A risk and cost management model for changes during the construction phase of a civil engineering project

Schoonwinkel, Sune (2012-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2012

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The construction project environment is dynamic and prone to change. Project change can be defined as any event that alters a project’s original scope, execution time or the cost of the works. Improper management of the projects’ changes could therefore adversely impact on the actual cost and duration of the project which may lead to project cost overruns and even claims and legal disputes. During the construction phase of a project, change affects every aspect of productivity – the planned schedules and deadlines, work methodology, resource procurement, as well as the budget and thus it could prevent the achievement of the project objectives. A project manager, therefore, wants to limit the number of change to a project. However, during a construction project there may be quite a number of changes. Managing a construction project is difficult, in that all the relevant information is rarely available at the initial stage of a project to enable one to plan and design the project accurately and make the best possible decisions. As information becomes available during the construction phase of the project, it can lead to various changes. Design errors or variations, unforeseen site conditions and vagueness in the original scope are but some of the reasons for change. No matter the size of the change, each alteration to the works has a cost, time and risk implication. Due to tight time constraints on most projects, every change requires quick, robust decision making, so as not to delay the project, which therefore results in changes not being comprehensively evaluated. Decisions are often made on intuition or experience, without an assessment of the risks involved or the influence on the cost of the project and without applying well-known project management techniques. The aim of this research was to determine what a change management process for a civil engineering project should look like, specifically the cost and risk management of changes. It investigated the current state of change management of construction projects in practice, by doing a case study and various interviews with project managers. Based on the findings of the research and the industry requirements, a model was developed for managing the costs and risks of changes. The Model was validated by means of an expert evaluation review. The change management model developed as part of this thesis can be used to analyse the cost, time and quality impact of the change, and to do a detailed risk assessment. The Model also reviews the proposed change in order to determine whether the change is necessary. It is a generic tool that can be used by engineers and their project team to enhance the management of changes that happens during the construction phase of a project for any civil construction project.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die konstruksie omgewing is dinamies en geneig tot verandering. Projek verandering kan gedefinieer word as enige gebeurtenis wat die projek se aanvanklike omvang verander of lei to verlenging van die tydsduur of vermeerdering van die koste van die projek. Wanbestuur van projek veranderinge kan ‘n nadelige impak op die projek kostes en tydsduur hê wat kan lei tot oorskryding van die begroting en selfs eise en regsdispute. Verandering kan elke aspek van produktiwiteit tydens die konstruksie fase van ‘n projek affekteer. Dit affekteer die beplande skedules, spertye, werk metodologie, hulpbron bestuur, asook die begroting. Dus kan dit verhoed dat die projek doelwitte bereik word. ‘n Projek bestuurder wil daarom die hoeveelheid en omvang van veranderinge beperk. ‘n Konstruksie projek kan egter heelwat veranderinge ondergaan. Om ‘n konstruksie projek te bestuur is moeilik aangesien al die relevante informasie selde beskikbaar is tydens die begin fases van ‘n projek wat nodig is om die beplanning en ontwerp van die projek so akuraat moontlik te doen en die regte besluite te neem. Soos informasie beskikbaar raak tydens die konstruksie fase van die projek, lei dit dikwels to verskeie veranderinge. Ontwerp foute of variasies, onvoorsiene terrein toestande en onduidelikheid oor die projek omvang is van die redes vir veranderinge. Ongeag die grootte van die verandering het elke wysiging tot die projek ‘n koste, tyd en riskiko implikasie. As gevolge van tydsbeperkinge vereis elke verandering vinnige en kragtige besluitneming om sodoende nie die projek te vertraag nie. Dit lei daartoe dat veranderinge nie omvattend geëvalueer word nie. Besluite word dikwels geneem op intuïsie of ervaring, sonder 'n beoordeling van die risiko's wat betrokke is of die bepaling van die invloed op die koste van die projek, en sonder die toepassing van erkende projek bestuur tegnieke. Die doel van hierdie navorsing was om vas te stel hoe 'n verandering bestuur proses moet lyk vir ‘n siviele ingenieurswese projek, spesifiek die koste en risiko bestuur van die verandering. Die huidige stand van verandering bestuur van konstruksie projekte in die praktyk is ondersoek deur middel van 'n gevallestudie en verskeie onderhoude met die projek bestuurders. 'n Model is ontwikkel vir die bestuur van die koste en risiko's van veranderinge gebaseer op die bevindinge van die navorsing en ook die vereistes van die bedryf. Die model is getoets met behulp van evaluering deur professionele ingenieurs. Die verandering bestuur model wat ontwikkel is as deel van hierdie proefskrif kan gebruik word om die koste, tyd en kwaliteit impak van ‘n verandering te analiseer, asook om 'n omvattende risiko assessering te doen. Die model hersien ook die voorgestelde verandering om te bepaal of die verandering nodig is. Dit is 'n generiese hulpmiddel wat deur ingenieurs en hul projek span gebruik kan word vir die bestuur van die veranderinge wat tydens die konstruksie fase van siviele projekte plaasvind.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20312
This item appears in the following collections: