Do you consider these factors on construction projects?

A few years back, a colleague sent me the following request:

“A friend of mine is studying MSc for Construction Project Management. As part of his dissertation, he wants to conduct a research to about —- Construction companies to find their maturity in project management.  He is thinking to use OPM3.

What would you advise him for the questions on the questionnaire?

I had responded at that time but today, I like to reflect back on this question since we do not write enough articles about construction projects, which is a shame since I had spent years of my professional life working capital projects.

CII – Construction Industry Institute

One general advice I offer is not to use the traditional project management associations since capital projects is a not an area of focus for them. There are other organizations that study this industry, such as the Construction Industry Institute (CII). CII is based at the University of Texas, in Austin, Texas, United States. Its membership consists of companies (owners and contractors) working capital projects. One of CII major products is their best practices.

Therefore, I would advise structuring some of the research questions around the various CII best practices.

The questions – points to ponder

Outside the research, I decided to share some of the questions that I suggested to him, more and less, with brief explanations so all can benefit from. However, these would be questions – points to ponder – by project owners and consultants/contractors.

If you are in this business read on.

If you are not in this business, still read on, there is something for you.

  1. When you estimate project changes do you consider the hidden impact of the change? The hidden impact refers to what is not obvious in term of direct impact.
  2. When you estimate project change do you consider the cumulative impact of changes? Each change has an impact and assuming you estimated the impact well, do you recognize that there is a cumulative impact due to multiple changes?
  3. Do you perform constructability reviews on your projects? For those not in construction, how about an implementation strategy?
  4. How do you measure progress on your projects? Milestones payment, time elapsed, money spent, or other mechanisms?
  5. Do you use earned value management?
  6. Do you understand earned value management limitations?
  7. How do you control the project?
  8. Does control start with contract award?
  9. Do you use critical path analysis?
  10. Do you aim for zero incidents?
  11. How about zero change?
  12. How do you align with your stakeholders?
  13. Do you utilize float analysis in project control?
  14. How do you ensure the scope of work from your client is clear and unambiguous?
  15. Do you look at change as a threat or an opportunity?
  16. How do you deal with safety and environmental aspects, using a minimalist approach or do you follow a formal process?
  17. Do you work on projects as stand alone initiative or part of an asset-based approach?
  18. Do you capture lessons learned?
  19. Do you categorize lessons learned per craft/discipline/stage and type of project?
  20. How do you ensure your teams are using lessons learned from past projects?
  21. Do you utilize concepts like integrated teams?
  22. How about the concept of alliances and partnership is that something you consider with your clients?
  23. Do you formerly close projects?
  24. Do you have a corporate knowledge base with past projects information saved for ready retrieval and use?
  25. If you represent project management in an owner organization, how well do you integrate with “operations – the business owner”


Do you have more questions? Share with us!

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About Mounir Ajam

A Project Management thought leader, who believes that project management touches all people, in all aspects of life; personal and professional.Initiated and led the formation of SUKAD Corp to develop the Uruk PPM Platform.An advocate of real-world, practical and applied project management.Champion of adaptive project management, tailored methods, and organizational project management.Available anywhere in the world to advise executives and organizations on the strategic value of project management. Ready to help organizations build and sustain the Project Management Function and the capacity to lead projects successfully.