships between past New Project Development (NPD) time and cost estimation, and developing new products. Previous data in organizational databases were considered as potential sources of information, and a neural network model was used to estimate the cost of a new product based on the past data Nguyen et al. (2019). Bernus et al. (2016) identified four different challenges in information systems: scope, scale and complexity, sustainability and viability, and finding survival modes. ...
Article
Full-text available
In a complex innovative project, an organisation is often not able to manage all aspects alone, due to the lack of all required competencies, skills or resources. Hence, alliance formation can be a solution. To decrease the risk of potential collaboration inefficiency, partner selection happens among firms before collaboration starts. This paper proposes hypotheses based on a systematic literature review. These hypotheses consider the needs of the project and allow to characterise partner selection using a new typology. Finally, a novel framework is proposed to help decision-makers of partner selection in alliance formation. Potentials for future studies are also developed.
... This is due to several ventures involving domestic, international and PPP investment (Do, Veerasak, Masamitsu, & Phong, 2016;Nguyen, Likhitruangsilp, & Onishi, 2020). Moreover, many investment projects in construction industry have been successfully implemented, contributing to this development (Nguyen, Le-Hoai, Tran, Dang, & Nguyen, 2019;Khoa, Nguyen, & Nguyen, 2020). This success depends on the fundamental human philosophy of finding the right person in addition to modern and advanced technology (Vo, Nguyen, & Le-Hoai, 2019). ...
Article
Project manager plays a very important role in the success of any project. The primary duty of the project manager is to combine the outcomes or results of the various processes and activities of project management into a systematic project management strategy or plan for the project. In the construction industry, a lack of motivation is an urgent problem for many project managers in construction and engineering projects. Lack of motivation affects the quality and productivity of jobs, reducing profits and growth for companies, businesses, contractors or organizations that rely on human resources. The reasons for this lack of motivation are diverse ranging from salary to culture to life and working environment, among others. Through surveys and data analysis using Cronbach's Alpha reliability and EFA (Exploratory Factor Analysis), our research scaled the factors affecting work motivation of project managers in the construction industry in Vietnam. The research results identified six major groups of relevant factors including (i) salary and benefits, (ii) work environment, (iii) promotion opportunities, (iv) organizational culture, (v) interest in the job, and (vi) relationship with the organization. From there, this paper contributed useful information as well as measures for businesses, companies, contractors or organizations in the construction industry.
... In other words, there is mutual association between project complexity and several other risks meaning wherever the project is complex, several other delay risks might emerge, while presence of some delay risks in the project is an indication of the project complexity. Project complexity plays a decisive role in project schedule performance and success (Nguyen et al., 2018), and this is why many studies have focused on project complexity and a number of definitions are offered by the scholars for project complexity (Geraldi, Maylor and Williams, 2011). Vidal and Marle (2008) Qazi et al. (2016). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this research is to identify the most impactful delay risks in Australian construction projects, including the associations amongst those risks as well as the project phases in which they are most likely present. The correlation between project and organisational characteristics with the impact of delay risks was also studied. Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire survey was used to collect data from 118 delayed construction projects in Australia. Data were analysed to rank the most impactful delay risks, their correlation to project and organisational characteristics and project phases where those risks are likely to emerge. Association rule learning was used to capture associations between the delay risks. Findings The top five most impactful delay risks in Australia were changes by the owner, slow decisions by the owner, preparation and approval of design drawings, underestimation of project complexity and unrealistic duration imposed to the project, respectively. There is a set of delay risks that are mutually associated with project complexity. In addition, while delay risks associated with resources most likely arise in the execution phase, stakeholder and process-related risks are more smoothly distributed along all the project phases. Originality/value This research for the first time investigated the impact of delay risks, associations amongst them and project phases in which they are likely to happen in the Australian context. Also, this research for the first time sheds light on the project phases for the individual project delay risks which aids the project managers to understand where to focus on during each phase of the project.
... First, bivariate and partial correlation analyses were conducted to examine the linear correlations of KMC, KMIC, and KMPC with A/E/C firms' market development performance respectively stated in H1, H1a, and H1b. These analyses allow us to measure the strength of the relationship between a pair of study variables (Cserháti and Szabó 2014;Nguyen et al. 2019). Next, in order to further confirm H1, H1a, and H1b, the possible compound effect of KMIC and KMPC on A/E/C firms' market development performance was investigated using hierarchical multiple regression analysis, which enabled an assessment of the incremental explanatory power of study variables in each block (Cohen et al. 2003). ...
... Nguyen et al. [25] The effect of project complexity on the cost and schedule performance was investigated in this study. Project complexity was measured through a set of project characteristics. ...
Article
Full-text available
The performance of the construction industry has been widely criticized in the literature due to substantial delays and cost overruns. The dynamic, turbulent, and complex environment of the construction industry can lead to poor performance causing occurrence of numerous risks that can adversely affect the performance of the projects. Risk management plays an important role in the improvement of performance of construction projects. However, performance of risk management is challenging due to limited availability of information, particularly during the risk identification stage. This study aims to identify the characteristics of the construction projects that are critical in the occurrence of the risks. For that purpose, an in-depth literature review was conducted to extract characteristics of the construction projects in the first step of the study. Then, a questionnaire survey was prepared to collect expert opinions. Finally, a MATLAB script was developed in-house to perform a fuzzy AHP method to analyze the gathered data. The findings show that the contract-related characteristics, contract type, project value, and construction-related characteristics are the most critical characteristics of construction projects related to risk occurrence cases.
