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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2021

Brant Mock and James O’Connor

The purpose of this study is to better understand distinct solution strategy types for common commissioning and startup problems (Hot Spots) in the construction of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to better understand distinct solution strategy types for common commissioning and startup problems (Hot Spots) in the construction of industrial facilities. The authors also sought to better understand which solution strategy types offer the best value for the effort required.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a method of qualitative coding of text-based data to identify themes, patterns and trends from a collection of 178 commissioning and startup (CSU) solution strategies for the CSU Hot Spots. Coding categories emerged after multiple iterations. The authors also mapped high-value, low-effort solution strategies across the categories. Chi-squared testing and analysis of proportion statistics help quantitatively justify this qualitative research.

Findings

The authors identified 12 distinct coding categories and showed that they follow a non-uniform distribution via statistical testing. Those strategy types which provide particularly good value for the effort required are identified (such as quality assurance and control strategies), as well as those strategy types that do not.

Research limitations/implications

Research is limited to CSU for the construction of industrial facilities. The findings are also limited to a subset of the most commonly problematic CSU activities. Many findings may be beneficial for heavy civil and commercial CSU as well.

Practical implications

Coding categories, definitions and descriptions provide a good overview of all 178 solution strategies for CSU project professionals. Implementing certain types of solutions or solution programs may allow CSU managers to prevent multiple Hot Spots from becoming problematic or to keep problems already occurring from becoming worse. Managers will also benefit from knowledge about which strategy types are more likely to give a higher value for lower effort.

Originality/value

Qualitative coding and analysis of solution strategies for common CSU problems have never been conducted so rigorously in any other CSU study. This method has yielded results distinct from other CSU studies which have used quantitative methods. Insights from findings have advanced the body of knowledge surrounding problem-solving in the commissioning and startup sub-discipline.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Persistence and Vigilance: A View of Ford Motor Company’s Accounting over its First Fifty Years
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-998-9

Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

James T. O'Connor and Brant Mock

Successful commissioning and startup (CSU) is critical to successful capital project completion. Industrial facility production and operations can also be affected by the…

Abstract

Purpose

Successful commissioning and startup (CSU) is critical to successful capital project completion. Industrial facility production and operations can also be affected by the level of CSU success. Specifically, transitions between construction, commissioning and startup (CCSU) phases, as well as between project organizations, have been identified as an opportunity for improvement across the industry. The purpose of this paper is to establish and clarify CCSU accountabilities and responsibilities for industrial-type capital projects across these transitions.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used a panel of industry practitioners to assist with data collection, review research products and provide industry perspective. The authors used the insight of these CCSU experts to craft new CCSU models. A separate set of industry practitioners was used to validate the findings, and an illustrative case study is also provided. Descriptive analyses and statistics aid the interpretation of research findings.

Findings

Substantial research findings include: three novel CCSU project delivery models, a comprehensive CCSU activity flowchart applicable across industrial sectors, and an extensive CCSU RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) matrix detailing responsibility and accountability assignments across 60 project functions for all of the 124 CCSU flowchart activities. Four key leadership functions are found to be accountable for most of the CCSU process. A need for frontloading CCSU activities during construction is clearly demonstrated, and the value of administrative activities as enablers of core CCSU activities should not be underestimated.

Research limitations/implications

The findings contribute to a more accurate model of CCSU execution best practices for industrial applications. Specifically, CCSU project delivery models give insight into high-level transition structures between organizations and across phases.

Practical implications

The extensive listing of CCSU activities along with suggested accountability and responsibility assignments for each activity give CCSU managers a starting point for ensuring that important tasks are not left undone during this critical phase of capital projects.

