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Does the proposal clearly state the rationale for conducting the study (the "problem statement"), possible impact and contribution?
Clarity of statement of the research problem, research question/s or hypotheses?
Is there an indication of relevant literature and theoretical framework.
Proposed methodology is clear and appropriate.
The scope of the project is defined, appropriate with realistic timelines

Factors causing construction project delays

The building construction industry is growing at a fast pace worldwide. There is a lack of understanding in construction industry related to the managing the projects in efficient manner. This results in the inconsistency in the performance of the project of construction and this issue is growing rapidly. The failure of the building projects is noticed in construction industry. The project failure in construction industry is mainly due to the ineffective performance. It is also noticed that the delays in the project is main reason of project failure in the building construction industry (Agu & Ibe, 2016). The project efficiency can be measured in terms of timely completion of the construction project. Although, construction process rely upon different factors such as the availability of the resources, performance of the party involved, contractual conditions and the site conditions (Mansfield, Ugwu, & Doran, 2013). It is important to determine main factors that affect the projects delays of the building construction industry. Developing the relationship among the critical attributes for the purpose of evaluating the impact of the factors of delay is essential. Along with this, it is important to identify how the project management can help in reducing delay of projects. Project management is a practice that helps in managing the projects of all types in an effective and efficient manner (Chan & Kumarasivamy, 2007). It involves the planning and controlling of the project activities to attain project success. Project management can help in accomplishing the projects on time and within the budget through effective planning. Hence, this research study will also investigate the contribution of the project management in reducing construction project delays.

The research objectives for the study are:

  • To identify the factors which are responsible for large construction projects delay
  • To analyse how project management can help in reducing the delay in the project of construction projects.
  1. What factors are responsible for delay in large projects of construction?
  2. How project management can help in reducing the delay?

The aim of research is to identify factors that responsible for construction project delay. The construction projects are considered as successful when they are completed within the estimated cost and the time. The problem of the delay in the construction project is the issue faced by this industry and the people of this industry (Odeh & Battaineh, 2005). The delay in the project affects the project cost highly. It is important to identify the factors that cause the delay in the project to reduce chances of the delays in large projects of construction. This research study will also help in determining the methods in which the project management can help in reducing delays of projects of construction.

The research study will help in identifying the factors causing delay in the construction project, which will eventually provide the support to the construction industry. The investigation related to the contribution of the project management in reducing delays in the construction project will also help the construction industry and provide with the knowledge to the project managers in context of managing the projects in an effective manner. This research study will contribute in providing the knowledge and the information to the future researchers to conduct the research on this topic and will also help the construction industry to a great extent.

Impacts of construction project delays

Construction industry is rapidly developing industry everywhere throughout the world. Delays are the most serious issue in the construction projects. The construction project delays can be recognized as late accomplishment of construction project. It is essential to identify the reasons behind the delay in projects for reducing the same. A research study was conducted by Naikwadi & Khare (2016) with the aim to identify causes of delays in construction, impacts of delays and techniques for limiting the delays in construction. There are numerous components working behind the delay in projects, some of reasons identified are: absence of assets, changes in drawings, absence of viable communication and poor project management. It is suggested by the authors that satisfactory construction budget, issuing of the drawings and the information related to the building construction project on time, efficient  project management abilities ought to be the fundamental focal point of procurement process of project (Naikwadi & Khare, 2016).

Construction industry is a significant part of the socio-economic advancement of developing nation. Construction time fills in as a standard for evaluating the execution of any project. The unforeseen issues experienced at the time of planning, construction and conception stage results in uncertain and undesirable delay in the completion of construction projects. Hammadi & Nawab (2016) conducted a survey in Saudi Arabia to identify the aspects responsible for delay in construction projects. The authors accomplished this by analysing the literature and conducting a survey by involving advisors, project managers and designers or the engineers engaged with construction projects and gathering their feedbacks. The significance of the role of project owner, financing, contractor, and materials and design archives factors have been referred to as the principle delay factors. The reasons for cost and time overruns were compared with different past research conducted in Asia and Africa. It provided the author with 7 major factors behind delay in projects: lack of constraint and slowness, design, incompetence, market and estimate; lack of skills in workers or the unavailability of the worker and financial ability (Hammadi & Nawab, 2016).