... Complexity is a natural characteristic of projects since every project consists of a certain degree of complexity . Project complexity is a leading factor to project performance (Nguyen et al., 2019) and significantly affects the project success (Luo et al., 2016;Senescu et al., 2013). Therefore, a growing number of studies have investigated complexity recently (Luo et al., 2017). ...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to propose a comprehensive framework for prioritizing complexity criteria. The framework was validated by applying in infrastructure international development (ID) project as a case study. Design/methodology/approach A literature review highlighted the limitations of existing complexity prioritization methods. Then, a combination of the fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and fuzzy analytic network process (ANP) was employed as a foundation to develop a three-stage complexity prioritization framework. Focus group discussion and questionnaire surveys were used to practically test the framework in the infrastructure ID projects. Findings The three-stage complexity prioritization framework was validated to be reliable and feasible. The findings showed ability of consultants, scope uncertainties, site compensation and clearance, communication between stakeholders, administrative procedure and project duration were the most significant complexity criteria of ID projects in the Vietnamese context. Practical implications The framework is a robust tool that enables the researchers to grasp the interaction of complexity criteria for complexity prioritization. Later studies can apply the proposed framework, with some minor revisions, to assess the interaction of criteria in other research topics in, and beyond, project complexity. Results of the case study suggest project stakeholders focusing on complex interactions among criteria to reduce project complexity. Originality/value This study contributes to the body of knowledge by providing a comprehensive complexity prioritization framework that grasps the interrelationship of complexity criteria. For stakeholders of ID projects, the findings provide insightful perspectives to understand complexity, which can help to enhance project performance.
... The research also deals with the effect of ongoing projects since working in several projects with resources fully in use, premium payment needed for any extra work (Fayek, 1998). Otherwise, contractors suffer resource shortage that affects schedules (Nguyen et al., 2018) (Liu et al., 2018) and operations that in return impacts the performance (Simu and Lidelöw, 2019). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
In construction projects, there are circumstances when contractors meet financial prequalification criteria but show low financial performance in practice. These cases in Bahraini road works add up to complexity in the contractor selection process. Thus, this study considers data from 72 most recent road works contract projects‎ in Bahrain. Each has the contract amount and the contractor's financial capability record. The use of covariance between these records variable through the Principal Component Analysis reduces them into manageable variables. The resulting variables used to train an Artificial Neural Network ANN to construct criteria-performance mapping. The ANN finds the nonlinear correlation between the FP and contractors' capabilities. The ANN model predicts the FP so decision-makers can efficiently evaluate bidders in the prequalification phase. Then the sensitivity analysis help detects the FP change that corresponds to changes in capabilities. The research findings from the Bahraini case that improvement in some financial capabilities criteria does not reflect equally on the performance of contractors of varying grades.
... Previous data in organizational data-bases were considered as potential sources of information, and a neural network model was used to estimate cost of new product based on the past data. Nguyen et al. [22] demonstrated the impact of project complexity on resource allocation and project scheduling. In both cases it was concluded that project complexity has a direct relation with risks of failure. ...
... The mixed results achieved with regard to environmental performance have been attributed to differing degrees of complexity in construction projects and the application of the same approach by construction managers in managing them (He et al., 2015). In its simplest term, project complexity refers to the multi-dimension of project characteristics that exhibit uncertainties, risks and difficulties in understanding, planning, managing, operating, monitoring and controlling of projects (Hartono, Wijaya and Arini, 2019;Nguyen et al., 2019). The limited attention given to the complexity of projects and the lack of understanding of the concept of "project complexity" prior to its execution has therefore hindered the ability of contractors to construct projects with high degrees of environmental performance. ...
Article
Full-text available
The characteristics of a project that make it hard to understand, predict, and manage its general behaviour despite the availability of required information relating to the project dynamics is referred to as project complexity. Good knowledge of project complexity at the construction phase of a project, as well as a well-developed plan to manage complexity will determine how proficiently construction projects are planned, managed, and executed in an environmentally friendly manner. The level of complexity of construction projects, to a large extent, determines the performance or otherwise of the projects with regards to achieving specific environmental standards. At construction sites, the effects of adopting green-site practices on environmental performance, are largely dependent on the level of complexity inherent in the project’s construction processes. This study investigates the moderating effects of project complexity on the relationship between various green construction site practices and environmental performance of construction projects. A survey was conducted on class A contractors in Nigeria and 168 usable responses were received. The data were analysed using the partial least squares structural equation modelling technique. The results show that project complexity moderates the relationship between waste management and environmental DECLARATION OF CONFLICTING INTEREST The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. FUNDING The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. 75 performance, and the relationship between materials management and environmental performance. But project complexity does not moderate the relationship between energy management and environmental performance. The study provides important theoretical and practical information for construction managers in understanding the dynamics involved in managing projects with different degrees of complexity while adopting certain green-site practices with the aim of delivering projects with a high degree of environmental performance.
... The mixed results achieved with regard to environmental performance have been attributed to differing degrees of complexity in construction projects and the application of the same approach by construction managers in managing them (He et al., 2015). In its simplest term, project complexity refers to the multi-dimension of project characteristics that exhibit uncertainties, risks and difficulties in understanding, planning, managing, operating, monitoring and controlling of projects (Hartono, Wijaya and Arini, 2019;Nguyen et al., 2019). The limited attention given to the complexity of projects and the lack of understanding of the concept of "project complexity" prior to its execution has therefore hindered the ability of contractors to construct projects with high degrees of environmental performance. ...
Article
Full-text available
The characteristics of a project that makes it hard to understand, predict, and manage its general behavior despite the availability of required information relating to the project dynamics is referred to as project complexity. A good knowledge of project complexity at the construction phase of a project, as well as a well thought out plan to manage complexity will determine how proficiently construction projects are planned, managed, and executed in an environmentally friendly manner. The level of complexity of construction projects to a large extent determines the performance or otherwise of the projects with regards to achieving specific environmental standards. At construction sites, the effects of adopting green site practices on environmental performance is largely dependent on the level of complexity inherent in the project’s construction processes. This study investigates the moderating effects of project complexity on the relationship between various green construction site practices and environmental performance of construction projects. A survey was conducted on class A contractors in Nigeria and 168 usable responses were received. The data were analyzed using the partial least squares structural equation modelling technique. The results show that project complexity moderates the relationship between waste management and environmental performance, and the relationship between materials management and environmental performance. But project complexity does not moderate the relationship between energy management and environmental performance. The study provides important theoretical and practical information for construction managers in understanding the dynamics involved in managing of projects with different degrees of complexity, while adopting certain green site practices with the aim of delivering projects with high degree of environmental performance.
