Hindrances in Successful Completion of Construction Projects and Their Impact on Firm's Performance Essay

STATEMENT OF TOPIC Research over many years in the field of project management has identified several hindrances in the smooth execution of operation a construction project. But here it is more important to find out some common obstacles from the early literature and measure their impact on performance scientifically.

Traditionally construction industry is segmented, and this segmentation is depends upon the nature of construction that is to be carried out, and this segmentation widely consider as residential housing construction, institutional and commercial building construction, specialized industrial construction, infrastructure and heavy construction, to see this, Hendrickson’s (2000, ch. 1). Hindrances could also depend upon the nature of construction that is to be carried out but mostly it considered that all type of construction project faces common type of problems. MOTIVES AND GOALS

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The main motive of this project is to provide better understanding to avoid any type of hindrances during the execution of a construction project. While executing a construction project, number of un-predicted problems creates jam in the smooth completion of the project and here in this study we identify these jams and measure their impact on the Firm’s performance. Goal of this study is to provide accurate results that will help project managers and construction managers to take early measure on factors that creates impediment in the flat completion of the construction projects.

RESEARCH QUESTION AND OBJECTIVES The project will address these research questions. 1. What are basic hindrances in successful completion of a construction project? 2. Why these hindrances occur? 3. What is the impact of these hindrances on Firm’s Performance? Basically, this study has descriptive foundation and its main emphasis will be on the understanding of basic hindrances in the way of successful completion of a construction project and to measure its impact on Firm’s performance.

It is believed that result will help construction firms to know the major causes of delay in a construction project and their expected loss in the shape of Firm’s performance, and support them in making decision for the successful completion of project. Study will prove a milestone in the field of construction management research and pave the way for other sectors to research and identify the hindrances to avoid performance fatigues in the field. LITERATURE REVIEW Delivering performance of Construction Firms is not merely considered on financial gain but to deliver within prescribed time, within budgeted cost and on set standards of quality.

To meet these criteria of performance is quite difficult for firms in the presence of certain barriers, at the same time. M. E. Abd El-Razek et al. (2008) indicated that major causes of delaying construction projects in Egypt are: financing by contractor during construction, delays in contractor’s payment by owner, design changes by owner or his agent during construction, partial payments during construction, and non-utilization of professional construction/contractual management. The contractor and owner were found to have opposing views, mostly blaming one another for delays, while the consultant was seen as having a more intermediate view.

O Ogunlana, Krit Promkuntong, and Vithool Jearkjirm (1996), concluded that construction problems in growing economies can be grouped in three segments a) problem of inadequacies of in industry infrastructure e. g. supply of resources b) problem caused by client and consultant c) problems caused by contractor’s incompetence and recommend that need of economic managers and construction industry association to provide the infrastructure for efficient project management. G. Sweis, R. Sweis, A. Abu Hammad, A.

Shboul (2008) argue that major causes of delays in construction projects are, financial difficulties faced by contractors and too many change orders. Abdalla M. Odeh, and Hussien T. Battaineh, (2008) aim that most important causes of delaying in construction projects in viewpoint of contractors and consultant with traditional type contracts and identify, owner interference, inadequate contractor’s experience, financing and payments, labor productivity, improper planning, slow decision making, and subcontractors among the top ten causes. Sadi A.

Assaf, and Sadiq Al-Hejji (2006) a study was conducted in Saudi Arabia on subject of “Causes of Delays in Large Construction Projects” field survey of 23 contractors, 19 consultant, and 15 owners resulted that seventy three causes identified of delaying project in which 76% are related to contractors, 56% of the consultants and average time of overrun is between 10% to 30% to the original duration. Stephen Joseph Lampel, (2001) argued that successful project is depend upon flexible engineering, construction and procurement firms and the management of flexibility based on acquisition and development of core competencies.

These four core competencies are entrepreneurial, technical, evaluative and relational. Contractors face hurdles of payments delays / stuck from the client organizations and it directly affects contractor’s performance i. e. delays of project completion. Coordination among client, consultant, structural & electrical engineering and HVAC departments is vital for stream execution of the construction project. Client is final authority to place change orders and needed to coordinate with all stake holders of the project and absence, may cause delay.

Torger Reve, and Raymond E Levitt (1984) observed trilateral governance of a client, engineering consultant, and contractors in construction projects and proposed professional relationship between the client and the consultant and a clan-type relationship between the consultant and the contractors. Review of studies conducted in developing countries suggest five major reasons of delaying construction projects are a) Payment Delays from Client is major cause of delay in construction project in Pakistan. Delay of payment in construction is mostly co-related from the client and cause work stoppage from the contractor and sub-contractor end. ) Co-ordination among, client, consultant, contractor. A construction project team usually includes a number of agents such as clients, designers, constructors and other specialists as well as suppliers and coordination among them can save lot of cost and time of the project and absence cause delay in construction projects. In other words, successful projects require extensive communication and effective coordination that aid in organizing and integrating teams’ client, consultant, and contractor to become committed to successful delivery of the construction project.

Essentially, effective communication reduces time factors, avoids the risk of misunderstand-dings and develops positive relationships and encourages achieving common goals. Open communication and coordination creates an environment where all parties understand each other and tend to cooperate in a respectful manner to get the work done. The factors or attributes identified earlier by various authors can be merged into the communication and coordination super category. c) Lack of Technical Staff in Project Team. The increasing complexity of construction projects requires specialized technical construction personnel.

Knowledge of sophisticated technology, the proliferation of laws setting standards for buildings and construction materials, worker safety, energy efficiency, and environmental protection now becoming essential for construction personnel. d) Change Orders. Too many change orders from client side not only increase the actual cost of construction from the projected cost of construction but can cause delay in delivering. More disputes can arise and more adversarial positions are staked out because of actual or perceived changes in a construction project than for any other reason.

Aggressive contractors will threaten slow-downs and work stoppages if they don’t get paid. Overbearing owners will insist that unknown conditions, extra features, and an expanded project are covered by the original bid price. New instructions arise instantly in the field through the superintendent or architect or owner’s representative. e) Environmental disorder. Weather condition is a very decisive factor in construction firms, any unusual weather conditions may cause delay. Any miscalculation in prediction of weather assessment may cause delay in construction project.

Construction companies may monitor weather conditions by incorporating freely available or private weather forecast services, but the accuracy of these forecasts can be marginal and do little to lessen the financial impact caused by the weather. Construction project that rely on dry weather (roads, pipelines, foundations, etc) are drastically impacted when too many “wet days” occur during the planned project period. Previously, construction project weather risk was managed by “padding” the schedule with more time in anticipation that some days will be unproductive.

There are traditionally three types of delays on a construction project: a) non-excusable: the construction company gets no time or money. b) excusable: The construction company gets time, but no money. c) compensable: The construction company gets both time and money. Both construction companies and their clients can benefit from precipitation risk management because project contracts are often structured so that contractors are not responsible for the most extreme weather events. Performance of a firm could be considered as financial and non-financial but most widely and aggregate assessment of organizational performance emonstrated in accounting, sales, or in the financial reports. Here in this study we will consider the up to mark performance of construction project which completed in stipulated time frame, within budgeted cost and up to quality standards. RESEARCH STRATEGIES The deductive research strategy has been used in this research project. Hypotheses have been drawn from the existing available literature on project management. Logic behind this research project to use the deductive research strategy is hypotheses are constructed using elements of findings of previous researches. HYPOTHOSES Hypotheses No. 1

H0Late payments from client does not caused firm’s performance H1Late payments from client caused firm’s performance Hypotheses No. 2 H0Poor coordination among client, consultant and contractor does not caused firm’s performance H1Poor coordination among client, consultant, and contractor caused firm’s performance Hypotheses No. 3 H0Lack of Technical Staff in Project Team does not caused firm’s performance H1Lack of Technical Staff in Project Team caused firm’s performance Hypotheses No. 4 H0Too many change orders does not caused firm’s performance H1Too many change orders caused firm’s performance

Hypotheses No. 5 H0Environmental disorder does not caused firm’s performance H1Environmental disorder caused firm’s performance CONCEPTS Hindrances in successful completion of construction project are 1) Payment Delays from Client, 2) Co-ordination among, client, consultant, contractor, 3) Lack of Technical Staff in Project Team, 4) Change Orders, 5)Environmental disorder. Successful completion of a construction project means, project should be completed within stipulated time period, within budgeted cost and up to the quality standards.

