Author: Chon, Tsz Wai Jeremy
Title: A new model of construction project management for mega-engineering projects
Advisors: Man, H. C. (ISE)
Degree: Eng.D.
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Construction industry -- Management
Engineering -- Management
Project management
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Pages: xxiv, 338 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Hong Kong construction project management in particular deals with a specific type of parameters or constraints such as small footprint building construction, tunnel construction, footbridge construction, utilities maintenance works, viaduct construction, site formation for MTR rail work. These parameters or constraints repeat itself from one project to the next and so on. Construction stakeholders faced an operational challenge when the project is of much bigger scale and complexity. Many big engineering projects failed to meet project objectives. The failure was mostly attributed to inappropriate construction project management techniques, and sometimes other factors such as politics and community influences. Political issue is beyond the scope of this project. This research study aims to develop a new model of construction project management for mega-sized engineering projects. Research elements as identified critical are construction management, project management, organisational structure arrangement, establishing competency and trust with the client stakeholder and contractors, control mechanism, decision-making rationale, lean construction, innovative technological solutions, understanding the critical project success factors. Venetian Parcel 3, Replica Eiffel Tower construction, has been selected as a case study project for this research. The completion of the Macau Eiffel Tower project was on schedule, within budget, with minimal defects to be rectified before the handover, and zero fatality. The issues that were key factors for the successful delivery of this mega-sized engineering projects were analysed. The research data was collected by the author's direct involvement and sometimes close observations. The data were listed in descending order as chronology events list for subsequent review and analysis processes. Because of the dynamic interaction nature of the human behaviour, a pattern matching method has been adopted in an attempt to relate the findings of the behaviour to those frameworks or hypotheses proposed by previous scholars on project management.
Based on the case study, five key areas were identified that are crucial for the successful completion of a mega-sized engineering project: (i) appropriate organisational structure compounded by good working relationship between client stakeholders and contractors, (ii) organisational control mechanism, (iii) decision-making model, (iv) lean construction and engineering technological innovation , and (v) the critical project success factors. (i) It was found that the organisational structure has significant contribution leading to the success of a mega-project. By carefully categorising the works into various work packages, sequential and interdependent relationship of each activity could be identified and used to build up a work programme. The programme is crucial for monitoring the progress and quality assurance. Good working relationship between the client stakeholder and the contractor is crucial to efficient organisational operation where decisions can be reviewed and approved promptly, thus led to reduction of resources idling time and increase of team agility and flexibility to face challenges. The introduction of innovative change management system has largely reduced subsequent unnecessary negotiation processes and avoided any adversarial relationship situations. This new type of managerial innovation opens a new avenue for construction project management. (ii) The organisational control mechanism can categorically separate into input, output, behaviour, and clan. Each control mechanism has an innovation to relieve the contractors' financial burden by introducing a commercial sound system at the input stage with intuitive trust gradually established so that contractors can put their focus solely on issues such as resources, materials' procurement and follow the management contractor direction until the successful project completion. (iii) A systematic decision-making framework helps streamline problem solving and converge team members' effort towards achieving the organisational goal. This systematic and innovative decision-making framework helps middle managerial practitioners reach the optimal and efficient decision. (iv) The essence of lean construction has contributed significantly towards achieving on-time completion with superb quality and meeting budget costs by reducing rework or remedial. Technical innovation in construction has always been slow due to low commitment from cost issues. Contractors are reluctant to invest in something which might put their business at risks. By shifting the responsibility of technological innovation to the management contractor, new ideas could surface due to different commitment, and the client must invest to attaining their goals. This practice can only be exercised when there is a team of experienced and sound engineers who are prepared to take risks and face challenges compounded by the client's support and encouragement. (v) The critical project success factors must be identified and well understood by all stakeholders, as they have significant implication and effect for an efficient project organisation. Many viewed the critical success factors: quality, budget safety and time. These are not the critical project success factors. Instead they are the genral requirements of mega-projects. Actions need to be taken to meet these requirements, and what are they? The new model developed in this project will help practicioners to establish efficient and effective construction project management system for mega-sized engineering projects, thereby meeting schedule deadlines, budget costs, quality and safety requirements.
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Access: restricted access

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