Selection of Best Practices that Enhance Phase-Based Cost and Schedule Performances in Complex Construction Projects

Elnaz Safapour, Sharareh Kermanshachi, Issa Ramaji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A common assumption made by construction professionals is that complex projects are more likely than simple ones to entail cost overruns and delays. Although several researchers have studied the critical causes of complexity and have identified their indicators (CIs), few of them have investigated how they actually impact a project’s schedule and cost performance during the design, procurement, and construction phases. This research aimed to study the impact of each CI and determine the most effective best practices (BPs) for preventing it. Data from 44 case studies were collected and analyzed, and the results revealed that implementing the BPs of team building, front-end planning (FEP), constructability, alignment, partnering, and change management significantly reduces cost overruns and delays in all three phases of complex construction projects and, in fact, can improve the cost and schedule performance, due to fewer complex challenges. The outcomes of this research will help project managers identify the challenges that stem from complex aspects of projects and lead to phase-base cost overruns and time delays. They will also assist decision-makers in deciding which are the most effective BPs for mitigating challenges stemming from the characteristics that make projects complex and will them improve phase-based cost and schedule performance in complex construction projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-99
Number of pages16
JournalEMJ - Engineering Management Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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