International Journal of Project Organisation and Management (40 papers in press)
- Analysis of Education and Practical Relevance of Project Management Topics in New Zealand
by Indra Gunawan
Abstract: The primary objective of this paper is to analyse the education of Project Management (PM) and its practical relevance in New Zealand. The research has been done through a survey analysis of PM practitioners and academics. The PM practitioners were asked which PM topics are widely used in the industry. The academics were also asked through a parallel survey which PM topics are considered important at a tertiary level and taught to students. It can be seen from the results that contemporary education of PM has improved vastly and is relevant with its practice. The findings are important for both practitioners and academics to identify the gap between project management education and industry needs.
Keywords: Education, Practical, Project Management, Rating, Relevance.
- Offshore Software Project Management: Mapping Project Success Factors
by Yeongling Yang, Giora Tamir
Abstract: Software product development is commonly outsourced or moved to offshore locations. However the projects often encounter challenges and the estimated failure rate could be as high as fifty percent. Although there are extant studies on offshore software projects, none of them uses a project life cycle methodology to analyze the factors that affect the success of the project. This paper studies project related, outsourcer related, and offshore partner related factors through the project life cycle using an internationally recognized standard. The results show project related factors are most important for the initiating stage and the planning stage while outsourcer related factors and the partner related factors are more important for the execution stage and the monitoring and controlling stage of the project life cycle. Overall the facilitating knowledge areas, rather than the core knowledge areas, are more frequently discussed in literature as the key knowledge contributing to project success.
Keywords: offshore software project management, project success factors, PMBOK
- Utilization of BSC to Transform Corporate-level Goals into Project Portfolio Strategies
by Naser BagheriMoghadam, Majid Samsami, Mahdi Sahafzadeh, Seyed Hossein Hosseini
Abstract: The aim of this research is to make an unambiguous relationship between a company's vision, goals, and corporate strategies and its project portfolio management strategies through a case study. Based on the related literature, experts' panel, and BSC method, a practical framework to transform corporate-level goals into project portfolio strategies has been developed and adapted to be used in an Iranian private power producer company. It is shown that transforming corporate goals into project portfolio strategies can be done through the criteria which are taken from the company's BSCs. Using BSC in the company, we are to prepare a suitable method to select and determine priority of projects according to grand strategies of the company. Ultimately, this priority is used in modification of the investment program of the company (which influences the company's financial indicators). This paper provides practitioners with a framework of how companies can practically make a relationship between their goals, their projects' priority and arrangement in their investment program. Finally, the framework is applied to an Iranian private power producer company to validate results of this research. The issue just has been considered in the related literature as a significant concern but no practical and explicit answers have been given. Especially, there is no remarkable study and this article can be used as an actual example for who are practicing in this field.
Keywords: Balanced Scorecard, Project Portfolio Management, Corporate Goals and Strategies, Project Road mapping.
- A Performance Evaluation Framework of Construction Projects: Insights from Literature.
by Christopher Ngacho, DEBADYUTI DAS
Abstract: The present work attempts to develop a theoretical framework of the performance evaluation of construction projects based on six key performance indicators (KPIs) namely time, cost, quality, safety, minimum site disputes and environmental impact. These KPIs were identified through literature review and discussions with project management professionals. For evaluating the performance on the above KPIs, several characteristic features pertaining to the project, project environment and the stakeholders associated with the project have been identified through an extensive literature review. These characteristic features, termed as critical success factors (CSFs), have been suitably classified under six broad heads based on their commonalities and unique features. The six CSFs are named as project-related, client-related, consultant-related, contractor-related, supply chain-related and external environment-related factors. We have demonstrated the relationship between CSFs and overall project performance with the help of a conceptual diagram. The diagram reveals how the factors influence the performance of a construction project and also how the factors themselves are related to each other. In addition, it also shows how the overall performance leads to community satisfaction. This has been discussed through a set of 9 propositions. We have concluded by highlighting the contributions of the paper to the existing body of project management literature
Keywords: Construction project, project performance, key performance indicators, critical success factors, propositions.
