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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Ji Li, Osama Moselhi and Sabah Alkass

The objective of this paper is to develop an efficient project management system to track and control construction activities for contractors and/or project managers.

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to develop an efficient project management system to track and control construction activities for contractors and/or project managers.

Design/methodology/approach

The work package model is utilized to break down project data into activities and work tasks. The data structure of a project is represented using the entities‐relationship methodology. A relational database stores all of the project data. The earned value method calculates the cost and schedule variances. The internet‐based platform with three‐tier client‐server architecture is chosen for system implementation.

Findings

The developed project database stores all of the project data necessary to perform project control functions. The implementation of the project database management system is efficient. The developed system provides real‐time data sharing and a collaborating environment in support of project control.

Originality/value

Time and cost control are essential management functions for achieving successful delivery of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects. The developed system can assist contractors and/or project managers in tracking and control of their construction projects in a real‐time manner.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2021

Adekunle Sabitu Oyegoke, Robert Powell, Saheed Ajayi, Godawatte Arachchige Gimhan Rathnagee Godawatte and Temidayo Akenroye

This paper aims to identify and analyse the factors affecting the selection of effective cost control techniques in the UK construction industry and assess their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify and analyse the factors affecting the selection of effective cost control techniques in the UK construction industry and assess their importance. The study examines these key areas; the factors that have significant impacts on cost overruns, the most effective cost control techniques and the factors for selecting cost control techniques for a project.

Design/methodology/approach

The study relies on a mixed-method research approach; a qualitative exploration of the most effective cost control techniques and the factors affecting the selection of cost control techniques, followed by a questionnaire survey and follow-up interviews. Relative importance index (RII) is used for ranking the factors.

Findings

The budgeting technique is ranked first with-0.821RII, followed by cost forecasting-0.800RII and cashflow monitoring-00.733RII, as the most effective cost control techniques. On factors that influenced the choice of the techniques used, cost information/cost-related factors are ranked first with-0.611RII, followed by the size of the company-0.509RII and the effectiveness of the technique-0.572RII.

Research limitations/implications

Although the scope of the study was limited to the UK construction industry, the results could be interpreted for critical learning in other developed/developing countries.

Originality/value

Identifying and ranking the factors affecting the selection of effective cost control techniques in the UK construction industry has been the focal point of this study. The study also proposes a simple but effective model which can be used for critical learning on mitigating cost overruns and the effective use of cost control techniques in the construction industry.

Details

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-4387

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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2020

Brett Parnell, Merlin Stone and Eleni Aravopoulou

This paper aims to explore the problems of managing superprojects and identifies how a different approach to controlling them can reduce the incidence of cost and time…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the problems of managing superprojects and identifies how a different approach to controlling them can reduce the incidence of cost and time overruns and benefit shortfalls.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review accompanied by conceptual analysis.

Findings

Project cost and timing overruns and benefit shortfalls are very frequent in superprojects. These problems can be ascribed partly to the way in which they are planned is not taken into account in designing and implementing control systems, particularly the governance processes and the information they have available.

Practical implications

This paper has serious implications for those designing control processes, governance and information management for superprojects. It suggests that if a new approach is taken, fewer superprojects will suffer from cost overruns and benefit shortfalls because remedial actions will be taken earlier for projects, which are experiencing problems, while learning will be fed back to those planning new projects.

Social implications

There will be saving of public money and reduced deferment of benefits that normally result from failed or delayed projects and reduced allocation of large incremental budgets dedicated to resolving problems.

Originality/value

The taxonomy of different types of superprojects is original, as is the idea of ambidextrous control, and the diagnosis of failure reasons lying in the nature of control and governance processes, and the lack of relevant information available during the control process.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

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Article
Publication date: 15 April 2020

Ahsen Maqsoom, Muhammad Hamad, Hassan Ashraf, Muhammad Jamaluddin Thaheem and Muhammad Umer

Despite the efforts of project managers and the widespread use of project management methodologies, most of the projects remain unfulfilling in terms of delivering…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the efforts of project managers and the widespread use of project management methodologies, most of the projects remain unfulfilling in terms of delivering targeted performance. This for most part can be attributed to the inability of an organization to implement control mechanisms and ineffective management of complexity risk. Keeping in view the aforementioned problem, the objective of this study is to investigate the association between control modes and project performance. Moreover, this study also examines the moderating role of complexity risk on the association among various control modes and project performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected from 171 construction projects through a postal questionnaire survey. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was utilized for testing the hypothesized relationships of the research model.

