International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Motivation for interface management in contruction : a project complexity perspective Ahn, Seungjun; Shokri, Samin; Lee, SangHyun; Haas, Carl T.; Haas, Ralph C. G.


Understanding project complexity is crucial for determining—or designing—the tools, methods, and skills required to effectively deal with interface issues in a construction project. However, understanding project complexity is not an easy undertaking; the concept of project complexity is composed of many interrelated sub-concepts, and thus is complex in itself. Given this background, this research aimed to define the dimensions of project complexity based on empirical data focusing on the variations in the project complexity factors between projects. To achieve this research objective, data for project complexity factors were collected via semi-structured interviews from 45 large-scale construction projects, and were analyzed using principal component analysis. As a result, 6 interpretable principal components were extracted from the dataset: ‘unclear scope of work for multiple stakeholders in the definition and design of projects with new technology’, ‘the uncertainty in boundaries and communication relative to other complexity factors’, ‘unfamiliarity with other project participants’, ‘the multiplicity of stakeholders relative to the amount of cost pressure and execution risks’, ‘the relative multitude of engineered items’, and ‘the high-level program/project administration’. These complexity dimensions can help with understanding sources of project complexity and determining the skills, tools, and systems to effectively cope with the sources of project complexity. Additionally, the analysis results hint that organizational interfaces should be effectively managed to prevent project failure in construction projects, and therefore support the need for advanced interface management in complex projects.

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