DATA SOURCES, COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS A self administrated structured questionnaire with the civil engineers sample will be used to obtain their responses. Structured interviews of administrative position of construction companies will be arranged to know the actual progress of their projects. So two type of data collection method will be used in this study i. e. survey and interview. Questionnaire will be sent to respondent by mail, email, and by hand and at least three weeks will be gave them to fill the questionnaire according to their availability.

Interviews of the administrative position of the construction will be arranged according to their availability with their prior approval. Z test will be apply as data analysis and to accept or reject hypothesis. Because this study is based on academic reasons and by answering to the intellectual puzzles to contribute the project management discipline so cost of this research will be born by researcher. Timings of conducting this study is as under: Preparation of Research Design/Proposal July 05, 2010 Completion of Literature ReviewJuly 20, 2010 Completion of Data collectionJuly 15, 2010

Completion of Analysis workAugust 15, 2010 Compilation of ResultsAugust 30, 2010 1st Presentation and DefenceSeptember 5, 2010 Review and Changes if requiredSeptember 20, 2010 Final SubmissionSeptember 25, 2010 PROBLEMS AND LIMITATION Sample size of data is very short which could not be validating the result. As respondents are belonged to Punjab and to interpreting the results on behalf of Pakistan may not be suitable. Respondents are given no other option to elaborate causes of delaying construction projects in Pakistan except the given five which is the major limitation in this study.

FUTURE RESEARCH This study may be enhanced by enlarging the sample sizes from all over Pakistan and by giving options to respondents to elaborate causes of delaying construction projects according to their own context and experiences. REFERENCES Rizwan U. Farooqui, Farrukh Arif, S. F. A. Rafeeqi, (2008). Safety Performance in Construction Industry of Pakistan. Sadi A. Assaf, and Sadiq Al-Hejji (2006), Causes of Delays in Large Construction Projects. International Journal of Project Management Volume 24, Issue 4, May 2006, Pages 349-357 G.

Sweis, R. Sweis, A. Abu Hammad, A. Shboul (2008), Delays in construction projects: The case of Jordan, International Journal of Project Management, Volume 26, Issue 6, August 2008, Pages 665-674. Abdalla M. Odeh, and Hussien T. Battaineh, (2008). Causes of construction delay: traditional contracts, International Journal of Project Management Volume 20, Issue 1, January 2002, Pages 67-73 Stephen O Ogunlana, Krit Promkuntong, and Vithool Jearkjirm (1996), Construction delays in a fast-growing economy: Comparing Thailand with other economies.

International Journal of Project Management Volume 14, Issue 1, February 1996, Pages 37-45 Torger Reve, and Raymond E Levitt (1984). Organization and governance in construction. International Journal of Project Management Volume 2, Issue 1, February 1984, Pages 17-25 Joseph Lampel, (2001). The core competencies of effective project execution: the challenge of diversity. International Journal of Project Management Volume 19, Issue 8, November 2001, Pages 471-483 Chris Hendrickson, (2000).

Project Management for Construction: Fundamental Concepts for Owners, Engineers, Architects and Builders. Chapter 1: Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-731266-0, 1989 with co-author Tung Au. Richard H. Hall, (seventh edition). Organizations structures, processes and outcomes: Page 279, M. E. Abd El-Razek, H. A. Bassioni,2 and A. M. Mobarak (2008). Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. Vol. 134, No. 11, November 2008, pp. 831-841 Website http://www. undp. org/tsunami/indonesia. htm#4re http://www. erra. pk/ http://jang. com. pk/thenews/may2009-weekly/busrev-25-05-2009/p2. htm

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