- Projects as Temporary Organizations: Insights from Requirement Volatility Management Practices
by Rahul Thakurta
Abstract: Projects represent a form of temporary organization having specific contexts. The nature of the project environment is thus expected to influence selection of project management strategies and project outcome. Using a combination of interviews and survey in two phases, we investigate the phenomena by focusing on usage of software project management approaches under requirement volatility. Analysis of survey results based on responses from 82 software professionals belonging to India identifies thirteen different approaches to managing software projects under requirement volatility. The usage of these approaches was found to be contingent on the project environment, thus refuting suggestions pertaining to adoption of best practices in similar situations. The results are expected to benefit practitioners, and promote further discussions in the area.
Keywords: Requirement Volatility, Software Project Management, Contingency Theory.
- Exploring the impact of team rapport and empowerment on information processing and project performance in outsourced system development
by Stella Tomasi, Neeraj Parolia, Chaodong Han, Tobin Porterfield
Abstract: Offshoring of information systems development (ISD) projects has become increasingly popular among companies seeking reduced project costs, increased productivity, and improved quality and schedule performance. However, offshore ISD project teams face tremendous challenges, including unclear responsibilities, lack of trust and information sharing, and failure to create collaborative solutions. Extant studies in the management of offshore project teams have failed to address empowerment and rapport as sources of project success. To fill this gap, this study develops a research model from a social capital perspective and estimates a path analytic model using data from surveys of 194 participants in offshore ISD project teams. We find that team building, rapport among team members and empowerment of team members all contribute to improved information processing, which in turn leads to improved project team performance.
Keywords: Offshore ISD Projects, Empowerment, Rapport, Information Processing, Team Building, Social Capital Theory
- Identification of Operational Trust Factors in Contractor-Owner Relationships: A Case Study in Vietnam
by Nguyen Thanh Tam
Abstract: In the construction industry, developing trust is affected by interactions among partners during interactions. However, few attempts to explore the development of trust between construction parties during the life of a project have been made, and few attempts have reduced the concepts behind trust to an operational level. In this study, we identify the operational factors that foster trust in contractor-owner relationships over a projects life cycle. To consider different behaviors in building trust, contractors and owners perspectives are explored. Five large construction projects in Vietnam were used as case studies. In each case, we conducted in-depth interviews with top management and project managers of the contractors and owners. The study proposed different sets of operational factors for building trust between contractors and owners according to the project phases. Our results indicate that Vietnamese construction parties emphasize relational bonding to build trust between partners, while institutions are given the least attention. In general, contractors and owners agree on the factors that build trust in institutions and relationships, but the two groups differ significantly in the sets of factors that enhance calculus-based trust. The results are useful for local construction parties and others that wish to engage in construction projects in Vietnam. The parties can simultaneously exploit different types of trust such as calculus-based trust, institution-based trust, and relational trust to improve working relationships over the life of a project.
Keywords: Construction project; Contractor-owner relationships; Project life; Trust; Vietnam.
- The application of early contractor involvement and its impact on project performance
by Xianhai Meng, Peter Humphreys
Abstract: Early contractor involvement is a topic that has attracted attention from construction practitioners and researchers in the United Kingdom (UK) since the 1990s. It has been adopted to introduce construction knowledge and experience to the design process, and to integrate design with construction. In contrast with the limited number of previous studies on early contractor involvement, which used case studies, a questionnaire survey was conducted in this study, to investigate the application of early contractor involvement in current practice and its impact on project performance in terms of time, cost and quality. From an analysis of the questionnaire results, early contractor involvement is found to be increasingly used in the construction industry, and to have a significant impact on cost and time performance. This research provides empirical evidence related to the practice of early contractor involvement. It demonstrates the major influence of early contractor involvement on management processes and working relationships during a project, which contribute to performance improvement and project success.
Keywords: early contractor involvement; project performance; design; construction.
- Should project management aspire to be an archetypal profession: Evidence from Australian-based research
by Julien Pollack, Chivonne Algeo
Abstract: Many occupations aspire to recognition as a profession. The question of whether or not project management is a profession has arisen multiple times within the literature, but answers vary. It is possible to identify common traits that typify occupations that are consistently agreed to have professional status. Project management is reviewed against these professional traits.
This study also reports on the findings of two surveys, which provide insight into project managers perceptions of their own field. Survey responses are compared to their perceptions of change management, an arguably comparable field. Then, project managers views are compared to the general publics perception of project management.