Findings

This study found significant positive relation between formal and informal control mechanisms and project performance. It is found that complexity risk significantly moderates the relationship between control modes and project performance. The results indicate that complexity risk positively moderates the relationship between outcome control and clan control with project performance. Furthermore, complexity risks negatively moderates the relationship between behavior control and project performance. However, the association between self-control and project performance is found insignificant in the presence of complexity risk.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to study the relationship of control mechanisms, complexity risk and project performance in the construction industry.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Davar Rezania, Ron Baker and Ruben Burga

This paper aims to examine the levers of control (LOC) framework in the context of managing projects. The authors explore the impact of diagnostic systems, interactive…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the levers of control (LOC) framework in the context of managing projects. The authors explore the impact of diagnostic systems, interactive systems, beliefs systems and boundary systems on project performance and explore the association between control levers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data gathered from 113 project managers representing 38 organizations, the authors used the partial least squares path modelling algorithm to analyse the data.

Findings

The analysis validates the LOC framework in the context of managing projects and reveals the interrelatedness of control systems and their impact on project performance.

Research limitations/implications

The conclusions support the current emphasis on performance reporting and change control and highlight the need to consider the interdependencies between control levers.

Originality/value

This study re-conceptualizes project control by using the LOC framework in the context of managing projects as temporary organizations. This provides a model for investigating and understanding project management control systems that consider the interaction of control mechanisms. Furthermore, the associations between the four control systems and project performance are examined, rather than individual mechanisms in isolation.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Chun Wang, Baiyi Li, Baizhan Li and Andrew Baldwin

The purpose of this paper is to present a detailed case study on the methods and organisational structure used for controlling the time schedule for a large and complex…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a detailed case study on the methods and organisational structure used for controlling the time schedule for a large and complex project. The paper discusses the use of “project controlling”, a term used to describe project control by a third-party organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers used action research to collect data for the case study. A member of the research team was a “participant-observer” on the project on a day-to-day basis for a period of 18 months collecting and analysing data which were subsequently analysed by a mixed methods approach.

Findings

The use of a “Project Controlling Unit” operated by an independent adviser organisation has significant advantages over traditional methods. It can provide timely, consolidated, independent guidance to the client and assistance to other participating organisations.

Research limitations/implications

The research has confirmed the effectiveness of the method on the project under study.

Practical implications

The findings provide guidance for enhanced project control on large complex infrastructural projects that will be of interest to other researchers, other clients and other construction organisations both within China and internationally.

Social implications

Organisations that seek to develop Project Controlling Units to implement the methods described in this paper will need to review their recruitment and training strategies to ensure that appropriate and experienced staffs are engaged.

Originality/value

The paper extends the knowledge relating to “project controlling” method. The findings provide additional insights to progress reporting and the management of construction production on HOPSCA and other large infrastructural projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2010

Tatsiana Haponava and Saad Al‐Jibouri

Design process is a focal point in any construction process. It is within this process that the product to be built is defined, shaped and specified. To be able to control

Abstract

Purpose

Design process is a focal point in any construction process. It is within this process that the product to be built is defined, shaped and specified. To be able to control the design process, it is necessary to control the performance of its main sub‐processes in order to make sure that end‐project goals have a better chance of being achieved. This paper aims to propose a model for identifying process performance of the design stage through the performance of its key sub‐processes and linking them to the end‐project goals.

Design/methodology/approach

The research method used consisted of the following steps: identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs) to control the performance of the key design sub‐processes based on the literature review and a number of the interviews; and establishing the relationship between the design process performance represented by the identified KPIs and end‐project goals. This was done using experts during interviews.

