Finding leading indicators to prevent premature starts, assuring uninterrupted construction
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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. This research sets out to investigate premature starts to construction and to document drivers, leading indicators, and impacts that can occur as a result. 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 a premature start is, 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. Two research thrusts were carried out in order to develop both a qualitative and quantitative understanding of premature starts to construction. The secondary objective was to utilize this knowledge to develop a tool, known as the Premature Start Impact Analysis (PSIA), which can be used in the industry to prevent premature starts to construction. RT 323 envisions that such a tool will be incorporated into project risk assessment and overall planning, and will facilitate communication between stakeholders.