It is found that a number of the archetypal traits of professions may not be relevant or desirable for project management. However, some approaches for developing the image of the field of project management to professional status are identified and discussed.
Keywords: Project management; profession; ethics; licensure; specialisation; occupation; status
- Context as a Mediator in Film Projects: Lessons from Cleopatra to John Carter
by Barry Shore
Abstract: Context may be an important factor in understanding project management practices in both traditional and nontraditional project areas. It may not only be important in the type of practices that are appropriate but also the form these practices take as well as their challenges. One such nontraditional and unexplored context is filmmaking. Two case studies are explored. The first is Cleopatra, a film made over fifty years ago and the second John Carter, a more recent film that opened in 2012. What becomes apparent from the case studies of film projects separated by five decades is that the context of filmmaking is challenged by at least nine key factors including feasibility, governance, evidence, risk, teams, scheduling, metrics, scope and control.
Keywords: Project; management; filmmaking; Hollywood; context; risk; box office; failure; critical success factors.
- The drivers and strategies of carbon reduction in projects: perceptions of the Australian construction practitioners
by Peter S.P. Wong, Jason Zapantis, Adam Owczarek, Joseph Spinozzi, Zennan Kefalianos, Matthew Murison
Abstract: The construction sector has been experiencing tension to eradicate their carbon-intensive ways of operations. Furthermore researchers have put forward several strategies to reduce carbon emissions from construction operations. However, the construction sector has not yet changed operational practices. As with any initiative, organizational behavior can be a major barrier to change. This study sought to investigate how carbon reduction strategies are enacted by construction organizations. Data was collected by a survey conducted in Victoria, Australia. The results indicate that most carbon reduction strategies are rarely adopted in construction projects. Such findings are in line with comments made by some scholars on the construction practitioners being apathetic to reduce carbon emissions. While scholars and policy makers endeavour to advance technologies and tighten regulations, the affordability of the affected industry was unfortunately ignored. Effort should be directed to assisting the industry to formulate costs and benefits as a result of carbon reduction.
Keywords: carbon reduction, behavioural change
- Shared understanding during design and delivery: the case of a large-scale information systems programme
by Joyce Fortune, Geoff Peters, Lawson Short
Abstract: The paper reports the findings of research undertaken during the design and delivery of a large-scale integrated public sector information system. Its purpose was to investigate whether shared understanding existed amongst those working together to develop the system. Through a series of interviews, the research looked at the consistency and coherence of key actors perceptions of the information systems purposes and the interconnectedness of its parts. It was found that even at the highest levels, such as the programmes overall aims, the interviewees showed little agreement or commonality of view. Although one cannot generalise from single case research, the findings are significant given the programme was not selected because it was thought to be distinctive or because it showed any particular signs of faltering. The authors suggest that in future attention needs to be paid to directional aspects of complexity and ways of envisioning the futures.
Keywords: information system project; design and delivery; shared understanding
- Factors Influencing Life Cycle Management for Community Infrastructure Development
by Preenithi Aksorn, Chotchai Chareonngam
Abstract: This research has focused on the practice of life cycle management through the process of community infrastructure development in Thailand. The main objective was to identify success factors influencing community infrastructure projects throughout the life cycle. The assessment was based on fresh and thorough informative investigation of the community background. The activities of projects were investigated by documentation, observing and interviewing professional management agencies, government agencies, local governments, and by questing villagers. All contextual conditions relevant to the phenomenon were drawn out and studied carefully. In-depth information that was put into practice was gathered by a multiple case studies investigation in which the semi-structured interview instrument had been illustrated earlier. Triangulation method was used to check and establish validity in the studies by analyzing research questions from multiple perspectives. The data was analyzed and identified for the precise outcomes. The finding showed 12 key success factors were influenced throughout the life cycle management investigation.
