The purpose of this research was to study how the construction performance can be improved by adopting the process management approaches, in order to provide better client value and more cost-efficient production. The research focused on the manufacturing process , and referring point, and transfer this process thinking into the construction. The methods were tested in pilot tests in which the developed cost and value engineering prototype application was used.
This thesis demonstrates an integration of design and production planning based on the product model approach. The final outcome is that the main contractor can utilise information coming from designers as input in its own tendering and cost estimation applications.
The key methodology used for describing the information management process throughout the building process life-cycle was IDEF0. The analysis of the current process (as-is), in the form of an IDEF0 model, helped in identifying the main problems of current practice. The target process (to-be) definition was based on product model utilisation and takes into account the possibilities for process reengineering supported by product data technology. One specific requirement was deemed important in view of the anticipated developments in thearea of data exchange; the target system should be structured in such a way that it could easily be adapted to receive data according to the emerging IFC core model schemas.
The overall result of the research reported in this thesis is that the product model approach can be used for a substantially reengineered information management process of a main contractor, especially in design and construct type contracts
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
The construction industry is suffering from its fragmented nature¼ˆEuropean Commission, 1994¼‰. The lack of co-ordination and communication between parties, the informal and unstructured learning process, adversarial contractual relationships and the lack of customer focus are what inhibit the performance of the industry (Latham, 1994; Egan, 1998). Because the construction project is regarded as unpredictable in terms of delivery time, cost, profitability and quality, the industry has not been able to combine high quality with productivity, customer satisfaction and flexibility (Fairclough, 2002).
Howell (1999) pointed out that the ‘inefficiency’ of the industry has tended to be the way of life. However, Latham (1994) suggests using the manufacturing as a referencing point and transferring the practices and theories from manufacturing industry. And Howell suggests that the learning from manufacturing could be a two way process: manufacturing could learn from construction in areas such as project-based management; and construction could learn from manufacturing’s developed and developing solutions to improve competitiveness.
In manufacturers are accustomed to taking a process view of their operations, and they usually model both discrete product activities and holistic high-level process both internal and external activities. Base upon this, Egan (1998) recommends that process modelling could be used as a method to improve the construction performance. Furthermore, many other models derived from manufacturing and process management theories have been recognized and adopted by construction companies
Nevertheless, as Ball (1988) summarised, construction industry has distinctive characteristics differentiating from other sectors as well as manufacturing. Although solutions have been recommended, their implementation in manufacturing is far advanced in comparison to construction industry. Thus to what extent these process management approaches and models can improve the design and construction process will need to be examined.
The aim of the research is to understand construction process management and to prove it as an approach that could help to improve the construction performance. In order to achieve the aim, specific objectives were set.
The research project objectives are outlined below
- To explore the readiness of construction to embrace the process approach to deliver project
- To identify the present state of process management in construction
- To Study the current trends and developments of construction process management
METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH
The starting point of this research is exploring the construction process management approach and find out its influence on construction productivity and competitiveness.
A cross-section research method is adopted in the collection and analysing of the data and presentation of the findings. To obtain comprehensive understanding of the relationship between manufacturing process and construction process, as well as theories on construction process management, a great quantity of books and documents need to be looked through. Then the implementation of process management in construction is inspected by adoption of the case study qualitative research approach.
The general instruction and structure of the report will be provided in this section. The report is organized to consist of six main chapters. A brief description of the content of each chapter is outlined below
In this chapter, the research report is introduced. The research background is addressed. The aim and objectives are also presented.
Chapter two reviews the existing literature. A wide-ranging literature review was carried out to identify the current knowledge and keep up on any development on the field. The literature review covers the understanding of manufacturing process, construction industry situation and problems within it, process management theory, and the implementation of construction process management approach.
In this chapter, an overall outline of various research methods that might applied in this research is presented. The selection and justification of the research methods are described. The chosen methods and research plan are highlighted in this chapter.
This chapter examines the collected data and analyzes the data within cases, as well as a detailed cross-case analysis of cases.
This chapter is directly linked to the chapter four. An in-depth discussion is held based upon the previous analysis and research.
This chapter provides the conclusion of the report as well as the recommendation. The direction of further research is also proposed.
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