Document Detail

Title: RR291-11 - Improving the Accuracy and Timeliness of Project Outcome Predictions
Publication Date: 8/1/2014
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Reference
Pages: 113
Grau, Arizona State Univ., Back, Univ. of Alabama
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Abstract

The research effort undertaken by RT 291 provides strong evidence that predictability can enable project teams to address project performance proactively and in a timely manner, through proper management decisions, and thus increase value to the stakeholder organizations. There are numerous examples where project stakeholders put their trust in a project outcome prediction that proves to be in error, often significantly so, to the strong detriment of the project, organization, and the reputation of the managers involved. As such, RT 291 analyzed and recommended forecasting practices in the construction industry by conducting statistical analyses, multiple surveys, and workshops with subject matter experts. The major findings are summarized below:

  • Predictability, the condition to produce early and accurate forecasts for cost and schedule measures at completion, is actually influenced by factors across multiple core competencies intrinsic to the delivery of capital projects.
  • Predictability enables project teams to address project performance proactively and in a timely manner, through proper management decisions, and thus increase value to the organization.
  • There are distinct and identifiable practices between effective and ineffective projects with respect to their ability to forecast final cost and schedule outcomes.
  • Project team performance needs to be evaluated based on the team’s ability to mitigate cost and schedule deviations through the early and accurate prediction of cost and schedule outcomes, as opposed to the prevalent evaluation of a team’s performance based solely on the magnitude of such deviations at project completion.
  • The disruptive nature of change on owner and contractor project performance presents itself in varied form, frequency, and intensity.

 

The research insights that led to such findings are presented in this Research Report, which summarizes an investigation that involved more than 100 individuals and 20 organizations.