Article
Purpose Project complexity is a critical issue that has increasingly attracted attention in both academic and practical circles. However, there are still many gaps in the research on project complexity, such as the differentiated conceptualization of complexity and disjointed operationalization in the measurements. Therefore, this paper aims to conduct a systematic and detailed literature review on the concept, dimensions, assessment, and underlying mechanisms of project complexity. Design/methodology/approach A systematic literature review methodology was applied to search and synthesize the research on project complexity, and a final sample of 74 journal articles was identified. Findings This study first summarizes the concepts of project complexity from three different theoretical perspectives, and then identifies different approaches of measurement, evaluation, or simulation to assess project complexity. This paper finally establishes an integrative framework to synthesize the antecedents, mediators and moderators, and outcomes of project complexity, generating four suggestions for future research. Originality/value This study summarizes the definition and operationalization of project complexity to reduce the discrepancies in the existing research and offers an integrative framework to offer a broad overview of the current understanding of project complexity, providing a potential way forward for addressing project complexity.
Article
Project progress is an apprehension for every project, as it indicates how the project is likely to meet the associated milestones. Utilizing historical data from archived projects can assist managers in predicting project progress. By leveraging the power of data analytics, this research attempts to highlight data trends based on data collected from 279 infrastructure projects in the UAE. Specifically, this research rigorously analyses the relationships between project budget, duration, and progress using K-means clustering techniques and hypothesis testing. We then provide predictive models using Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average – ARIMùA and Multivariate regression models that allow managers to predict with a 99.15% accuracy the monthly progress of an infrastructure project over the next three months. This research provides project managers with a comprehensive framework that combines data analytics techniques with agility practices to predict short-term project progress to take proactive measures on different influencing factors.
Article
Using a proper control system is vital to ensure that project delivery is satisfactory for the client. Prior research has identified relationship history as a potentially vital contingency factor in organizational control, but there is a lack of research on how relationship history affects how different control systems function in project-based contexts. In the Swedish infrastructure market, increased demand has resulted in a need for increased supply capacity. This has spurred new entrants that have no relationship history with the major client, the Swedish Transport Administration. The purpose is therefore to compare how the client’s control systems function in construction projects with familiar (known to the client) and unfamiliar (new to the client) contractors. The case study involves 32 interviews conducted in six infrastructure projects, three with unfamiliar contractors. Findings show that relationship history heavily influences how the control systems function, especially bureaucratic and clan control. The new contractors are unaccustomed with the client’s extensive use of bureaucratic control and perceive it as less suitable in design-build contracts. Furthermore, the lack of relationship history reduces the opportunity to use clan control from the beginning of a project, due to unfamiliarity with both the client and the control system.
Article
Purpose This study aims to propose a method known as the fuzzy technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (fuzzy TOPSIS) for complex project selection in organizations. To fulfill study objectives, the factors responsible for making a project complex are collected through literature review, which is then analyzed by fuzzy TOPSIS, based on three decision-makers’ opinions. Design/methodology/approach The selection of complex projects is a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) process for global organizations. Traditional procedures for selecting complex projects are not adequate due to the limitations of linguistic assessment. To crossover such limitation, this study proposes the fuzzy MCDM method to select complex projects in organizations. Findings A large-scale engine manufacturing company, engaged in the energy business, is studied to validate the suitability of the fuzzy TOPSIS method and rank eight projects of the case company based on project complexity. Out of these eight projects, the closeness coefficient of the most complex project is found to be 0.817 and that of the least complex project is found to be 0.274. Finally, study outcomes are concluded in the conclusion section, along with study limitations and future works. Research limitations/implications The outcomes from this research may not be generalized sufficiently due to the subjectivity of the interviewers. The study outcomes support project managers to optimize their project selection processes, especially to select complex projects. The presented methodology can be used extensively used by the project planners/managers to find the driving factors related to project complexity. Originality/value The presented study deliberately explained how complex projects in an organization could be select efficiently. This selection methodology supports top management to maintain their proposed projects with optimum resource allocations and maximum productivity.
Article
Full-text available
In construction projects in the world, there is generally a final cost overrun on the completion of construction projects. The cost overruns occur when the project has to face various risks due to the lack of anticipated preparation to minimize the risks that cause delays in the implementation of the sequence of work sequences. This is certainly a big problem in preparing construction project budgets and critical challenge for both owners and contractors, so it should be managed to decrease or avoid bad things. The purpose of this literature review is to present risks that cause cost overrun for the past ten years. Factors cause cost overrun; Cost Estimate, Construction Items, Project Participants, Environment, and Finance. This research used a systematic literature review. Based on 50 journals review about risks leading to cost overrun, the most factor causes cost overrun.
Article
Full-text available
In construction projects, there are circumstances when contractors meet financial prequalification requirements but show low financial performance in practice. These cases bring about the complexity in contractor selection. Hence, the aim of this research is to build a prediction model that finds contractors’ financial performance to support decision makers assess contractors more efficiently in prequalification phase. Thus, this study takes recent roadwork Term Contracts Projects with each with the corresponding contractor’s records to train the model to predict Performance related to Financial Capabilities PFC. The Multilayer Perceptron MLP is utilized to find the nonlinear correlation between the PFC and contractors’ characteristics. The research finds that more financialcompetitive contractors show less financial performance than less competitive ones. The findings of the research help the client improve the current contractors’ evaluation system to exhaust the possibilities of financial performance.
Article
Full-text available
Construction projects are complicated in nature and require many considerations in contractor selection. One of the complicated interactions is that between performance with the project size, and contractor financial status, and size of projects contracted. At the prequalification stage, the financial ‎requirements restrict the ‎contractors to meet minimum limits in financial criteria such as net worth, working capital and ‎annual turnover, etc. In construction projects, however, there are cases when contractors meet these requirements but show low performance in practice. The model used in the study predicts the performance by training of a neural network. The data used in the study are 72 of the most recent roadwork projects‎ in Bahrain. The results are shown in terms of the sensitivity of changing one variable on the performance of all the 72 projects. These results can reflect on the methods currently used on contractors’ assessments in the tendering stage and support decision-makers in assessing contractors and selecting the best bidders.
Article
Full-text available
Risk analysis is important for complex projects; however, systemicity makes evaluating risk in real projects difficult. Looking at the causal structure of risks is a start, but causal chains need to include management actions, the motivations of project actors, and sociopolitical project complexities as well as intra-connectedness and feedback. Common practice based upon decomposition-type methods is often shown to point to the wrong risks. A complexity structure is used to identify systemicity and draws lessons about key risks. We describe how to analyze the systemic nature of risk and how the contractor and client can understand the ramifications of their actions.
