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Developing a clients’ charter and construction project KPIs to direct and drive industry improvements

Mohan Kumaraswamy (Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Gangadhar Mahesh (Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India)
Ashwin Mahalingam (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)
Santhosh Loganathan (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India) (University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Satyanarayana N. Kalidindi (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 13 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a case, with live examples from a construction industry development initiative in India, for developing a proactive construction clients charter; and a core set of key performance indicators (KPIs), as basic tools for facilitating the expectations of this special issue in “securing clients’ organisational objectives and project aspirations throughout construction project lifecycles” apart from empowering construction industry improvements in general.

Design/methodology/approach

Having identified 19 critical issues in the Indian construction industry at two construction clients-academia roundtables, two of the “action teams” formed to address specific issue sets, separately developed a relevant construction clients charter and useful KPIs, respectively, through a combination of literature reviews and brainstorming conference calls, along with iterative drafts of, and feedback on interim outputs. Validation of “working papers” presented at a “Consolidation Roundtable” of construction clients and their consultants, elicited further suggestions for fine tuning of final outputs.

Findings

The charter was formulated in structured steps, including identifying “priorities” under four categories: overall, expectations from supply chains, by supply chains and by end users. The six sub-heads of the charter are on procurement, design, innovation and technology, project execution, human resource development and worker welfare, and quality, safety and sustainability. The “suggested KPIs” for building clients in India enable organisations to choose: from three different groups (i.e. design phase, construction phase, or business outcomes), and at three different levels (i.e. project/organisation level, benchmarking club level, or industry level).

Originality/value

There is no known overarching Construction Clients’ Charter at present. Some project KPI sets are available elsewhere. However, those developed in India, while focusing on project performance, also connect to organisational performance and business outcomes. Furthermore, KPIs are provided to separately probe client, consultant and contractor performance. Significantly, the charter and KPIs are outcomes from an industry-led self-improvement initiative launched with building construction clients at the forefront, rather than a top-down imposition from government. Furthermore, while prioritising client aspirations, they also address common supply chain and end-user concerns, which may also be interpreted as a longer-term win-win-win client’s aspiration.

Keywords

Citation

Kumaraswamy, M., Mahesh, G., Mahalingam, A., Loganathan, S. and Kalidindi, S.N. (2017), "Developing a clients’ charter and construction project KPIs to direct and drive industry improvements", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 253-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-02-2017-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited