Phase-based analysis of key cost and schedule performance causes and preventive strategies: Research trends and implications

Mohammadreza Habibi, Sharareh Kermanshachi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Purpose: It is estimated that more than half of the construction industry’s projects encounter significant cost overruns and major delays, resulting in the industry having a tarnished reputation. Therefore, it is crucial to identify key project cost and schedule performance factors. However, despite the attempts of numerous researchers, their results have been inconsistent. Most of the literature has focused solely on the construction phase budget and time overruns; the engineering/design and procurement phase costs and schedule performances have been rarely studied. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: The objective of this study was primarily to identify and prioritize engineering, procurement and construction key performance factors (KPFs) and to strategize ways to prevent performance delays and cost overruns. To achieve these objectives, more than 200 peer-reviewed journal papers, conference proceedings and other scholarly publications were studied and categorized based on industry type, physical location, data collection and analysis methods. Findings: It was concluded that both the time required to complete engineering/construction phases and the cost of completing them can be significantly affected by design changes. The two main causes of delays and cost overruns in the procurement phase are construction material shortages and price fluctuations. Other factors affecting all phases of the project are poor economic condition, equipment and labor shortages, delays in owners’ timely decision making, poor communication between stakeholders, poor site management and supervision, clients’ financial issues and severe weather conditions. A list of phase-based strategies which address the issue of time/cost overruns is presented herein. Originality/value: The findings of this study address the potential confusion of the industry’s practitioners related to the inconsistent list of potential KPFs and their preventive measurements, and pave the way for the construction research community to conduct future performance-related studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1033
Number of pages25
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 20 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture

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