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Front end planning in the modern construction industry

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Front end planning (FEP) is an essential and valuable process that helps identify risks early in the capital project planning phases. With effective FEP, risks can potentially be mitigated through development of detailed scope definition and subsequent efficient project resource

Front end planning (FEP) is an essential and valuable process that helps identify risks early in the capital project planning phases. With effective FEP, risks can potentially be mitigated through development of detailed scope definition and subsequent efficient project resource use. The thesis describes the FEP process that has been developed over the past twenty years by the Construction Industry Institute (CII). Specifically, it details the FEP tools developed for early project planning and the data gathered to analyze the tools used within the CII community. Data from a March 2011 survey are given showing the tools commonly used, how those tools are used and the common barriers faced that prohibit successful FEP implementation. The findings from in-depth interviews are also shared in the thesis. The interviews were used to gather detail responses from organizations on the implementation of their FEP processes. In total, out of the 116 CII organizations, 59 completed the survey and over 75 percent of the respondents used at least one CII tool in their front end planning processes. Of the 59 survey respondents, 12 organizations participated in the in-depth interviews. The thesis concludes that CII organizations continue to find value in CII FEP tools due to the increase tool usage. Also the thesis concludes that organizations must have strong management commitment, smart succession planning and a standardized planning process to increase the likelihood of successful FEP strategies.

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Date Created
2012

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Crew coordination modeling in wood-framing construction

Description

The wood-framing trade has not sufficiently been investigated to understand the work task sequencing and coordination among crew members. A new mental framework for a performing crew was developed and tested through four case studies. This framework ensured similar team

The wood-framing trade has not sufficiently been investigated to understand the work task sequencing and coordination among crew members. A new mental framework for a performing crew was developed and tested through four case studies. This framework ensured similar team performance as the one provided by task micro-scheduling in planning software. It also allowed evaluation of the effect of individual coordination within the crew on the crew's productivity. Using design information, a list of micro-activities/tasks and their predecessors was automatically generated for each piece of lumber in the four wood frames. The task precedence was generated by applying elementary geometrical and technological reasoning to each frame. Then, the duration of each task was determined based on observations from videotaped activities. Primavera's (P6) resource leveling rules were used to calculate the sequencing of tasks and the minimum duration of the whole activity for various crew sizes. The results showed quick convergence towards the minimum production time and allowed to use information from Building Information Models (BIM) to automatically establish the optimal crew sizes for frames. Late Start (LS) leveling priority rule gave the shortest duration in every case. However, the logic of LS tasks rule is too complex to be conveyed to the framing crew. Therefore, the new mental framework of a well performing framer was developed and tested to ensure high coordination. This mental framework, based on five simple rules, can be easily taught to the crew and ensures a crew productivity congruent with the one provided by the LS logic. The case studies indicate that once the worst framer in the crew surpasses the limit of 11% deviation from applying the said five rules, every additional percent of deviation reduces the productivity of the whole crew by about 4%.

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Date Created
2011

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Action research approach to implementation of APDMs within owner organizations strategic management and overcoming resistance to change in the AEC industry

Description

Owner organizations in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry are presented with a wide variety of project delivery approaches. Implementation of these approaches, while enticing due to their potential to save money, reduce schedule delays, or improve quality, is

Owner organizations in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry are presented with a wide variety of project delivery approaches. Implementation of these approaches, while enticing due to their potential to save money, reduce schedule delays, or improve quality, is extremely difficult to accomplish and requires a concerted change management effort. Research in the field of organizational behavior cautions that perhaps more than half of all organizational change efforts fail to accomplish their intended objectives. This study utilizes an action research approach to analyze change message delivery within owner organizations, model owner project team readiness and adoption of change, and identify the most frequently encountered types of resistance from lead project members. The analysis methodology included Spearman's rank order correlation, variable selection testing via three methods of hierarchical linear regression, relative weight analysis, and one-way ANOVA. Key findings from this study include recommendations for communicating the change message within owner organizations, empirical validation of critical predictors for change readiness and change adoption among project teams, and identification of the most frequently encountered resistive behaviors within change implementation in the AEC industry. A key contribution of this research is the recommendation of change management strategies for use by change practitioners.

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Date Created
2014

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Development of high reliability construction work systems: lessons from production practices of high performance work crews

Description

The construction industry faces important performance problems such as low productivity, poor quality of work, and work-related accidents and injuries. Creating a high reliability work system that is simultaneously highly productive and exceptionally safe has become a challenge for construction

The construction industry faces important performance problems such as low productivity, poor quality of work, and work-related accidents and injuries. Creating a high reliability work system that is simultaneously highly productive and exceptionally safe has become a challenge for construction practitioners and scholars. The main goal of this dissertation was to create an understanding of high reliability construction work systems based on lessons from the production practices of high performance work crews. High performance work crews are defined as the work crews that constantly reach and maintain a high level of productivity and exceptional safety record while delivering high quality of work. This study was conceptualized on findings from High Reliability Organizations and with a primary focus on lean construction, human factors, safety, and error management. Toward the research objective, this dissertation answered two major questions. First, it explored the task factors and project attributes that shape and increase workers' task demands and consequently affect workers' safety, production, and quality performance. Second, it explored and investigated the production practices of construction field supervisors (foremen) to understand how successful supervisors regulate task and project demands to create a highly reliable work process. Employing case study methodology, this study explored and analyzed the work practices of six work crews and crew supervisors in different trades including concrete, masonry, and hot asphalt roofing construction. The case studies included one exceptional and one average performing crew from each trade. Four major factors were considered in the selection of exceptional crew supervisors: (1) safety performance, (2) production performance, (3) quality performance, and (4) the level of project difficulty they supervised. The data collection was carried out in three phases including: (1) interview with field supervisors to understand their production practices, (2) survey and interview with workers to understand their perception and to identify the major sources of task demands, and (3) several close field observations. Each trade's specific findings including task demands, project attributes, and production practices used by crew supervisors are presented in a separate chapter. At the end the production practices that converged to create high reliability work systems are summarized and presented in nine major categories.

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Date Created
2012

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Preparing for the talent drought: case study on succession planning methodology in the construction industry

Description

The workforce demographics are changing as a large portion of the population is approaching retirement and thus leaving vacancies in the construction industry. Succession planning is an aspect of talent management which aims to mitigate instability faced by a company

The workforce demographics are changing as a large portion of the population is approaching retirement and thus leaving vacancies in the construction industry. Succession planning is an aspect of talent management which aims to mitigate instability faced by a company when a new successor fills a vacancy. Research shows that in addition to a diminishing pool of available talent, the industry does not have widespread, empirically tested and implemented models that lead to effective successions. The objective of this research was to create a baseline profile for succession planning in the construction industry by identifying currently implemented best practices. The author interviewed six companies of varying sizes and demographics within the construction industry and compared their succession planning methodologies to identify any common challenges and practices. Little consensus between the companies was found. The results of the interviews were then compared to current research literature, but even here, little consensus was found. In addition, companies lacked quantitative performance metrics demonstrating the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of their current succession planning methodologies. The authors recommended that additional research is carried out to focus on empirical evidence and measurement of industry practices surrounding talent identification, development, and transition leading to succession.

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Date Created
2015

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Quantifying the impact of incentives on cost and schedule performance of construction projects in United States

Description

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance,

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance, and they are starting to become adopted in the construction projects. Most of the previous research done in this area was purely qualitative, with a few quantitative studies. This study aims to quantify the performance of incentives in construction by collecting the data from more than 30 projects in United States through a questionnaire survey. First, literature review addresses the previous research work related to incentive types, incentives in construction industry, incentives in other industry and benefits of incentives. Second, the collected data is analyzed with statistical methods to test the significance of observed changes between two data sets i.e. incentive projects and non-incentive projects. Finally, the analysis results provide evidence for the significant impact of having incentives; reduced the cost and schedule growth in construction projects in United States.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015