Keywords: Success factors; life cycle management; project life cycle; project management; infrastructure development; community infrastructure development
- Changing Institutional Practices in the Dutch Construction Industry
by Alfons Van Marrewijk, Marcel Veenswijk
Abstract: Abstract: A parliamentary enquiry in 2002 forced Dutch construction firms to end collusive practices and build an innovative construction industry. Intervention programs were started in the period of 20042012 to implement new cultural values. This paper explores which cultural interventions have been employed to stimulate innovation in the construction sector and how did they work out in the Urban Train and the Renewal Sluices megaprojects. The study shows how social mechanisms between commissioners and contractors in tendering and collaborative practices easily result in the replication of social structure and power relations. However, a shift from hidden illegal practices to a discursive mode in which both commissioners and contractors discuss practices of tendering and collaboration was observed. The findings in this study are based upon a longitudinal study of and presence in the cultural intervention programs in the Dutch construction industry from 2006 to 2012 and the ethnographic study of the Urban Train and the Renewal Sluices megaprojects.
Keywords: Dutch construction sector; innovation; cultural change; intervention; narrative; practices.
- Realizing Value from Projects: A Performance-Based Analysis of Determinants of Successful Realization of Project Benefits
by Kunal Mohan, Frederik Ahlemann, Jessica Braun
Abstract: In order to realize value of IS investments Benefits Management (BM) as a management discipline has evolved. In order to better understand the role of BM determinants and their impact on successful benefits realization, we apply structural equation modelling (SEM) technique on quantitative data collected from 456 individuals. We use the results to perform a performance-analysis with the intention to investigate the improvement potential of the identified BM practices and supporting factors from a strategic as well as action-oriented perspective. From a strategic perspective we find that currently the greatest potential to increase the probability of successful benefits realization lies in the improvement of the ability to continuously review the status of benefits realization in projects. On the other hand we find that providing project stakeholders with incentives to align their individual goals and interests towards the common objective of realizing planed project benefits is perceived to be not very effective
Keywords: Benefits Management, IS value, IS/IT investments, Project value
- Project Team Learning in Mega Projects: Are we truly learning the lessons?
by Hani Gharaibeh
Abstract: With the increasing focus on organizational learning in project organizations, it becomes curtail to understand the learning process and how it evolves within project teams. There is limited shallow coverage of learning and its challenges in a project team environment. Moreover, there is contradicting views in the literature as to whether learning is truly happening on projects. This paper will investigate through multiple case study approach project team learning in mega projects. Key findings from this study will identify the root causes of project team failure to learn and what organizations need to do to foster project team learning.
Keywords: organizational learning, project teams, individual learning, group learning, learning process, learning barriers, organizational culture, lessons-learned
- Organizational influences impacting user involvement in a major information system project: A case study in a governmental organization
by Bassam Hussein, Kristin Hafseld
Abstract: This paper explores the impact of organizational influences on user involvement in relation to a major information system project at a governmental organization in Norway. The results suggest that one major obstacle to end-user involvement is a combination of a conformist working culture and the total lack of project management competence in the organization. The career promotion mechanism in the organization may have created a culture of diffidence, forced conformity and loyalty moving upwards and this turn have reduced the organization ability to adhere to structured approach to project requirements management. The findings also indicate that a combination of an authoritarian style and inherent culture of resistance to change and withholding information have impacted on the organization ability to effectively involve, prepare and commit users to the project and the changes it will create in the organization. In addition to these cultural influences, a complex three-fold power structure in the organization has produced a rigid management structure that lacked a holistic understanding of project impact. This has directly impacted on both the organizations ability to provide support and resources, and their means to plan and execute according to best practices. This study also demonstrates that some of these organizational influences are addressable through concrete and direct measures, such as enhancing project management competences, the allocation of better resources, and through applying structuring methods for determining requirements. However the paper main conclusion is that the influences of cultural and structural factors remain as a major challenge in the organization.
Keywords: Requirements management; user involvement; organizational factors; organizational culture; information systems projects
- Barriers to client-contractor communication: Implementing process innovation in a building project in Sweden
by Susanne Engström, Lars Stehn
Abstract: Client-contractor communication is vital for achieving project goals but also for adopting innovations. However, this type of communication does not take place across just one interface but across several. In the present study, barriers to client-contractor communication were addressed with the intention of specifically highlighting the potential impact of the project-based setting. A case study of a building project where process innovation was to be implemented provided the data. The analysis focused on meaning-making by different participants during progression of the project until its completion. Although the project was successfully completed, some of the aims of the process innovation were not realized as planned due to emerging meaning-making problems. A main suggestion from the reported findings was that the predominant project logic in construction may be a key barrier to client-contractor communication in implementing innovations presented by actors on the supply-side.