Article
Full-text available
Past studies have often voiced concern that important megaprojects have repeatedly failed due to extensive overruns, misunderstanding of expectations, or both. In this article, we contend that this pattern may not be inevitable. In retrospect, despite painful delays, some megaprojects eventually achieved their longer-term objectives. In this study, rather than asking why megaprojects fail, we asked whether these notable (and rare) accomplishments have anything in common. We found that successful megaprojects are distinguished by three major elements: clear strategic vision, total alignment, and adapting to complexity.
Article
Full-text available
This article analyzes the project complexity research field using bibliometric analysis. The field evolved in three waves (prior to 1985, between 1990 and 2004, and after 2005) from several disconnected seminal works, to a more centralized discussion that began based on efforts to characterize and classify complex projects to focus on the developing models and frameworks that, considering aspects of uncertainty and dynamics, supported managers to adapt and manage their projects. The findings suggest that project complexity is defined by dimensions that include structural, uncertainty, novelty, dynamics, pace, social-political, and regulative. The findings also suggest that the focus is changing from project control to project adaptability, and it is necessary to develop capabilities to manage complex projects, not only in the organization or at the team level, but also through the project's supply chain.
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a literature review assessing the performance and issues of delivering construction services in the Vietnam Construction Industry (VCI). The research also explores a potential solution that could improve the performance of the VCI. The results show multiple non-performance issues that the VCI has experienced in the past 15 years, and presents a comparison between these issues and issues from other countries. The results reveal that the top 5 non-performance issues in the VCI include poor design services, frequent design changes, lack of skilled contractors, a lack of experienced project managers, and financial difficulties of owners. The comparison identifies that 87% of VCI issues were also experienced in other countries. Since the VCI has similar issues as other countries, the author propose that the VCI can improve construction performance by implementing successful methodologies from other countries. This paper investigates the Best Value Performance Information Procurement System (BV PIPS) as a potential solution because of two key aspects: (1) sufficient documentation of on time, on budget, and high customer satisfaction from this model, and (2) sufficient testing from other regions and countries to show similar improvement in construction performance. Keywords: Vietnam, Construction, Performance, Best Value, PIPS.
Article
Full-text available
In project management research, it is acknowledged that two perspectives on project performance must be considered: project efficiency (delivering efficient outputs) and project success (delivering beneficial outcomes). The first perspective is embedded in a deterministic paradigm of project management, while the second appears more naturally connected to the emerging non-deterministic paradigm. Complexity and uncertainty are key constructs frequently associated with the non-deterministic paradigm. This conceptual paper suggests that these two concepts could very well explain and define particularities of both paradigms, and seeks to articulate both perspectives in a contingent model. First, the constructs of complexity and uncertainty are clarified. Second, the role of project managers' mental models in managerial decision-making is considered. In the third part of this article, we propose a theoretical model suggesting that project managers should consider contingent variables to differentiate managerial conditions of regulation from managerial conditions of emergence.
Article
Full-text available
Unacceptably low IT project success rates continue to be a persistent problem for organisations and the lack of business involvement in IT projects has been suggested as an important contributor to failures. Adopting a Resource Based View, this paper explores the concept of IT competence of business managers and teases out what the relative impact of each of the components of IT competence is on IT project success. Based on a survey of 108 business managers, results yielded surprising insights. In particular, knowledge of applications exerts a strong influence on project success.
Article
Full-text available
The rapid growth of complex projects in the construction industry worldwide has triggered a growing number of studies over the past two decades, suggesting that understanding project complexity is a key component of successful construction project management. This study aims to investigate the status and trends in project complexity research through a four-stage literature review that can benefit both researchers and practitioners. Seventy-four relevant articles were identified from studies published during the years 1996-2015, and results indicate that research in construction project complexity primarily focuses on four areas: influencing factors contributing to project complexity, the impact of project complexity, complexity measurement methods, and considerations for managing project complexity. Future research should concentrate on specific factors that drive complexity for different types of construction projects and the development of management guidelines for addressing complexity throughout the project lifecycle. This paper provides both a timely summary of literature in the area of project complexity and insights into opportunities for future study of and guidance for successfully managing complexity in construction projects.
Article
Full-text available
The current understanding of project complexity is limited in that there is neither a widely recognised conceptualisation of project complexity nor a convergent view on how to deal with its effects. Drawing on the extant literature concerning project complexity and complexity science, this article develops a coherent and holistic profile of project complexity and provides reflections on its implications for project management theory and practice. This profile serves as a touchstone for practitioners to better understand, assess, and address complexity in their projects and as an aid to researchers in framing their research efforts.
Article
Full-text available
The term project complexity is not well understood in the construction industry by either scholars or practitioners. Project complexity, however, is a critical factor in project management that presents additional challenges to achieving project objectives. Therefore, it is essential that everyone involved in project management thoroughly understand what project complexity is and how to identify, measure, and manage the various attributes and indicators it comprises. This study provided a constructive approach to identify and assess project complexity. As part of the study, a working definition of project complexity was developed by the research team, and project complexity was described in terms of project management rather than project physical features. In addition, the research team identified complexity attributes and developed the indicators that measure those attributes. Project specific data were collected through a survey of companies active in the construction industry. These data were statistically analyzed to test the significance of complexity indicators in differentiating low-complexity projects from high-complexity projects. The statistical analysis resulted in 34 significant complexity indicators associated with 22 attributes, which the research team considers truly representative of project complexity. The research findings can help scholars and practitioners in the project management field understand critical indicators of project complexity and develop an appropriate strategy to manage project complexity effectively.
Article
Full-text available
Although widely recognized both in literature and among practitioners, project complexity may cause poor project success, with little empirical evidence supporting this contention. Therefore, this study analyzed, for the first time, the relationship between project complexity and success in complex construction projects and investigated how project complexity affects project success. First, project complexity is hypothesized to be negatively related to project success. Second, on the basis of literature review and expert interviews, a total of 245 questionnaire surveys on project complexity and project outcomes were collected in China. Project complexity was measured as information, task, technological, organizational, environmental, and goal complexities by correlation and factor analyses. Finally, the structural-equation modeling technique was used to test the hypothesis and explore the effect of different complexities on project success. The findings of this study support the hypothesized negative relationship between the complexity and success of complex construction projects. Furthermore, information complexity and goal complexity have significant negative effects on project success. The research would have significant theoretical and practical significance for improving the theory of complex project management and achieving project success in complex construction projects for project managers.