Originality/value

New CCSU models for industrial capital projects presented in this paper (including CCSU project delivery models, activity flowchart and RACI matrix) constitute substantial contributions to the industrial construction body of knowledge. These models provide more comprehensive coverage of CCSU topics than their predecessors, and specifically address activities and issues pertinent to industrial construction. The establishment and clarification of responsibility and accountability assignments are of particular value during this high-transition stage of capital projects.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 September 2019

Brant Mock and James T. O'Connor

The main purpose of this paper is to identify high-value, low-effort solution strategies to common commissioning and startup (CSU) problems experienced during industrial…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to identify high-value, low-effort solution strategies to common commissioning and startup (CSU) problems experienced during industrial construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Data on the value provided by solution strategies and effort required to implement them were collected from 35 industry experts via an electronic survey. The authors used a PICK (Possible, Implement, Challenge and Kill) chart two-axis modeling method to distinguish high-value, low-effort strategies from among the set of 178 possible solution strategies to the 20 most common CSU problem activities.

Findings

A total of 38 strategies were identified by industry experts as both high-value and low-effort solutions to the most common CSU problems experienced on industrial construction projects. The 20 common CSU problems had an average of almost nine solution strategies each, of which an average of almost two were identified as high-value, low-effort.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are limited to industrial-type construction projects; however, parallels may exist with heavy civil, commercial and other types of construction. The sample size was relatively small but in accord with other CSU surveys.

Practical implications

Managers are provided a list of 38 highly effective strategies to use when they encounter common CSU problems. By implementing these strategies, managers will provide their projects with more benefit for less investment.

Originality/value

Although several studies have identified solution strategies to CSU problems, none have sought to differentiate between strategies. This study distinguishes between an extensive set of 178 strategies along both effort and value metrics, identifying high-value, low-effort strategies using a novel application of the PICK chart model.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 April 2019

Brant Mock and James T. O’Connor

The purpose of this study is to discover which solution strategies to common industrial commissioning and startup (CSU) problems (Hot Spots) owner and contractor…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to discover which solution strategies to common industrial commissioning and startup (CSU) problems (Hot Spots) owner and contractor organizations identify as most effective and to identify which strategies are identified by one or both organization types.

Design/methodology/approach

Ratings for the relative value provided by strategies, and the effort required to implement strategies were solicited from CSU industry experts employed by owner or contractor organizations via a survey. Quantitative modelling using the Possible, Implement, Challenge, Kill (PICK) chart method distinguished high-value, low-effort strategies from other strategies.

Findings

Owners and contractors identify distinct sets of CSU solution strategies as high value and low effort, with some overlap. Of 178 total strategies, 40 (22.5 per cent) were identified by owners and 34 (19.1 per cent) by contractors, with 19 (10.7 per cent) of those strategies in common. Strategies with the greatest differences in opinions between owners and contractors are also identified.

Research limitations/implications

Research findings are limited to industrial-type, operational systems-intensive facilities. Similarities may exist with other systems-intensive project types, such as some commercial or infrastructure projects. The survey sample size is relatively small (n = 35), but close to that of other CSU-related surveys. The majority of survey participants were based in North America at the time of participation. Further, the number of contractor and owner participants differed slightly.

Practical implications

CSU managers and personnel should consider using high-value, low-effort strategies before resorting to other less effective strategies, as applicable on their projects. Depending on which organization is executing CSU, or if both organization types share CSU responsibilities, different solution strategies may be most effective.

Originality/value

Differences in owner and contractor perspectives and opinions have been noted in other aspects of the project lifecycle but never for CSU solution strategies. Use of the strategies identified will support more effective CSU execution.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 May 2022

James Connor, Vanessa McDermott and Wilma Gillies

The fundamental challenge for project management is dealing with people and their feelings. While there has been sporadic attention to the importance of emotions in…

Abstract

Purpose

The fundamental challenge for project management is dealing with people and their feelings. While there has been sporadic attention to the importance of emotions in project work, project management practices tend to neglect the role of emotions and emotional reflexivity. The authors use a symbolic interaction framework to present an in-depth exploration of emotions and emotional reflexivity in projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data was gathered in 19 semi-structured interviews with diverse project managers to assess their experience of emotion (15 male, 4 female, early 20s to late 50s, 3–38 years of expertise). Transcribed interviews were thematically analysed using a sociology of emotions informed, grounded theory, interactional framework.

Findings

The data revealed that emotional states are framed by factors specific to project management, including organisational change, project constraints and dealing with stakeholders. Explicitly managing emotions improved team engagement and project performance by acting as a catalyst for engaging in reflective practice and intuitive decision making.

Practical implications

Given the widely held misconceptions of emotion as maladaptive, project management education must focus on empathy in communication and leadership if practitioners are to master valuable soft skills. Techniques for emotional reflection and learning feeling lessons must be incorporated into practice.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the emerging understanding that emotions matter in project management. The authors demonstrate the centrality of emotions in projects and the substantial impact they have on the wellbeing of practitioners and staff. Emotional reflexivity in practice, which is widely acknowledged yet tends to be ignored, is an essential part of the project manager's toolkit.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2022

James T. O'Connor, Fernanda Leite and Jong Won Ma

The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive analysis on how the advanced work packaging (AWP) managerial paradigm could be advanced by incorporating and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive analysis on how the advanced work packaging (AWP) managerial paradigm could be advanced by incorporating and integrating the post-construction commissioning and startup (CSU) phases.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was implemented with the support of consolidated knowledge from industry subject matter experts and an exhaustive literature review to provide a knowledge foundation for the developments. The findings were further validated and strengthened by external subject matter experts.

Findings

A new operating system-oriented work package, systems work package (SWP), is devised with a set of definitions and models of how it relates to AWPs with three-dimensional visualizations. SWP-related constraints, key roles and responsibilities are thoroughly investigated.

Research limitations/implications

A new SWP concept would pose potential challenges for its adoption because of inherent organizational culture and hesitation to change. A systematic reorganization of existing practices is considered as a key strategy to alleviate the limitation, and short- and long-term validity of SWP is currently being investigated by organizations.

Practical implications

This research provides practical implementation strategies on CSU integration which lead to benefits including: better alignment and collaboration of stakeholders, reduced costs for associating AWPs to SWP and improved predictability.

Originality/value

AWP-related studies have primarily focused on the construction phase, with minimal integration of CSU considerations. Highlighting the importance of the philosophy “start with the end in mind,” this research describes how the AWP managerial paradigm can be expanded to include CSU, by placing a strong emphasis on understanding CSU priorities, sequences and constraints.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2021

Hyun Jeong Koo and James T. O’Connor

In recent decades, professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction industry have come to recognize building information modeling (BIM) as one of the most…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent decades, professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction industry have come to recognize building information modeling (BIM) as one of the most powerful technologies available to ensure successful project outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to explore the benefits of BIM on design defect prevention during the design phase of building projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors qualitatively analyzed 160 design defect leading indicators (LIs) to identify key themes for design defect prevention. Then, by matching appropriate BIM functionalities to each key LI theme, they identified BIM-supported key LI themes.

Findings

The result of this paper served as the foundation of a BIM-based key design processes framework, which identifies the necessary data, project parties, actions and applicable BIM functions for preventing particular design defects. In addition, the authors found that BIM implementation can benefit 71.2% of the LIs of the design defects associated with problematic deliverables.

Originality/value

This study establishes the current state of BIM use for design defect prevention and also gives practitioners precisely targeted guidelines for using BIM functions during the design phase for better quality management.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Corporate Fraud Exposed
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-418-8

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1996

Giovanni Arrighi

The rise of East Asia to most dynamic center of processes of capital accumulation on a world scale is a phenomenon of the 1970s and 1980s. As a first approximation, the…

Abstract

The rise of East Asia to most dynamic center of processes of capital accumulation on a world scale is a phenomenon of the 1970s and 1980s. As a first approximation, the extent of this rise can be gauged from the trends depicted in figure 1. The figure shows the most conspicuous instances of “catching‐up” with the level of per capita income of the “organic core” of the capitalist world‐economy since the Second World War. As defined elsewhere, the organic core consists of all the countries that over the last half‐century or so have consistently occupied the top positions of the ranking of GNPs per capita and, in virtue of that position, have set (individually and collectively) the standards of wealth which all their governments have sought to maintain and all other governments have sought to attain. Broadly speaking, three regions have constituted the organic core since the Second World War: North America, Western Europe and Australasia (Arrighi, 1991: 41–2; Arrighi, 1990).

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 16 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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