Project management in construction: software use and research directions.

This paper focuses on future research and the use of project management software in the construction industry. Data are drawn from an empirical study of project management professionals that yielded 240 replies (35% response rate), 42 of which were from the construction industry. Data were collected on: demographics and work environment, project management software usage patterns, analytical technique usage, data management, and suggestions for future research. The results indicate that construction professionals have different characteristics, needs and preferences, as compared to the overall sample. The study shows that construction professionals are more experienced and educated than the respondents in the overall study, they tend to work on fewer projects with larger numbers of activities, and they are more likely to use Primavera (Primavera, Inc., Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) than Microsoft Project (Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash.). Construction respondents are heavy users of critical path analysis for planning and control, resource scheduling for planning, and earned value analysis for control. The number of activities in a typical project and the use of software for all active projects were the key determinants of the usage of specific analytical techniques. These factors are also significant determinants of the types of information entered and updated, although the effect is weaker. Although construction professionals are generally satisfied with the quality of schedules produced by the software, they still expressed a clear interest in future research on resource scheduling/leveling in general and a net present value option in particular. To maximize the impact on practice, development of new planning and control methods should include their integration into project management software.

Main Author: Liberatore, Matthew.
Other Authors: Pollack-Johnson, Bruce., Smith, Colleen.
Language: English
Published: 2001
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