Findings

The paper has resulted in a number of process‐based KPIs assessed to be critical for control of the design stage. Analysis of the interviews highlighted some similarities and differences in perceptions of clients and contractors on the priorities in controlling the design process. Analysis also showed that the identified KPIs have different degrees of influence on the end‐project goals.

Originality/value

The proposed model offers a systemic way of controlling the design process performance towards the desired goals using the identified KPIs. It also helps to understand the relationship between the design process performance and the end‐project goals.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

André A. de Waal and Freke A. de Boer

There is a growing debate and research stream on the influence of national culture on the type and nature of management control systems (MCSs) used by organizations in the…

Abstract

Purpose

There is a growing debate and research stream on the influence of national culture on the type and nature of management control systems (MCSs) used by organizations in the country. A specific case is the management control of projects executed in a multicultural international environment. The purpose of this paper is to describe the findings of a study into the role of national cultures in controlling a project which a multinational undertook in four countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on project management control literature a theoretical MCS for international projects is developed. Subsequently, the influence of national culture on this system is discussed, using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Then the theoretical system is applied on the project the multinational case company executed in four countries (Austria, Finland, India, and Russia).

Findings

A key finding is that different national cultures do require different types of control, but that this effect is neutralized by the culture of the multinational which is the same all over the world and which supersedes national cultures. This makes it possible to implement a standardized project management control framework.

Originality/value

The research yielded a conceptual project management control framework which in practice seemed to be useful for controlling not only the process and progress but also the product (end result) of a project in a multicultural environment.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2009

Salah Eldin Adam Hamza

The purpose of this paper is to establish a means to control the design process in engineering organization that produce engineering deliverables for construction projects

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish a means to control the design process in engineering organization that produce engineering deliverables for construction projects. The intended control is to deliver construction packages on time and within budget while controlling productivity of engineers and support staff involved in the design process.

Design/methodology/approach

Control charts have been used to monitor design progress and for auditing business processes, process adjustments and to alert for action to rectify a schedule risk. Management has benefited from control charts to fine‐tune operations ranging from bid proposal processing to final design delivery stages and to identify and prevent employee time waste in addition to tracking and forecasting design performance for efficient resource allocation.

Findings

These techniques helps in controlling development of engineering deliverables on budget and in detecting areas of low performance early enough for suitable corrective actions. Project six‐sigma has also improved as project progress advances; from 0.92 at 10 percent project phase to 1.74 at 90 percent project completion.

Research limitations/implications

Future, research shall cover multi‐discipline project performance and other project management processes, like bidding, design development, design review, and project close‐out.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates means to control design process in organizations dealing with construction projects like oil and gas, petrochemicals and power projects. Delays in the design process may cause adverse impact in downstream projects phases including construction, procurement, start‐up, production, and further affects business strategies and plans. Control charts and six sigma process levels helps delivering design projects within constraints.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2021

Changfeng Wang, Sabine Brunswicker and Ann Majchrzak

This study aims to investigate the effects of project-level external knowledge search breadth and search depth on the innovation performance of open innovation (OI…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the effects of project-level external knowledge search breadth and search depth on the innovation performance of open innovation (OI) projects in large firms; it further considers these effects mediated by two forms of control mechanisms (process and outcome control) when the level of project complexity and the two stages of a project – early (problem definition) and late (solution development) – are taken into account.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a survey of 187 managers responsible for an OI project, the authors use theory on behavioral-based control mechanisms to explore whether the effect of external knowledge search breadth and depth on OI performance is contingent on having the right levels of control mechanisms in place.

Findings

The results showed that the control mechanism mediates the relationship between external knowledge search breadth and depth and OI project performance. Furthermore, project complexity is an important moderator of these effects, especially for outcome control.

Originality/value

A better OI project’s performance is not achieved by external knowledge search breadth and depth alone, but by building process and outcome control mechanism on it to balance knowledge sharing and protecting tension. Furthermore, Outcome control is only helpful with less complex OI projects.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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