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Open Access
Publication date: 7 May 2024

Yazeed A. Alragabah and Mohd. Ahmed

There is a limited number of research work on critical success factors (CSFs) in public construction projects in Saudi Arabia. In response to this knowledge gap, the objective of…



There is a limited number of research work on critical success factors (CSFs) in public construction projects in Saudi Arabia. In response to this knowledge gap, the objective of this paper is to assess the impact of CSFs on the government construction projects in Saudi Arabia. The success factors are investigated from a broader consideration of failure criteria, from consideration of most effectiveness in successful project completion and also from consideration of the impact of implementing control processes for successful project completion.


This study has analysed the impact of success factors on construction projects in Saudi Arabia using a descriptive methodology. An exhaustive literature survey is undertaken to identify the success and failure factors related to government construction projects in Saudi Arabia. The survey data are sorted out and analysed by cost, schedule, technical, context and finance dimensions of the projects based on project types, engineering complexity, size, modality, jurisdictional control and funding approach. To evaluate the influence of success factors implementation, qualitative data were collected in a survey via a web-based questionnaire that was sent to officials working and occupying a responsible position in national project guidelines organizations and in government construction organizations in Saudi Arabia. In all, 28 CSFs were identified, ranked and evaluated for their impact on project success. The four identified factors belong to process categories of construction projects, nine factors belong to management of construction projects and 15 success factors are identified for impact assessment of implementation in construction projects.


The study's findings have identified and ranked the top five CSFs that significantly influence project outcomes, including meeting time targets, adhering to financial budgets, delivering desired outcomes for all stakeholders, effectively managing risks and assembling the appropriate team while optimizing resource allocation. Additionally, the research indicates that hindrances to projects primarily stem from execution, economic, human and political factors. The study advocates for strict controls over incomplete engineering designs and advises against contractors independently handling design work to ensure project success. Additionally, addressing contractors' qualifications and financial matters is crucial for project success. By highlighting these CSFs and challenges, the research provides actionable insights to enhance project management practices in the construction industry.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to the infrastructure projects constructed by governmental bodies with the participation of officials from government organizations. Further study, including private projects and officials working on private projects, may be needed to generalized the research outcome.


Numerous studies have investigated CSFs in construction projects, but few have examined their relevance to Saudi Arabian government projects. This study aims to fill this gap by identifying key CSFs specific to Saudi Arabian public sector construction projects and assessing their impact on project success. It advocates for stringent controls in the Saudi Arabian construction sector, emphasizing the importance of preventing incomplete or altered engineering designs by contractors to increase the success rate of public sector projects. This research offers practical insights to stakeholders, advancing project management practices in Saudi Arabia's construction sector for improved outcomes and resource utilization.


Frontiers in Engineering and Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2634-2499


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