Analysis of the impact of phase arrangement on duration and performance of capital projects
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In today’s construction industry, projects continue to get larger and more complex than ever before. Meanwhile, project owners demand early completion of their projects, motivated by the desire to attain the first-mover advantage that heavily presses on the construction business. Within these circumstances, establishing project schedule that is reasonably certain to bring a project to completion on time or sooner requires a thorough understanding of how project schedule has been implemented. Phase arrangement used in this research is defined as the relative position and sequence of phases that encompass the project’s development life cycle, namely: planning, detailed engineering, procurement, construction, and startup. A thorough understanding of phase arrangement can supply the basis to create preliminary project schedule early in the planning phase. The primary goal of this research is to characterize and identify patterns of phase arrangements and to measure their impact on duration and performance outcomes. Based on the quantification analysis of project schedules with consideration of their influential project characteristics, phase arrangements of the project development life cycle were characterized. Eleven unique pairwise and fifteen triple–wise patterns of phase arrangement that were employed by capital projects were identified and documented in this dissertation. Due to small sample size, comparisons of all patterns could not be conducted. Nonetheless, several statistically significant findings were observed specifically for projects that initiated early procurement involvement prior to planning, in terms of project duration and performance outcomes. This research contributed to the body of knowledge in two main areas. The first contribution is the characterization of phase arrangements to provide an analytic framework for analyzing project schedule at the phase level. The second contribution is that the impact analysis results of phase arrangements on duration and performance outcomes provide practitioners and researchers opportunities to acknowledge that phase arrangement and patterns of concurrency become an important consideration in planning and executing capital projects.