In Jordan, the most important economic sector is construction sector. Cost and time overrun issues are faced by this industry. A research study was conducted by Samarah & Bekr (2016) with the aim to identify key reasons for delays in Jordan’s public projects and, to discover impacts of delay on the execution of projects. The authors attained the aim by a concentrated review of literature and a field investigation was used to discover the impression of significant parties taking an interest in the execution of the construction projects in the nation. There were three divisions in the survey questionnaire: introductory part, reasons uncovered by (55 causes) literature review were classified into four sets and the impact of reasons upon the execution of the project. The authors collected the responses of 146 members including customers, experts and contractors. The assessment helped out through the identification of the recurrence of event, seriousness and significance of all 55 reasons for delay. The analysis presented positioning of the critical elements for specific group and after that, the critical components of the entire survey. Along with this, the investigation exhibited the impact of the reasons of delays on the execution of the project (Samarah & Bekr, 2016).

Investigating the contribution of Project Management

Delay is commonly known as most general, complex, costly and highly risky problem in the construction projects. It is also the major source of disputes among the contractors and owners. The delays occur in all types of construction projects however, the degree of delays differ in every project Alaghbari, Kadir, Salim, & Ernawati (2007) conducted a research study in order to identify main factor causing delay in the construction projects in Malaysia. With the help of the survey, it has been found by the authors that there are 31 factors that cause delay. These factors were grouped into 4 categories that are external factors, owner factors, contractor factors and consultant factors. The important level of categories were measured and based on their importance they were ranked by the authors. It has been found that the financial problems and the coordination problems are most important factors behind the delay in the construction projects of Malaysia (Alaghbari, Kadir, Salim, & Ernawati, 2007).

In the research by Sambasivan & Soon (2007), it has been found that the six effects of delays in construction project are disputes, cost and time overruns, litigation, arbitration, total abandonment (Sambasivan & Soon, 2007).

A research study was conducted by Kikwasi (2012), with the aim to identify causes and effects of the delays and disruptions on the construction projects. With the help of the different techniques, it has been found by the author that negative social impact, time overrun, cost overrun, disputes and idling resources are effects of delays in the construction projects. It is recommended by the author that estimation of accurate budget for construction, finalization of design, timely issuing of the information and project management skills are highly important in order reduce effect of the delay in the construction projects (Kikwasi, 2012).

According to Hasseb, Xinhai-Lu, Bibi, Dyian & Rabbani (2011), the general consequences of delay in construction projects are loss of capacity, wealth and time. For owner, delay in construction projects means unavailability of facilities and loss of income. For contractor, delay in the construction projects means loss of materials, loss of money used for hiring labour, further investment on materials and equipment and loss of time (Haseeb, Xinhai-Lu, Bibi, Maloof-ud-Dyian, & Rabbani, 2011).

According to Pourrostam & Ismail (2012) the delays in the construction projects can result in several negative outcomes and effects. The six effects, as identified by the author through the review of the literature that are (1) disputes, (2) time overrun, (3) total abandonment, (4) litigation, (5) cost overrun, and  (6) arbitration. It is important to focus upon the practices for reducing chances of delays in the construction projects of all types. The effective use and adoption of the practices can help in avoiding the unwanted delay in construction projects (Pourrostam & Ismail, 2012).

Research studies on construction project delays

In order to make construction project successful, it is important to understand the project management theory. Project management theory is considered as the collection of effective practices that can help in the management of all kinds of project. The main function of management includes planning, organizing, controlling and staffing. Project management competency was presented by Chen and Partington in the year 2006 in three hierarchical levels. In the first level, planning and the controlling of the tasks were included. In the second level, organization of the activities of a project was incorporated and in the third level, evaluation and management of the problems was included. It is argued by Chen and Partington, most competent are third- level managers and least competent are first- level managers in the project management of construction projects. The standards are utilized in order to evaluate as well as develop the competence related to the project management. It has been highlighted by Chen and Partington that the training to the managers is essential to fulfil the lacked attributes in the managers of all three hierarchical levels. This can help in attaining the effective management practices for the successful completion of projects (Chen & Partington, 2006).