Article
Full-text available
The research explores the historical development of project complexity. Projects are becoming more complex due to unexpected emergent behaviour and characteristics. Complexity has become an inseparable aspect of systems and also one of the important factors in the failure of projects. While much has been written about project complexity, there is still a lack of understanding of what constitutes project complexity. This research includes a systematic literature review to demonstrate the current understanding of commonalities and differences in the existing research. This was achieved by examining more than 420 published research papers, drawn from an original group of approximately 10,000, based on citations during the period of 1990–2015. As a result of this exploration, an integrative systemic framework is presented to demonstrate understanding of project complexity.
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the link between project complexity and innovation is highly pertinent. Yet, the challenge of innovative complex projects has received limited research attention and little theory development. This article provides a retrospective analysis of the difficulties experienced by Boeing during the development project of its highly innovative Dreamliner aircraft. Eventually successful, this project suffered extensive delays and cost overruns. The article analyzes the project's complex nature of innovation, while using several frameworks to provide an integrative view of its challenges and suggesting possible alternative ways to address them. Insights for complex project teams and future research directions are offered.
Article
Full-text available
The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry delivers increasingly complex projects but struggles to leverage information technology to facilitate communication on these projects. To begin to address this challenge, the AEC project information management research field needs methods to assess communication, complexity, and their relationships. First, the authors apply complexity and virtual design and construction research to contribute a method for assessing product, organization, and process (POP) complexity. Second, through project team interviews, the authors contribute a communication assessment method to assess collaboration within projects, sharing of information between projects, and understanding of information generated across the firm or industry. Applying the two assessment methods to case studies, the authors validate the applicability of the methods to the AEC industry and propose a trend between increased POP complexity and increased communication challenges. The two assessment methods provide the opportunity for teams to learn from and improve upon their communication strategies on the basis of project complexity. By increasing the awareness of the relationship between complexity and communication, this paper aims to motivate and provide foundation for the development of more effective and efficient communication tools.
Article
Full-text available
This study looks at the relationship between the use of a project management methodology (PMM) and project success, and the impact of project governance context on this relationship. A cross-sectional, world-wide, online survey yielded 254 responses. Analysis was done through factor analysis and moderated hierarchical regression analysis. The results of the study show that the application of a PMM account for 22.3% of the variation in project success, and PMMs that are considered sufficiently comprehensive to manage the project lead to higher levels of project success than PMMs that need to be supplemented for use by the project manager.
Article
Full-text available
The complexity trend of construction projects is increasing, not only technologically but on several other fronts, such as the institutional diversity of the actors and the coupling of their interactions. As a result of this increase in complexity, projects frequently face the dynamics attributed to emerging actors, coalitions, contextual properties, or synergies. Reflecting this trend within the project governance framework provides a better understanding of the emergent risks that arise in the form of conflicts, project renegotiations, extreme modifications, or write-offs from projects. The aim of this study is to propose interactional analysis (IA) as a quantitative risk assessment (QRA) methodology to analyse and govern the emergent risks associated with the interactions in a system of systems (SoS), such as complex construction projects. Therefore, interactions are framed as the coupling of actors, and their associated emergent dynamics are quantified based on the equilibria of the interaction. Risk mitigation policies are then developed and analysed based on the associated interactional elements and mathematical functions. Policymakers can apply the methodology to develop policies and gauge their effectiveness in governance of the emergent dynamics within interactional contexts to overcome the challenges associated with infrastructure development.
Article
Full-text available
Mega construction projects in China are usually very complicated in nature, thus evaluating and understanding these complexities are critical to the success of these megaprojects. However, empirical studies related to the measurement of the complexity of megaprojects remain lacking. This paper aims to fill this gap by developing a complexity measurement model based on the Shanghai Expo construction project in China using fuzzy analytic network process (FANP). Firstly, a complexity measurement model consisting of 28 factors, which are grouped under six categories, namely, technological, organizational, goal, environmental, cultural and information complexities, is formulated through literature review using the content analysis technique. The model is then refined by a two-round Delphi survey conducted in the case megaproject. Finally, the refined model and suggestions for its application are provided based on the survey results. The model is believed to be beneficial for scholars and serve as reference for professionals in managing megaprojects.
Article
Full-text available
Generation Production of successful software project is one of the prime considerations of software industry. Engineering high quality software products is further influenced by several factors such as budget, schedule, resource constraints etc. A project manager is responsible for estimation and allocation of these resources in a project. Hence, role of project manager has a vital influence on success of the project. This research comprises of an empirical study of several projects developed in a product and service based CMMI Level 5 Software Company. The investigation result shows a significant impact of aforementioned factors on the success of software and on the company. The analysis further indicates the vital role of project managers in optimizing the resource allocation towards development of software. This paper brings in impact analysis of efficiency of project manager in effectively allocating resources such as time, cost, number of developers etc. An awareness of efficiency level of project manager in optimal allocation of resources enables one to realize the desired level of quality.
Article
Full-text available
Traditional three-dimensional project management theory is based on optimizing the cost-schedule-technical dimensions. Recent studies in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have shown that the current project management body of knowledge may not be adequate to address interrelated and dependent variables encountered on complex projects. This paper reports the findings of an international research team's detailed study of 18 complex projects, which confirms the findings of the previous research and proposes a framework upon which a complex transportation project's scope of work can be better conceptualized and a methodology to graphically display a project's complexity in order to better understand and prioritize the available resources. The result is a "complexity footprint" that helps the complex transportation project manager identify the sources of complexity so that appropriate resources can be allocated to address those factors before they create a crisis. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000163. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Article
Full-text available
This paper takes stock of megaproject management, an emerging and hugely costly field of study, by first answering the question of how large megaprojects are by measuring them in the units of mega, giga, and tera, and concluding with how we are presently entering a new “tera era” of trillion-dollar projects. Second, total global megaproject spending is assessed, at US$6 to US$9 trillion annually, or 8% of the total global gross domestic product (GDP), which denotes the biggest investment boom in human history. Third, four “sublimes”—political, technological, economic, and aesthetic—are identified and used to explain the increased size and frequency of megaprojects. Fourth, the “iron law of megaprojects” is laid out and documented: Over budget, over time, over and over again. Moreover, the “break–fix model” of megaproject management is introduced as an explanation of the iron law. Fifth, Albert O. Hirschman's theory of the “Hiding Hand” is revisited and critiqued as unfounded and corrupting for megaproject thinking in both the academy and policy. Sixth, it is shown how megaprojects are systematically subject to “survival of the unfittest,” which explains why the worst projects get built rather than the best. Finally, it is argued that the conventional way of managing megaprojects has reached a “tension point,” in which tradition is being challenged and reform is emerging.
