Document Detail

Title: RR323-11 - Identifying Drivers, Leading Indicators, and Impacts of Premature Starts to Construction: A Quantita
Publication Date: 10/1/2016
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Reference
Pages: 121
Leite, Griego, The Univ. of Texas at Austin
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Nearly every project in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry has at least one stakeholder who perceives a benefit from an early start to construction. As a result, project teams face pressure to begin construction, whether or not they are in fact ready. In order to begin early mobilization, engineering design drawings are then rushed and assumptions left unmitigated, resulting in inaccurate plans and, often, unrealistic schedules. The construction phase of the project is then impeded by costly interruptions and holds. When these interruptions occur, project teams often react by spending more money and crashing schedules even further in order to make up for the interruptions, causing additional strain on all project stakeholders. Hence, there is a need in the industry to understand what drives a premature start, their potential impacts, and to determine what the leading indicators that signal a premature start are. The purpose of this report is to describe the process used to identify and document leading indicators, drivers, and impacts of premature starts to construction and to present a tool developed based on the findings of this research that can be used in industry that can alert project teams of potential interruptions.

To prevent these impacts and interruptions, the Construction Industry Institute (CII) commissioned Research Team (RT) 323 to gain a better understanding of what constitutes a premature start to construction and what factors drive a premature start. The main objective of RT 323 was to first define what is a premature start, determine what drives a premature start, understand what impacts occur as a result, and lastly, to investigate if there are any leading indicators, or red flags, that could serve as early warning signs that the construction phase of a project is mobilizing prematurely.

In order to develop a basis of analysis, RT 323 defined a premature start as a decision, by at least one party, to start construction with at least one risk that exceeds an acceptable tolerance to a party and which can result in an interruption to construction. Two research thrusts were carried out in order to develop both a qualitative and quantitative understanding of premature starts to construction. The first research thrust focused on identifying drivers, leading indicators, and impacts associated with premature starts through case studies and review of literature. The second research thrust focused on quantifying discoveries made in research thrust one by conducting a survey with respondents who represent the construction industry. RT 323 developed a Microsoft Excel-based tool called the Premature Start Impact Analysis (PSIA) that incorporates the research findings into an interactive tool that can be used in the industry by various members of a project team through all phases of construction. The primary purpose of the PSIA is to identify potential impacts based on leading indicators and drivers reported by the user. The tool then guides the user towards reference material and data compiled by RT 323, such as case studies and survey results. The development process of the PSIA and deployment recommendations are described in detail in Implementation Resource 323-2.

This research adds value by: (1) identifying leading indicators to signal a premature start, and (2) documenting drivers and impacts of premature starts to construction. RT 323 envisions that such findings will be incorporated into project risk assessment and overall planning, and will facilitate communication between stakeholders. The results of this research will guide CII member companies and others involved in construction projects to an improved understanding of the impacts, key causes, and early indicators that together can be used to improve project delivery, productivity, and predictability, as well as enhanced safety, quality, and organizational and individual achievement. The overall goal of RT 323 is that this research contributes to the improvement of project delivery and stakeholder success for the benefit of the construction industry.