The main goal of the project management is to accomplish the project within the available budget and time. This has been defined by PMI through analysing the practices related to the management for the successful projects. PMBOK by PMI includes the different area of management. It mainly includes the areas associated with the project time management and project cost management. It offers useful principles that facilitate the project managers in reducing schedule delays and cost overruns.  Project manager can implement the process groups that are introduced in PMBOK by PMI. The five groups that are defined in PMBOK related to the project process are initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing. Along with this, ten  knowledge areas are also introduced by PMI that includes (a) project scope management, (b) project integration management (c) project time management, (d) project quality management, (e) project cost management, (f) project communication management, (g) project risk management, (h) project human resources management (i) project stakeholder management, and (j) project procurement management(PMI, 2013). Project managers need to practice multiple knowledge area in order to manage the projects. It can support the project manager to interface and interact with 10 knowledge areas in process group. The success of a project can be determined through the techniques of project management. The issues related to delay in the project can be resolved with the help of the practices of project management (PMI, 2013). Project management practices let project managers to manage activities of the project in a systematic manner, which eventually contributes in accomplishing the project on time without any delay (Whatley, 2014). The project success is determined in terms of project management, as to whether the project is accomplished by the project manager within the available time and budget or not (Sears, Sears, Clough, Rounds, & Segner, 2015).

Conclusion

The issue of time overruns or delay in the project completion is posing a serious challenge ahead of the construction industry. The project management proficiency is important for enhancing the performance of projects. The appropriate skills and abilities to manage the project, through implementing the practices and the strategies of the project management can help in reducing the issue of project delay in an effective manner. The effective planning and control upon the activities of the project is helpful in managing the project in an efficient manner. Project manager should know how to make his team work so that the objectives of the project can be attained within the available time (Burnett, 2012). The effective implementation of the theories and the practices of project management are important in order to eliminate the issue or problem of delay in the construction projects. The effective training related to managing the project is the most important aspect, which can help in developing the ability within the project managers to manage project and accomplish project within the estimated project time. Developing an effective and competence project team is important; the team members should have the knowledge about how to manage the project activities in an effective manner. The effective understanding and the coordination among the team can help in reducing the delays in construction projects (Simushi, 2017).

In this research study, both types of research methods are used that are primary research method and secondary research method. The secondary research method has been used to collect the data and the information related to the research topic from the previously conducted research studies (Kuada, 2012). The secondary sources of information that are used in this research study to obtain the data and the information are journal articles, reports, books, conference proceedings, newspapers and websites. The primary research methods help in obtaining the first -hand and original data (Kothari, 2004). In order to collect the primary data mixed approach has been used.

In this research study, techniques that have been used for primary data collection is qualitative and quantitative techniques. For collecting the data in the numerical form quantitative technique has been used in the research (Kumar, 2014). It is easier to analyse the data collected in numerical form (Achari, 2014). For obtaining in-depth information, the qualitative technique is used (Lim & Ting, 2013; Daniel & Sam, 2011). The quantitative approach is used in this research, so that the useful and in-depth information can be obtained.

For the purpose of collecting quantitative data, survey questionnaire has been used. The survey helps in collecting the data in the numerical form (Flick, 2015). It contains the questions related to the topic of the research to collect data from participants (Bhattacharyya, 2015). The likert scale has been used for collecting responses of the participants in the numerical form (Khan, 2011). In order to collect the quantitative data, the interview has been conducted with the supervisors of the construction industry.

The random sampling method has been used to select participants for survey (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 2006; Cochran, 2007). In order to select the participants for the interview, convenience sampling method has been used (Dhivyadeepa)(Daniel J. , 2011). 40 respondents have been selected for the survey. 5 participants have been selected for conducting the interview.

MS Excel has been used for analysing collected data. The data have been presented in the form of pie charts. 

Gender

Through the responses of the survey, it has been found that out of the total respondents, 60% of the respondents were male and only 40 percent were female.

  1. Age

Out the total number of respondents, highest numbers of respondents were among 35 years to 45 years of age. There were 15 % of the respondents  below the age of 25 years, 20 % of respondents were between the age group of 25 years to 35 years, 23 % were between the age group of 45 to 50 years and 15 percent of respondents were above the age of 50 years.

  1. Years of experience

Out of the total number of respondents, most of the respondent had the experience of 2 to 5 years. 17 % of the respondents had less than 1 year of experience, 17 % had experience of 1 to 2 years, 18 % of respondents had experience of 5 to 10 years and 10 % had more than 10 years of experience.

  1. Profile

Most of the respondents were contractors that are 28 %. 25 % of respondents were owners, 27 % of respondents were consultants and 20 % of respondents were managers in the construction industry.

  1. The difficulties in financing the projects results in project delay.

65 % of the respondents agreed that the difficulties in financing the projects results in project delay.12 % of participants strongly disagreed, 13 percent respondents disagreed, 10 % were neutral to the statement, 30 % of respondents agreed and 35 % of the respondents strongly agreed to the statement

  1. Conflicts among the contract and the other parties is a reason behind delay

Most of the respondents agreed that the conflicts among the contract and the other parties are the reason behind delay. 10 % of participants strongly disagreed, 12 % of respondents disagreed, 15 % were neutral, 33 % of respondents agreed and 30 % strongly agreed to the statement.

  1. Poor coordination and communication is a responsible factor for delay in the projects of construction.

60 % of the respondents agreed to the statement that poor coordination and communication is a responsible factor for delay in construction projects. 17 % strongly disagreed, 8 % of the participants disagreed, 15 % respondents were neutral, 25 % respondents agreed and 35 % strongly agreed to the statement.

  1. Delay in approving the main changes in the construction project scope is the reason behind consultant related delays

65 % of participants out of the total number of respondents, agreed that the delay in approving the main changes in the construction project scope is the reason behind consultant related delays. 12 % of respondents strongly disagreed to the statement, 13 percent of respondents disagreed to the statement, 10 % were neutral, 30 % of respondents agreed and 35 % of the participants strongly agreed to statement

  1. Delay in developing design documents results in project delay

Most of the respondents agreed that the delay in developing design documents results in project delay. 10 % of participants strongly disagreed, 12 % of respondents disagreed, 15 % respondents were neutral, 33 % of respondents agreed and 30 % respondents strongly agreed to statement.

  1. Inadequate experience of the consultants is the cause of project delay

60 % of the respondents agreed to the statement that inadequate experience of the consultants is the cause of project delay. 17 % respondents strongly disagreed to statement, 8 % of participants disagreed, 15 % were neutral, 25 % agreed and 35 % respondents strongly agreed to statement.

  1. Lack of technologically advanced mechanical equipment is the reason for delay.

65 % of the respondents agreed that the lack of technologically advanced mechanical equipment is the reason for delay.12 % of respondents strongly disagreed to the statement, 13 percent of respondents disagreed, 10 % respondents were neutral, 30 % of respondents agreed and 35 % respondents strongly agreed to statement.

  1. Low level of skills related to operating the equipment is a reason for delay

Most of the respondents agreed that the low level of skills related to operating the equipment is a reason for delay. 10 % respondents strongly disagreed to statement, 12 % participants disagreed to statement, 15 % of participants were neutral, 33 % of respondents agreed and 30 % respondents strongly agreed to statement.

  1. Low productivity level of labours is the cause for delay in construction projects.

60 % of the respondents from the total respondents agreed to the statement that low productivity level of labours is the cause for delay in construction project. 17 % of the respondents strongly disagreed to the statement, 8 % respondents disagreed to the statement, 15 % respondents were neutral, 25 % participants agreed and 35 % participants strongly agreed to the statement.

  1. Effective knowledge related to project management theories and practices is important for reducing delay in projects

Most of the respondents agreed that the effective knowledge related to project management theories and practices is important for reducing project delay. 12 % of respondents strongly disagreed to the statement, 13 percent of respondents disagreed to the statement, 10 % were neutral, 30 % of participants agreed and 35 % respondents strongly agreed to statement.

  1. Using the project process groups is helpful in managing the construction projects and completing projects on time

63 % of the respondents agreed that using the project process groups is helpful in managing the construction project and completing projects on time. 10 % respondents strongly disagreed to statement, 12 % respondents disagreed to statement, 15 % of participants were neutral, 33 % of participants agreed and 30 % of respondents strongly agreed to the statement.