Article
Full-text available
Technical complexity has always been considered a factor which affects project performance. Scheduling and other mechanisms have been proposed which allow for the management of these effects. However, the effect of the complexity of interconnections, and in particular those caused by social interfaces and boundaries between the various teams, have not been investigated. Socio-organo complexity is caused by interconnections which if not managed could lead to a reduction in performance. Understanding the characteristics of complexity of interconnections, how these affect project schedule performance and what deductions can be extracted, will enable the development and implementation of innovative actions and tools that will support the management of the effects of complexity through the respective processes. The authors present results of five case studies, with UK construction organisations, which demonstrate that the effects of socio-organo complexity of interconnections have similarities with the behaviour of underdamped control systems. The results from the study have significant implications for the way socio-organisational issues are managed but will also enable parallels to be drawn between the fields of project management and control systems.
Article
Both practitioners and researchers in the field of project management have referred to problems caused by complexity or problems of particular significance to complex projects. In different scientific disciplines investigations into the behavior of complex dynamical systems are revealing insights that, taken together, amount to a challenge to the prevalent Cartesian/Newtonian/Enlightenment paradigm from which the practice of project management has emerged. Concepts such as nonlinearity, emergence, self-organization, and radical unpredictability have major implications for the uncodified paradigm that underpins project management practice and research. Taken together, they amount to a complementary way of thinking and talking about projects and their management that might shed new light on intractable problems that appear to plague certain areas of project management practice. One strand within complexity studies that holds particular promise is complex responsive processes of relating, a means of talking about how human beings interact and learn and how their interactions evolve over time and across space. A new program of research, of which this paper forms part, will apply this conceptual framework to the lived experience of project teams, including executive sponsors, project managers and project team members.
Article
This research endeavors to address the question of how to enhance project performance through exploring the relationships among information technology (IT) governance, project governance and project performance. The research utilizes an empirical survey methodology. The survey of 533 working professionals in various industries renders 282 usable responses or a response rate of 53.91%. The results suggest that both IT governance and project governance have a positive impact on project performance. Moreover, we found that three dimensions of IT governance (i.e., strategy setting, value delivery, and performance management) are positively associated with project performance while all three dimensions of project governance (i.e., portfolio direction, project sponsorship as well as project effectiveness & efficiency, and disclosure & reporting) are positively associated with project performance. Additionally, the alignment between IT governance and project governance is also found to be positively associated with project performance. These findings provide evidence to project management professionals in regard to IT governance and project governance being part of the operational strategy in facilitating the success of projects. It also demonstrates the importance of the alignment strategy between IT governance and project governance in enhancing project performance. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd and Association for Project Management and the International Project Management Association
Article
Complex construction projects in the infrastructure sector are often beset with delays, which cause benefit shortfalls and increased costs. Prior project management literature and practice have mostly adopted a traditional control-focused approach, but recent research suggests that complex projects need more flexible practices to manage inevitable project change. Thus, the objectives of this study were to develop and empirically test a model for flexibility-focused project management practices to improve time performance in complex projects in the infrastructure sector. Based on empirical data from 138 construction projects procured and managed by the Swedish Transport Administration, the structural equation model shows that complexity and collaboration drive explorative learning, which improves adaptation and thereby improves time performance. Hence, the empirical test verifies that flexibility-focused project management practices based on collaboration, explorative learning, and adaptation enhance time performance in complex projects in the infrastructure sector.
Article
In this paper I make a personal reflection on my research and writings in the field of Project Management over the past 30. years. My research has primarily been about the management of the project-based organization. Within that I have researched governance, organizational behaviour, contingency, marketing, success and shareholder value. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd and Association for Project Management and the International Project Management Association.
Article
Mediation of X’s effect on Y through a mediator M is moderated if the indirect effect of X depends on a fourth variable. Hayes [(2015). An index and test of linear moderated mediation. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 50, 1–22. doi:10.1080/00273171.2014.962683] introduced an approach to testing a moderated mediation hypothesis based on an index of moderated mediation. Here, I extend this approach to models with more than one moderator. I describe how to test if X’s indirect effect on Y is moderated by one variable when a second moderator is held constant (partial moderated mediation), conditioned on (conditional moderated mediation), or dependent on a second moderator (moderated moderated mediation). Examples are provided, as is a discussion of the visualization of indirect effects and an illustration of implementation in the PROCESS macro for SPSS and SAS.
Article
Megaprojects are often associated with poor delivery performance and poor benefits realization. This article provides a method of identifying, in a quantitative and rigorous manner, the characteristics related to project management success in megaprojects. It provides an investigation of how stakeholders can use this knowledge to ensure more effective design and delivery for megaprojects. The research is grounded in 44 mega-projects and a systematic, empirically based methodology that employs the Fisher's exact test and machine learning techniques to identify the correlation between megaprojects’ characteristics and performance, paving the way to an understanding of their causation.
Article
Growing complexity is one of the main reasons behind the failure of many projects. Thus, identifying and measuring complexity is crucial to the success of any project. Various schedule complexity indices have been proposed in the past, but a comprehensive complexity measurement tool encompassing factors of schedule along with other important project constraints, such as time and scope, is still missing. First, a theoretical framework consisting of 46 complexity factors has been developed through literature review followed by its refinement through a three-round Delphi study. The complexity factors are categorized into three categories, namely, Schedule complexity, Scope complexity and Cost/Resource complexity. The Project Execution Complexity Index (PECI) tool is proposed, followed by development of a questionnaire in order to compute PECI values and validated using three infrastructure development projects during the planning phase. Finally, in the execution phase, the performance of the projects is measured through earned value analysis. PECI values are then mapped with project performance indices (i.e., schedule/cost performance index) in order to assess the effect of project complexity on the performance of projects. The results showed that projects with higher complexity tend to have larger cost or schedule overruns. These case projects are also ranked according to the degree of their complexity on the complexity scale. This ranking can help decision makers to decide which projects should be included in the portfolio and which projects need prioritizing through assigning resources more efficiently. The proposed PECI tool may also help project managers to better anticipate prospective difficulties during the initial stages of the project lifecycle.