Keywords: Barriers; client; contractor; communication; innovation; building; project; Sweden; case study; meaning
- Competency model for female project managers in the construction industry: a case study in Malaysia
by Mastura Jaafar
Abstract: The limited number of female project managers within the Malaysia construction industry suggests the pressing need of information relating to their competency. Further, it is the realization that their contribution is crucial for transforming Malaysia into a developed country by 2020. Against this background, this study seeks to put forward a model assessing the female project managers compentency level. This study qualitatively tests the proposed framework, which quantitatively constructed based on several competency models introduced in previous literature. From the female perspective, findings highlight the project managers equal competency level of both genders. Within the context of the Malaysian construction industry, the competency model for female project managers is proposed
Keywords: Competency model; Construction industry; Female project managers; Input competencies; Personal competencies; Output competencies
- Construction of project portfolio considering efficiency, strategic effectiveness, balance and project interdependencies
by Franck Marle, Baris Canbaz
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide project office managers or decision-makers at a project portfolio level with an integrated methodology to guide the portfolio selection process. It aims at improving the performance of project portfolios by selecting and executing the right combination of projects while taking into account their interdependencies. Project interdependencies are integrated in the portfolio selection problem formulation, both in the objective function and in the definition of new constraints in terms of balance and effectiveness. The CSP (Constraints Satisfaction Problem) approach is used to solve the problem. A numerical fictitious example is provided to compare with the results obtained without considering project interactions, showing that our approach supports managers in coping with the complexity of project portfolios.
Keywords: Project management; Project portfolio selection; Project interactions; Nonlinear programming; Constraints satisfaction
- Dynamic Project Scheduling with Reduction of Activity Durations
by Toshihisa Fujiwara, Hiroshi Morita, Haruhiko Suwa
Abstract: This paper deals with a generalized dynamic decision-making model in project scheduling by focusing on both of how we generate an efficient project schedule (how-to-schedule policy) and when a currently-used schedule should be modified (when-to-schedule policy). We propose a new approach to such dynamic project scheduling by using critical path method (CPM) as a how-to-schedule policy. In this approach, we consider adding resources as much as needed to shorten the processing time of some activities so that the project deadline can be met. This CPM-based schedule revision process combined with a when-to-schedule policy is referred to as CPM-based dynamic project scheduling. Through a series of computational experiments, some properties of the proposed method are clarified and the capability of CPM-based dynamic project scheduling is demonstrated.
Keywords: Project Management, Critical Path Method, Reactive Scheduling, Processing Time, Resource Constraint
- Critical Success Factors influencing the success of Constituency Development Fund Construction Projects in Kenya: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis
by Christopher Ngacho, Debadyuti Das
Abstract: Though the Government of Kenya makes huge budgetary allocations towards the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) construction projects, it is still not clear on what constitutes project success. The present work attempts to develop a framework influencing the success of CDF construction projects based on six success factors, namely project-related factor, client-related factor, consultant-related factor, contractor-related factor, supply chain-related factor and environment-related factor. This study further aims to investigate and confirm these success factors and develop a scale for determining success amongst construction projects. With data collected from 211 stakeholders involved in the construction of CDF projects in Western province, Kenya, two measurement models of project success were tested and compared using confirmatory factor analysis. Our findings suggest that both the first-order and second-order models for construction project success are reliable and valid. The study results further show that all the six factors are significantly correlated with project success.
Keywords: Constituency Development Fund, Construction Projects, Critical Success Factors, Project Success, Confirmatory factor analysis
- The Status Quo of Innovations within the Construction Industry: A Conceptual Model
by M. Reza Hosseini, Nicholas Chileshe, Jian Zuo, Bassam Baroudi
Abstract: The construction industry has remained in need of theorising the lifecycle of innovations. Nevertheless, construction researchers have hitherto used different constructs and various variables to present the status quo of an innovation. This study establishes the view that constructs presenting the cross-sectional state of an innovation within the construction industry should be universal in scope and meet the requirements of potential future studies and decision makers in the industry. Building on an exhaustive literature review and analyses, this paper contributes to the body of knowledge by presenting theoretical frameworks mapping the lifecycle of innovations, identifying the influential constructs and the typologies. The study concludes with developing a conceptual model illustrating the primary constructs and variables that could present the status quo of an innovation within the construction context.