  1. Implementation of the project management theories and practices can help in reducing chances of time and cost overruns.

Most of the respondents agreed to the statement that implementation of the project management theories and practices can help in reducing chances of time and cost overruns. 17 % of respondents strongly disagreed to statement, 8 % of respondents disagreed to statement, 15 % of participants were neutral, 25 % of respondents agreed and 35 % respondents strongly agreed to statement.

  1. Proper training to the project managers is important for effective implementation of the project management practices.

65 % of the respondents agreed that the proper training to the project managers is important for effective implementation of the project management practices. 12 % of respondents strongly disagreed to the statement, 13 percent of respondents disagreed to the statement, 10 % were neutral to the statement, 30 % of participants agreed and 35 % of the respondents strongly agreed to the statement

  1. The knowledge areas of project management are helpful in effective management of construction projects

Most of the respondents agreed that the knowledge areas of project management are helpful in effective management of construction projects. 10 % of participants strongly disagreed to the statement, 12 % of respondents disagreed to the statement, 15 % respondents were neutral, 33 % respondents agreed and 30 % respondents strongly agreed to statement.

  1. The issue of delay in construction projects can be resolved through effective planning and controlling of the project activities, through implementing project management practices.

60 % of the respondents out of the total number of respondents, agreed to the statement that the issue of delay in construction projects can be resolved through effective planning and controlling of the project activities, through implementing project management practices. 17 % respondents strongly disagreed, 8 % of respondents disagreed to statement, 15 % of participants were neutral, 25 % of respondents agreed and 35 % of participants strongly agreed to the statement.

Through the results of the survey, it has been found that difficulties in financing projects, conflicts among the contractor and the associated parties, reduced coordination and communication, hindrance in approving the main changes, delay in developing design documents, inadequate experience of the consultants, lack of technologically advanced  mechanical equipment, low level of skills and lower level of the productivity of labours are factors mainly responsible for delay in projects of construction. It is agreed by the respondents that these are the factors that contributes highly for delay in projects of construction. In the literature review, it has been discussed that there are many of factors such as contractor factors, consultant factors, owner and the external factors that are responsible for project delay (Assaf & Al-Hejji, 2006). In order to eliminate the chances of delay in project, it is important to implement the practices and the theories of project management (Chen & Partington, 2006). It is discussed in the literature review that PMI introduced PMBOK that includes the guidelines for managing the project and also includes the project process groups that help in the success of the project. Initiation, planning, execution, controlling and monitoring and closing are five process groups that are important to practice and understand. The knowledge areas of project management are highly important for completing the project on time(PMI, 2013). The effective knowledge related to its implementation is important for the project managers. It is agreed by the respondents that the practices of project management can help in reducing project delays. The impact of delay in construction project is also discussed in the literatures which represented that the cost overruns and time overruns, arbitrations, disputes, ligations and total abandonment are the effects of the delays in construction project (Sambasivan & Soon, 2007).

Through interviewing the managers of the construction industry it has been found that there are different factors responsible for project delay such as lack of skills of the consultants or the contractors, lack of the financial and human resources, lack of communication, frequent changes in the designs of construction and the lack of project management abilities are the factors responsible for project delays. It has been stated by the managers that the project management practices and their effective application can help in reducing delays. Proper training to the project manager is important for application of the project management practices in an effective manner.

Conclusion

The biggest issue that is faced by the construction industry is delay in project. There are many factors that are responsible for the project delay such as lack of skills of the consultants or the contractors, lack of the financial and human resources, frequent changes in the designs of construction factor related to contractors and owners and such others. The effect of project delay is negative as it results in time overruns and cost overruns, litigation, arbitration and the total abandonment. It is important to manage the project in an effective manner through planning and controlling and by applying the project management practices. The project management practices can help to decrease the effect of the issue of delay in projects of construction. This research study will contribute in providing knowledge to the people of construction industry and the future researchers. It is recommended that the proper training to project managers is important so that they can manage the projects in a manner so as to avoid any kind of delay.

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