Article
Essentially, performance evaluation is a human behavioural phenomenon involving a cognitive perceptual process. Project performance has two attributes, at least: (1) the individual's expected performance (manifested as assigned goals); and (2) the individual's perceived actual performance. Evaluation comprises the comparison of these two attributes. The present paper develops a research model for project outcome evaluation designed to examine the effects of the two moderators, goal commitment and project complexity, on the perceived project performance of project participants. It is postulated that: (1) there is a positive monotonic relationship between goal difficulty and performance, but that this is moderated by project complexity; (2) difficult goals lead to higher performance, but that this will happen only when the project participant is committed to the goal; and (3) the transferability of critical success factors to enhance/improve the performance of subsequent projects has to be examined and applied in the light of the effects of these two moderators on project performance.
Article
An integrated performance assessment framework based on consideration of complexity and emergent properties in project systems is proposed in this study. The fundamental premise of the proposed Complexity and Emergent Property Congruence (CEPC) framework is that a greater level of congruence between project emergent properties and complexity can potentially increase the possibility of achieving performance goals in construction projects. Two dimensions of project complexity (i.e., detail and dynamic complexity) and three dimensions of project emergent properties (i.e., absorptive, adaptive, and restorative capacities) in the proposed CEPC framework were verified through information collected from in-depth interviews with nineteen senior project managers. In addition, contributing factors to different dimensions of project complexity and emergent properties were identified from the interviews. The results highlight the significance of the CEPC framework in understanding complexity and emergent properties in project systems and providing a new theoretical lens for project performance assessment.
Article
Project complexity has been extensively explored in the literature because of its contribution towards the failure of major projects in terms of cost and time overruns. Focusing on the interface of Project Complexity and Interdependency Modelling of Project Risks, we propose a new process that aids capturing interdependency between project complexity, complexity induced risks and project objectives. The proposed modelling approach is grounded in the theoretical framework of Expected Utility Theory and Bayesian Belief Networks. We consider the decision problem of identifying critical risks and selecting optimal risk mitigation strategies at the commencement stage of a project, taking into account the utility function of the decision maker with regard to the importance of project objectives and holistic interaction between project complexity and risk. The proposed process is supported by empirical research that was conducted in the construction industry and its application is illustrated through a simulation study.
Article
This paper presents a framework for examining the dimensions and characteristics of project complexity, with an emphasis on rail megaprojects. UK government departments have recorded that project complexity has increased significantly over the last decade and highlight that the subject has received inadequate attention, with a detrimental effect on project performance. However departments have not examined the characteristics of complexity or made a distinction between complexity emanating from the decisions made by the project itself and the complexity emanating from its context, as they warrant different treatment. By way of response, post examination and comparison of existing frameworks, a new framework is proposed based on a literature review. A case study is examined to illustrate how the framework may be applied.
Article
Whereas existing approaches and empirical studies of dynamic capabilities focus on the strategic innovation activities of firms (i.e., permanent organizations executing multiple projects and programs), this article identifies how certain types of dynamic capabilities are required to deliver large, complex, and risky projects involving multiple parties. Our longitudinal study of the design and construction of Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 by the British Airports Authority (BAA) makes three main contributions to the literature: (1) It contributes to the project management literature by identifying how specific dynamic capabilities (BAA’s “T5 Agreement,” strategic behaviors, and collaborative processes) are developed through a three-phase process (learning, codifying, and mobilizing) to support the strategic management of complex projects. (2) While emphasizing their importance for the successful management of complex projects, our findings also underline the continuing fragility of dynamic capabilities. (3) The case study reveals their fluidity and balancing role with respect to demands for stability and change in complex, uncertain, and volatile project environments.
Article
Project management research is characterized by dominance of determinism, decision-theoretic approaches, and weak theories. The growth of research interest in non-deterministic paradigms through the lenses of complexity and uncertainty is recent, and could provide stronger theoretic explanations. However, analysis of select project management literature reveals that the constructs of complexity and uncertainty are yet to be grounded in terms of definitions and constituent variables. We argue that definitional clarity is necessary for the non-deterministic research to move forward. In this paper, we propose taxonomy of constituent terms of complexity and uncertainty based on semantic analysis of select literature and show that the two constructs are broadly confounded in their constituent terms. While our finding may appear to align with complexity theoretic concept of strong interrelationship between complexity and uncertainty, we argue that such confounding represents intermingling of varying ontological and epistemological preferences within the community of project management scholars rather than a broad adherence to the complexity theory. The paper contributes to project management literature by facilitating further research toward stronger construct definitions and theory-building efforts. The paper also contributes to research methods by offering a novel methodology to elicit taxonomy of terms and to illuminate the confounding and separating terms across multiple constructs.
Article
A case study on risk management practise in the West Rail Project of Hong Kong was conducted. Price escalations of construction resources such as material, equipment, and labor were first considered, because the cost of these resources determine the direct cost of the whole project. Management factors covered main risk factors concerning project cost management, and inaccurate cost budget, supplier or subcontractor's default have a high impact on project cost performance. For the process of risk identification, analysis and response, risk management procedures were applied in the management decisions during project management.
Article
This paper investigates how complexity influences projects and their performance. We develop a classification of project complexity by relying on fundamental theoretical insights about complexity and then use results from practice-oriented literature to assign concrete project complexity factors to the resulting categories. We also identify specific strategies for organizing and knowledge production that project planners use to address complexity-related uncertainties. We theorize about the way these strategies interact with various types of complexity to increase project performance. Anticipated influences are mostly corroborated using survey data on 81 complex projects from five continents and a diversity of sectors. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Association for Project Management and the International Project Management Association.
Article
This paper presents a framework for building governance regimes for large complex projects. The framework is based on three sources: 1) a re-examination of a study of 60 large capital projects (Miller & Lessard, 2000), 2) the institutional, corporate, and project governance literatures and 3) interviews centered on the revision of the British Private Finance Initiative and on the development of the Norwegian project approval process. The literature tends to treat governance issues as being static, but project development processes and environments are dynamic. The governance regimes must adapt to the specific project and context, deal with emergent complexity, and change as the project development process unfolds. Learning to manage project governance regimes is difficult for organizations that are not involved in great numbers of large complex projects. The framework based on the progressive shaping of the project through the project development life cycle is designed to help overcome this dilemma.
Article
Cross-impact analysis (CIA) is a technique that is designed to predict future events by capturing the interactions among variables. It is an appropriate tool to deal with the selection of a project delivery method. Project delivery selection involves the assessment of tradeoffs between numerous risks and uncertainties, complex relationships among variables, and multiple decision alternatives. In fact, the number of variables involved in project delivery decisions creates CIA models that are extremely complex, and few researchers have attempted to apply them. This paper presents a hybrid CIA approach to project delivery decisions in highway design and construction. It provides for the evaluation of project cost with projects in three fundamental delivery methods: design-bid-build (DBB), design-build (DB), and construction manager/general contractor (CMGC). The paper discusses in detail how the cross-impact concepts support the selection of an appropriate delivery method in highway projects. The hybrid CIA approach integrates the results from the factor analysis of 31 delivery risk factors, which were evaluated by 137 practitioners, to determine the interaction between variables in the cross-impact matrix. These data allowed the researchers to reduce the number of required judgments in the CIA model approximately from more than 3,000 to fewer than 300. A case project from the Florida Department of Transportation demonstrates the approach. The hybrid CIA approach provides a defensible and repeatable process for highway agencies to quantitatively select an appropriate delivery method for their projects. More fundamentally, the findings from this paper contribute to theory by providing a new method to apply the CIA technique. It is expected that researchers can use this hybrid CIA approach for other areas in construction engineering and management research.
Article
Research and development (R&D) project performance is traditionally evaluated using cost-benefit analysis. However, external effects beyond managerial control often create advantageous or disadvantageous biases during evaluation. In this study, we used a three-stage data envelopment analysis method to evaluate R&D efficiency and Tobit regressions, removing the external effects of technology type, accumulative experience, international linkage, and group diversity. This study examined these external factors by using 39 academic projects constituting the Taiwan National Telecommunication Program. Technology type and accumulative experience enabled R&D projects to be advantageously implemented in the human resource department, whereas group diversity was disadvantageous and created superfluous repetition in human resources. International linkage was disadvantageous because of slack subsidies. After external effects were removed, most projects shifted from a state in which returns decreased to a state in which returns increased. Finally, we discussed the implications of these findings for project management and governmental subsidy policies that are implemented to evaluate performance and allocate resources.
Article
Agile project management lets software project managers and employees alike adapt to changing circumstances, rather than try to impose rigid formal controls, as in traditional linear development methods.
Article
One of the challenges in project management research is that projects, by definition, are unique. However, the degree to which any project differs from another varies on the basis of a range of attributes. Two industrial facilities that vary by an order of magnitude in size may, in fact, be very similar and experience similar outcomes. However, two identical industrial facilities that are constructed by different contractors may experience vastly different outcomes. In the first case, the two buildings may have the same set of technical characteristics. In the second case, all else being equal, the different outcomes may be attributable to the contractors' experience with the construction of this type of facility. This paper expands on these two cases and proposes that all projects can be partially defined in terms of two distinct attributes: technical complexity and novelty. The technical characteristics of a project define its technical complexity. The degree of the project participants' experience with the technical characteristics defines its novelty. The literature from the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has long acknowledged the impact of complexity but has not examined the effect of novelty. This is in contrast to research in new product development (which also employs a project approach) where novelty and complexity are recognized as distinct constructs that affect project performance. This paper addresses this gap in the literature. In addressing this gap, the opportunity to expand research grounded in contingency theory is expanded. The paper contributes to the practice of construction management in that achieving superior project performance is shown to require recognition of the distinct impact of these constructs. An analysis of more than 1,300 projects demonstrates that technical complexity and novelty are important characteristics of a project that have distinct effects on project performance.
Article
Transportation projects are increasingly complex. A systematic approach for measuring and evaluating complexity in transportation projects is imperative. Thirty six project complexity factors were identified specifically for transportation construction. Using factor analysis, this study deduced the six components of project complexity, namely sociopolitical, environmental, organizational, infrastructural, technological, and scope complexity. The Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (Fuzzy AHP) method was employed to determine the weights of the components and parameters of project complexity. Sociopolitical complexity was the most defining component of complexity in transportation construction. A complexity level (CL) was proposed to measure the overall project complexity. The application of the proposed approach was demonstrated in a case study of three transportation projects performed by a heavy construction company. As a quantitative measure CL enables managers to better anticipate potential difficulties in complex transportation projects. As a result, scarce resources will be allocated efficiently among transportation projects in a company’s portfolio.
Article
This research aims to analyze the relation between project management maturity and the project success. Moreover, the moderating effect of top management support and the assignment of a dedicated project manager were analyzed. The methodological research approach was a survey of 336 professionals in the field of project management conducted in Brazilian organizations. The results show that project management maturity is significantly related to all vertices of the iron triangle (time, cost and technical performance) dimensions of success. However, it is not related to the customer satisfaction dimension. The two moderate variables, top management support and dedicated project manager, have significant impact on the time success dimension but not on customer satisfaction. It suggests focus on efficiency aspects rather than effectiveness aspects. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijproman.2014.07.002
Article
Previous research suggests complexity may be a significant factor in a project's failure to achieve cost, time, and quality objectives. In this paper, we examine the project complexity literature to develop a simple framework consisting of structural and dynamic complexity. We use this to compare the complexity of two successful construction megaprojects—Heathrow Terminal 5 and the London 2012 Olympic Park—to consider how the complexity in the two projects was managed. Our analysis reveals differences in the approach to managing structural and dynamic complexity, but identifies common factors that may help project managers achieve positive outcomes for their complex projects.
Article
Our study demonstrates empirically that the choice of resource allocation strategy affects innovation performance. Allocating resources to a broader range of innovation projects increases new product sales, an effect that appears to outweigh that of resource intensity. In addition, we find that the performance benefit of breadth is higher for firms that allocate resources selectively at later stages of the innovation pr