Proposed TitleThe proposed title is: Impact of Change to the Project Management Triangle within the Construction Industry and the Development of a New Project Management Model
Study Context and Rationale
A study conducted in Saudi Arabia using a field survey revealed that most common of delay identified by contractors, consultants, and owners is change orders. The field survey was conducted with 15 owners, 23 contractors, and 19 consultants. Throughout the course of the study, there were 73 causes of delay, where 76% and 56% of contractors and consultants, respectively, reported that the average time overrun as a result of the delays was between 10% and 30% of the initial anticipated duration, suggesting that 70% of the projects experienced conditions of time overrun and 45 of 76 projects were delayed (Assaf & Al-Hejji 2006). Change orders, then, can be considered a major influencer in the successful completion of the project based on the project management triangle.
However, it is recognised that construction projects can be delayed as the result of many different causes. For example, in a prior study, Assaf et al. (1995) found that there were 56 primary causes of delay in construction projects, which can be divided into 9 groups, based on the importance. Per Al-Ghafly (1995), there were 60 causes of delay within utilities projects, leading to the conclusion that delays were a frequent occurrence in both medium- and large-size projects and were severe in small-size projects. Per Assaf and Al-Hejji (2006), Assaf et al. (1995), and Al-Ghafly (1995), causes of delay may be caused by the involvement of the owner, the performance of the contractor, the early planning and design process associated with the project, financial, design and scope changes, decision-making and owner approval delays, work permit difficulties, communication, and coordination problems. Per Chan and Kumaraswamy (1997), there are 5 principal factors, in terms of importance, out of 83 factors considered. These include: (1) work variation; (2) slow decision making; (3) poor risk management/supervision; (4) client-initiated variations; and (5) unforeseen site conditions.
Kaming et al. (1997) conducted a study in Indonesia regarding 31 high-rise projects based on influencing factors. It was found that cost overruns were more frequent and severe than time overruns. Per Kaming et al. (1997), cost overrun factors include material cost increase, inaccurate estimation of material needs, and complexity of project. Material cost increase was most commonly attributed to inflation. On the other hand, time overruns were most influenced by delays relating to changes in design, decreased productivity, shortages of resources, and inadequate planning. Kumaraswamy and Chan (1998) conducted a similar study in Hong Kong regarding construction delays. Perceptions of causes of delays were considered in relation to civil engineering. Per Kumaraswamy and Chan (1998), the biases that exist in different industry groups might argue the blame for delay lies with other groups. Based on this information, it is evident that causes of delay vary for a wide range of reasons, including change orders. However, it is also noted that none of the quoted studies provide much information regarding the influence of change orders on the delay, making it an important study to be undertaken.
The project management triangle is considered in all projects being undertaken. However, the impact of this triangle is different for all projects. While this relationship between the project management and the project management triangle is well-documented, there is less documentation between the project management triangle and change orders. The results of the study will lead to the development of a hypothetical model to be used in place of the project management triangle.
Study Aims, Objectives, Question, and Hypothesis/Null Hypothesis
This study seeks to determine how the components of the project management triangle are influenced by change orders and to determine a hypothetical model that may be used as an alternative, the extent that change orders impact project management within the construction industry, and the extent of the relationship between change orders and the project management triangle.
The research objectives are:
To critically analyse the existing literature regarding the influence of the project management triangle;
To critically analyse the existing literature regarding the influence of change orders;
To critically analyse the existing literature regarding the relationship between change orders and the project management triangle;
Assess the working knowledge of the project management triangle and the impact of change orders; and
The research question is:
What would a more efficient model than the project management triangle for certain projects?
The hypothesis (H0) and null hypothesis (H1) are:
H0: Change orders have a significant impact on and have a significant relationship with the project management triangle within the construction industry.
H1: Chang orders have no impact on and no relationship with the project management triangle within the construction industry.
This study would be conducted in two portions that involve both primary and secondary data. The primary data will come in the form of a survey consisting of information from both project managers and project team members. The participants will be within the construction industry and it is expected that at least 150 to 200 participants will be involved. The survey will consist of five sections. The first section will collect demographic information. The second section will collect quantitative information through a Likert scale regarding the time portion of the project management triangle. The third section will collect quantitative information through a Likert scale regarding the cost portion of the project management triangle. The fourth section will collect quantitative information through a Likert scale regarding the scope portion of the project management triangle. The final section will collect quantitative information through a Likert scale regarding the impact of change orders to projects. Through the use of the Likert scales, the study will be quantitative and analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation, ANOVA, regression, and the chi square test of independence. The secondary data will come in the form of a meta-analysis, based on quantitative data. The primary focus for the search for these articles will be the impact of change orders on the project. This information will allow for an analysis of the project management triangle (based on primary data) and how changes influence the project’s completion. The time span will be from 1995 to 2015 in order to provide a wide range of data. It is expected that at least 10 articles will be found for the analysis. The meta-analysis deconstruction will occur through measurements of impact of change. The meta-analysis data analysis will occur using forest plots, mean differences, and fixed effects. The results will be used to collaborate/refute the analysis of the primary data.
Limitations and Delimitations of the Study
There are several limitations and delimitations to the study. To begin with, because the researcher has elected to focus on the UAE for primary data collection, the results may not be generalizable for the entire population. Rather, the results may only be applicable for the UAE only. However, through the use of the meta-analysis, it is more likely that these results may be generalizable to at least a particular region. Next, the researcher is conducting a quantitative analysis, which may be limiting because participants will not be able to provide detailed information for their answers. On the other hand, the use of the quantitative analysis allows for a larger sample size, which is likely to produce more cohesive results. Third, the researcher is using a quantitative meta-analysis to confirm the results obtained from primary results. As the ANOVA and chi square test of independence are used with primary results to confirm/refute the hypothesis, the fixed effects of the meta-analysis are used with secondary results to confirm/refute the hypothesis, allowing for collaboration or refutation of the primary results. Finally, the researcher intends to use the gathered primary and secondary data to construct a hypothetical model that may be used in place of the project management triangle. Since this model is hypothetical, there is no guarantee that it will be effective – only that it is based on established results through prior literature and through primary results.
Proposed Structure of the Study
The study will be based on 6 chapters. The first chapter will introduce the topic, provide a rationale for conducting the study, present the goals and questions relating to the study, and briefly discuss the methodology. The second chapter will be the literature review, which will discuss the project management triangle and change orders in greater detail. The third chapter will be the methodology, which will provide information regarding how the study will be constructed. The fourth chapter will be the results, which will present the primary and secondary results. The fifth chapter will provide discussions, the hypothetical model and justification for the model. The final chapter will conclude the study.
- Al-Ghafly, M., 1995. Delay in the construction of public utility projects in Saudi Arabia. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
- Assaf, S.A. & Al-Hejji, S., 2006. Causes of delay in large construction projects. International Journal of Project Management, 24(4), pp.349–357.
- Assaf, S.A., Al-Khalil, M. & Al-Hazmi, M., 1995. Causes of Delay in Large Building Construction Projects. Journal of Management in Engineering, 11(2), pp.45–50.
- Chan, D.W.M. & Kumaraswamy, M.M., 1997. A comparative study of causes of time overruns in Hong Kong construction projects. International Journal of Project Management, 1(15), pp.55–63.
- Kaming, P.F. et al., 1997. Factors influencing construction time and cost overruns on high-rise projects in Indonesia. Construction Management and Economics, 15(1), pp.83–94.
- Kumaraswamy, M.M. & Chan, D.W.M., 1998. Contributors to construction delays. Construction Management and Economics, 16(1), pp.17–29.