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Phase-based analysis of key cost and schedule performance causes and preventive strategies: Research trends and implications

Mohammadreza Habibi (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Sharareh Kermanshachi (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 14 August 2018

Issue publication date: 20 September 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

It is estimated that more than half of the construction industry’s projects encounter significant cost overruns and major delays, resulting in the industry having a tarnished reputation. Therefore, it is crucial to identify key project cost and schedule performance factors. However, despite the attempts of numerous researchers, their results have been inconsistent. Most of the literature has focused solely on the construction phase budget and time overruns; the engineering/design and procurement phase costs and schedule performances have been rarely studied. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The objective of this study was primarily to identify and prioritize engineering, procurement and construction key performance factors (KPFs) and to strategize ways to prevent performance delays and cost overruns. To achieve these objectives, more than 200 peer-reviewed journal papers, conference proceedings and other scholarly publications were studied and categorized based on industry type, physical location, data collection and analysis methods.

Findings

It was concluded that both the time required to complete engineering/construction phases and the cost of completing them can be significantly affected by design changes. The two main causes of delays and cost overruns in the procurement phase are construction material shortages and price fluctuations. Other factors affecting all phases of the project are poor economic condition, equipment and labor shortages, delays in owners’ timely decision making, poor communication between stakeholders, poor site management and supervision, clients’ financial issues and severe weather conditions. A list of phase-based strategies which address the issue of time/cost overruns is presented herein.

Originality/value

The findings of this study address the potential confusion of the industry’s practitioners related to the inconsistent list of potential KPFs and their preventive measurements, and pave the way for the construction research community to conduct future performance-related studies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge two anonymous referees and the editor of this journal for improving the quality of this paper by suggesting constructive comments.

Citation

Habibi, M. and Kermanshachi, S. (2018), "Phase-based analysis of key cost and schedule performance causes and preventive strategies: Research trends and implications", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 25 No. 8, pp. 1009-1033. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-10-2017-0219

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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