Keywords: innovation, adoption, status quo, construction industry, conceptual framework
- WHAT AFFECTS VOLUNTARY EMPLOYEE TURNOVER IN BUILDING ORGANIZATIONS?: EMPIRICAL STUDIES IN AUSTRALIA, MAINLAND CHINA AND TAIWAN
by Vivian Tam, SX Zeng, Peter Wong
Abstract: Voluntary employee turnover brings significant impacts to project organizations. Building organizations not only lose profits but also competitiveness when employee turnover happens. Unexpected employee turnover may also results in project delay and project quality reduced. Control employee turnover rate and maintain good employees are very important in any building organizations. This paper investigates the major causes of voluntary employee turnover in building industries. Questionnaire and structured interviews are conducted. It is found that different regions, different genders, different occupations, different education backgrounds and different age groups look for different things from their jobs. People choose jobs because they expect their jobs can fulfil their own particular needs. Sometimes understanding what employees need is not easy because employees are not always comfortable to share the real reasons of leaving their jobs. Hence effective communication is necessary to find out what employees want from the job. Recommendations to improve and to control employee turnover rate are also discussed.
Keywords: Employee turnover;cause;improvement;recommendation;building
- Can teams benefit from using a mindful infrastructure when defensive behaviour threatens complex innovation projects?
by Peter Oeij, Steven Dhondt, Jeff Gaspersz, Ernest De Vroome
Abstract: Projects are often doomed to fail. An explorative case study which carried out team-based complex innovation projects in a research and technology organisation suggests three main results. 1] Project team leaders experienced that the complexity involved in the various aspects of team functioning, made it prone to mixed messaging. 2] One of the meetings observed indicated that defensive behaviours were prevalent. 3] The team members self-assessment reports on team performance suggested that team outcomes improve in the presence of team psychological safety, team learning and team mindfulness. The study indicates that complex innovation projects may be negatively affected by defensive behaviours, but this behaviour can be overcome by creating a mindful infrastructure based on team psychological safety, team learning and team mindfulness.
Keywords: project complexity, defensive behaviour, mindful infrastructure, innovation, team, innovation resilience behaviour, mindfulness, project management
- Causes of Construction Change Orders in Qatar: Contractors' Perspective
by Abdulaziz Jarkas, Saleh Mubarak
Abstract: The construction industry involves complex processes which are prone to various changes and variations. However, it may be argued that the application of change orders within construction projects in the State of Qatar has become the rule rather than the exception, where most projects undergo significant changes to their original contracts along the course of the construction process, and thus, are leading to considerable time and cost overruns. Therefore, the objective of this research is to identify, explore, and rank from contractors perspective the relative importance of the preeminent causes instigating changes to construction contracts in the State. To achieve this objective, a structured questionnaire survey comprising 35 determinants, which were shortlisted based upon previous reviewed studies, and the input of local experts and industry professionals, was distributed to a statistically representative sample of contractors. Using the relative importance index technique, the critical causes related to the client, consultant, contractor, and exogenous groups are identified. The results reported in this investigation can be used to provide industry practitioners and policy makers with guidance to mitigate, control, or effectively manage the primary causes of variations determined, which can further assist in meliorating the performance of the construction industry in a climate on the brink of witnessing an unprecedented boom in demand for expeditious delivery and restrained cost of constructed enterprises.
Keywords: Change Orders; Variations; Construction Projects; Constructability; State of Qatar.
- Project Managers' Motivation in the Jordanian Construction Industries
by Razan Al-Khaza’aleh, Ali Alahmer, Ghaleb Abbasi
Abstract: Today's organizations are concerned with motivation factors that influence the project managers' project achievement and success. In this study a questionnaire was designed and conducted within the Jordanian Construction Industry based on five Likert-scales to identify the importance of the motivational dimensions on the project managers in Jordanian Construction Industry. Six motivational dimensions were defined and analyzed, which were; interpersonal interaction, task, general working conditions, empowerment, personal development, and compensation. Results showed that project managers were more motivated with compensation and personal development rather than other dimensions. Also, the level of education for project manager was positively related with the motivation by tasks. A more experienced project manager was highly motivated by empowerment.
