Time and cost performance of Construction Project
Talukhaba, Alfred A
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There is much optimism in preparing estimates for costs and construction periods for construction projects where it is hoped that such estimates are adequate for completion of the projects. An unacceptable trend has been noticed whereby the majority of projects do not get completed within initially set targets of time and cost. This .problem is not only rampant in Kenya but is worldwide ironically including even the developed countries. Given the important role the construction industry plays in National economic development, this is a problem whose importance is a national headache and cannot be taken for granted because it bears in a part on the very basic facets of National economic development and the social welfare of the state. Particularly for developing countries which have a long way to go in the process of development and given that some projects are funded with foreign debt, this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously with a view of curbing it. At micro level, the participants in the construction process are facing more challenges than ever before. The economic changes that affect issues in the industry are creating more awareness especially among the clifents and this has led to the expansion of the liabilities thereby increasing litigation and hence the problem. However, a lot has been said about the cause of the problem. Some studies have cited size of projects, others type and others location. Yet other studies have come up with new methods of construction by improved materials, machinery, prefabrication, mechanization, etc, which seem not to offer any advantage. In the recent years interest has developed in the management and • • I organization of the construction process where there is an attempt to emulate the manufacturing sector. It has been said that very much better performance may be achieved by improvement in organization and management than say technical improvements in construction methods. The management and organization of the construction process has remained mainly traditional with no noticeable change in the way it was adopted from Britain. In Britain, where the processes originated some changes have been initiated to suit the changing circumstances in the industry. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the cause of time and cost overruns of construction projects.The study has demonstrated that,time performance is the poorest whereby about 70 percent of projects initiated have a chance of overrunning in time with a magnitude of up to about 53.3 percent as compared to the chance that about 53.7 percent can overrun in cost with the magnitude of about 20.7 percent. Methods of tendering, variations and delayed payments have been found to be significant factors in project performance.The study further shows that competitive tendering does not necessarily achieve value for money as originally thought,and the bill of quantities does not offer any advantage in project time and cost performance,despite the resources that go in its production. However that is not to say that the Bill of quantities is useless in the construction industry. Poor time performance is mainly attributed to the method used in fixing contract period which is found to be obsolete,though the study has also revealed that the factors that cause time overruns are many and varied. The study further has demonstrated that time and cost performance is influenced by conditions associated with different types of clients. The factors which are significant in time and cost overruns are found to be associated with different types of clients in varying magnitudes such that in a situation where the time and cost performance is poorest, the factors are dominant. The government has been found to be the poorest in project management, followed by the private sector while parastatals are performing comparatively better. The study recommends institutional and structural changes in the organizational set up for construction process. However, the changes should be coupled with evaluation of some methods, rules and procedures inherent in the construction industry that need to be reviewed to incorporate changing circumstances. The f study also recommends further research on the improvement of the performance of construction projects.
University of Nairobi
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