Measuring performance and determining success factors of construction sites

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Doctoral thesis (monograph)
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175, [50]
Helsinki University of Technology Construction Economics and Management. A, Research reports, 3
Construction site performance has been measured using various key figures and monitored with the aid of checklists, but no systematic, comprehensive performance measurement systems exist for comparison and development purposes. The aim of the study was to develop a system for measuring and developing construction site performance, and to determine the central success factors for a construction site by analyzing the measurement results. The performance measurement system developed was based on a system model of the operation and results of a construction site. The main parts of the system model were 1) preconditions, 2) the operation process, and 3) results. The operation process elements were management systems, leadership, and work behavior. The results of a construction project were measured from the standpoints of cost, schedule, quality, and safety. Specific measurement methods were developed for each elements. The measurement process included a procedure for feedback to sites and company units, and the performance measurement system was therefore also a development tool for companies. The research material came from a total of 47 construction sites of four construction companies. A discriminant analysis revealed that the data didn't fall into clear groups that would demand dividing the body of material into several parts. The measurement system contained over 300 variables. The number of these was reduced by combining dimensions of different meters into sum variables. Work behavior and leadership were measured by means of a questionnaire, and reduction of the number of variables was performed via a factor analysis, which yielded six dimensions of organizational behavior on a construction site. Relationships between result and explanatory variables were studied through regression and correlation analysis. It was concluded that cost, deviation to schedule, quality, and safety form a coherent unit representing project success, although it can be the case that sites fail in some respects and succeed in others. Success of a construction project is highly dependent on the management skills of site managers and in the examination of management style, focus on production was found to be most important. However, an advanced management system does not guarantee that a site is managed efficiently, but the implementation and practical use of the planning and production control methods are most important. The preconditions created by the client/consultant, designers, and corporate headquarters for the site are related to construction site success, but the operation of the site itself has much more influence. However, there are other factors in the environment of a construction site that are not covered by the measurement system but that may affect project success.
construction site, performance measurement, system model, success factors, work behavior and leadership
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