Keywords: Project manager, Motivation, Construction Industry, Jordan.
- Risk Management Maturity in Large Complex Rail Projects: a Case Study
by Yingtao Ren, Khim Teck Yeo, Yingju Ren
Abstract: In this paper we study the risk management practices in a large complex mass rapid transit construction project undertaken by the relevant government authority in Singapore. A project risk management capability maturity model has been developed and applied in the study. The model consists of ten capability areas namely, organization culture, stakeholder coalition, leadership, organization structure and support, risk planning and identification, risk analysis, risk mitigation, process integration and improvement, project management process, and technology. The client organization has a comprehensive safety and risk management system, which includes life cycle risk management, risk register and documentation, site risk meetings, and so on. Overall, the case organization shows a high level of risk management capability maturity derived purposeful learning and practices. Specific strengths as well as areas of weaknesses are identified and ranked, and opportunities for further improvement are suggested.
Keywords: Complex Products and Systems, capability maturity model, project risk management, mass rapid transit system
- Strategies to improve job outcomes of construction site supervisors
by Florence Yean Yng Ling, Lionel Jun Jie Low
Abstract: This study examined ways to boost site supervisors job outcomes through the characteristics of their jobs and how their jobs are designed. Using a structured questionnaire, data were collected from site supervisors working on construction projects in Singapore. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews. It was found that site supervisors have significantly good job outcomes, operationalized as high internal work motivation, high job satisfaction and good quality work performance. The results show some of the significant job characteristics affecting job outcomes are: given discretion to decide what to be done; allowed to offer suggestions for job improvement; regular working hours; and adequate pay. This study found that job outcomes of site supervisors would not significantly improve if their jobs are designed with characteristics which use skill variety, and provide task identity and task significance.
Keywords: site supervisors; performance management; job satisfaction; job design; job characteristics
- A new approach for joint venture stakeholder analysis: the impact of a parent company's organisational dimensions on its project risk profile
by Yang Fan, Mary Anne Nixon
Abstract: The joint venture (JV) form of business organisation has become a critical part of corporate strategy in worldwide markets, but its high failure rate presents a great challenge to potential investors. Using an inductive case study method, the authors explored the question of how the organisational structure of JV parent companies impacts the joint venture project's risk profile. We found that there can be sub-units or individuals within an organisation whose goals are incongruent with the goals of the parent companies and their joint venture projects who can act against the JV project without consequence due to organisational injustice and agency issues. These sub-units can create risks and uncertainties and undermine cooperation and trust between the parent companies in the joint venture project. To increase the likelihood of success of future JV projects, the authors combined organisation, stakeholder, and agency theories to propose a conception framework in which parent companies were defined as the primary stakeholders and their functional departments as the secondary stakeholders. The JV project team can use this framework to analyse the organisation structure and control mechanisms of each parent company, to classify the functional departments and their employees as positive or negative secondary stakeholders, and to identify their impact on project risk and uncertainty.
Keywords: joint venture; JV; organisational dimensions; primary and secondary stakeholder; project risk and uncertainty.
- Three dimensional stakeholder analysis - 3dSA: adding the risk dimension for stakeholder analysis
by Selim Tugra Demir, David James Bryde, Damian John Fearon, Edward Godfrey Ochieng
Abstract: There is a need for better integration of stakeholder analysis and risk management because there are risks which can arise from the actions of stakeholders which can impact on the project aims and objectives. To meet this need the authors propose that stakeholders need to be analysed in three dimensions. This gives higher transparency to a stakeholder's characteristics and creates a stronger link to risk management. In addition to a stakeholder's power and interest, a third dimension of 'attitude' is developed. Hence, a power-interest-attitude matrix is generated and applied to a real case construction project in Germany. This application to a real project scenario demonstrates how stakeholder analysis can be enhanced over the commonly used two dimensional matrices, to better integrate stakeholder analysis with risk management.
Keywords: construction; project management; stakeholder; stakeholder analysis; power-interest-matrix; risk; risk management; risk identification; German construction project; construction case study.
- Opportunism in construction contracting: minefield and manifestation
by Hoi Yan Pang, Sai On Cheung, Mei Ching Choi, Sin Yi Chu
Abstract: Construction is a very competitive business in Hong Kong. Very often, no contingency is provided for the risks and uncertainties that may arise during the onsite production stage. It is therefore not uncommon to find contractors making use of the loopholes in the contract to raise claims and practise opportunistic acts to recoup loss due to excessive risk-taking. These phenomena can be found in transaction cost economics (TCE). The behavioural assumptions employed in TCE are bounded rationality and opportunism. Opportunism is of particular concern for transactions that involve asset specificity. Building on these conceptualisations, this study aims to enhance the understanding of opportunism in construction contracting through the identification of its minefield and manifestation as well as their occurrence likelihood. This study therefore posits that in construction contracting, incomplete contracts are minefield of opportunism and asset specificity informs opportunism manifestation.
Keywords: minefield; manifestation; opportunism; fault tree; FT; fuzzy sets.
- Exploration of correct LPS practices in scheduling of large, complex, and constrained construction projects
by Søren Lindhard, Søren Wandahl
Abstract: Last planner system (LPS) is introduced in construction to make the sites lean. LPS has been facing implementation challenges which result in a misused or limited LPS. To compare application with theory, daily application of LPS was monitored at three construction cases. In all cases it was registered that only parts of LPS were applied. When application was compared with theory it was found that some elements were misused. The four main schedules were all applied, but the interactions between the plans did not function. Moreover, the rules of the making-ready process were not observed, and were offered little concern. The result was a low-efficient scheduling tool. To overcome the implementation challenges of LPS the knowledge level first needs to be increased. Furthermore, there is a need for support in the entire organisation. More energy or stubbornness should be put into the implementation to anchor the changes deep into the organisation.
Keywords: last planner system; LPS; scheduling; application; implementation; lean construction.
- Corruption in the South African construction industry: experiences of clients and construction professionals
by Paul Bowen, Peter Edwards, Keith Cattell
Abstract: Using an online survey, the experiences and opinions of clients and construction professionals were sought regarding corruption in the South African construction industry. Corruption is considered widespread. Conflicts of interest, tender rigging (collusion), 'fronting' and 'kickbacks' are the forms of corruption most encountered. Government officials (as clients), contractors, and sub-contractors are perceived to be the most involved in corrupt activities, but professional consultants and clients are not exempt. Forms of corruption most associated with government officials are the awarding of contracts for political gain, nepotism and conflicts of interest, and interference in the tender award process. Contractors and sub-contractors employ illegal workers, and engage in collusive tendering. Corruption is most prevalent during the bid evaluation and tendering phases of projects. Facilitating factors include a lack of transparency in the awarding of contracts and the operating environment of the industry. Corruption is seldom reported to the police. Barriers to reporting include a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system, a belief that no action will be taken, and a perception that 'whistle-blowers' are not adequately protected. The construction industry and public sector agencies should adopt a more proactive stance against corruption and be more cooperative in detecting and reporting it.
Keywords: corruption; construction industry; clients; construction professionals; South Africa.
- A project selection, prioritisation and classification approach for organisations managing continuous improvement (CI)
by Souraj Salah
Abstract: Industries are continuously facing fierce competition and the challenge of meeting increasing quality demands at economic costs. The rate of quality improvement and the effectiveness of project management are important factors that determine the survival of any organisation. Project management includes the selection, prioritisation, classification and execution of continuous improvement (CI) projects. There are several cases of failure in implementing improvements resulting in tremendous waste of energy, resources, and, in some cases, the closure of facilities. As such, studies on proper selection, prioritisation and classification of improvement projects are worth investigating. The objective of this paper is to investigate the issue of project selection, prioritisation and classification. It presents a model that summarises sources of projects and the guidelines that describe the way ideas can be filtered, to select the proper projects of highest priority at a certain time. Also, it presents a high-level integrated framework for CI, project selection, prioritisation and other business blocks.
Keywords: project management; project selection; project prioritisation; lean; Six Sigma; value stream map; VSM; continuous improvement.
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