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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013)

A Methodology for Ranking of Causes of Delay for


Residential Construction Projects in Indian Context
Desai Megha1, Dr Bhatt Rajiv2
1

M.E. Student, Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya, Gujarat, India


Associate Professor, Civil Engineering Department, A. D. Patel Institute of Technology, Gujarat, India

Typically, the work offers low rates of return in


relation to the amount of risk involved.
Delays on construction projects are a universal
phenomenon. They are almost always accompanied by
cost and time overruns. Construction project delays have
an adverse effect on parties (owner, contractor,
consultant) to a contract in terms of a growth in
adversarial relationships, distrust, litigation, arbitration,
cash-flow problems, and a general feeling of
apprehension towards each other. So, it is essential to
define the actual causes of delay in order to minimize and
avoid the delays in any construction project.

Abstract AbstractDelays are unique one in every of


the largest issues construction companies are facing today.
Delays will result in several negative effects like lawsuits
between house owners and contractors, exaggerated prices,
loss of productivity and revenue, and contract termination.
Albeit varied studies are thought of into the causes touching
delays, these studies rarely discuss common and general
causes of delays in construction comes. Thus,
comprehensive study on these delays is important. Present
study works on identification of causes of delay in
residential construction projects in Indian context.
Literature review and structured interviews were carried
out on construction projects in central Gujarat region of
India.The paper presents the framework of causes of delays
in residential construction projects. Total 59 causes were
identified under 9 major groups. An approach is suggested
to carry out ranking of these causes by two different
techniques: Relative importance index and Importance
index based on degree of severity and degree of frequency.
It is hoped that the findings of the paper will help the
stakeholders to act on critical causes and further try to
reduce delay of their projects.

II. OBJECTIVE OF STUDY


The main objectives of this study include the
following.
To identify the causes of delay for residential
construction projects in Indian context.
To suggest the methodology to work out the
importance by different techniques.

Keywords Causes of delay, Construction industry,


India, Relative importance index, Importance index.

III. LITERATURE REVIEW


A number of studies have been carried out to
determine the causes of delay in construction projects.
Surveys conducted by Assaf et al. [3] outlined 56 main
causes of delay in large construction projects. Delay
factors are assembled into nine major groups with
different levels of importance to different parties.
Al-Ghafly [1] discussed the delay in public water and
sewage projects. Sixty causes were identified and
classified. Al-Ghafly concluded the following: the delay
occurred frequently in medium and large size projects,
and considered severe in small projects. There are many
important causes of delay related to owner involvement,
contractor performance, and the early planning and
design of the project. Important causes are financial
problems, changes in the design and scope, delay in
making decisions and approvals by owner, difficulties in
obtaining work permit, and coordination and
communication problems.
Frimpong et. al., [4] conducted a survey to identify and
evaluate the relative importance of significant factors
contributing to delay and cost overruns in Ghana
groundwater construction projects.

I. INTRODUCTION
In construction, delay could be defined as the time
overrun either beyond completion date specified in a
contract or beyond the date that the parties agreed upon
for delivery of a project. It is a project slipping over its
planned schedule and is considered as common problem
in construction projects. To the owner, delay means loss
of revenue through lack of production facilities and
rentable space or a dependence on present facilities. In
some cases, to the contractor, delay means higher
overhead costs because of longer work period, higher
material costs through inflation, and due to labour cost
increases. Completing projects on time is an indicator of
efficiency, but the construction process is subject to
many variables and unpredictable factors, which result
from many sources. These sources include the
performance of parties, resources availability,
environmental conditions, involvement of other parties,
and contractual relations. However, it is rarely happen
that a project is completed within the specified time. The
Construction industry is large, volatile, and requires
tremendous capital outlays.

396

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013)
A questionnaire with 26 factors was carefully designed
from
preliminary
investigations
conducted
in
groundwater drilling projects between 1970 and 1999 in
Ghana. The questionnaire was directed towards three
groups in both public and private organizations: owners
of the groundwater projects, consulting offices, and
contractors working in the groundwater works. The
questionnaire was distributed to a random sample of 55
owners, 40 contractors and 30 consultants. The result of
the study revealed the main causes of delay and cost
overruns in construction of groundwater projects:
monthly payment difficulties from agencies; poor
contractor management; material procurement; poor
technical performance; and escalation of material prices.
Al-Momani[2] investigated causes of delay in 130
public projects in Jordan. The main causes of delay were
related to design, user changes, weather, site conditions,
and late deliveries, economic conditions and increase in
quantity. The study suggested that special attention to
factors will help industry practitioners in minimizing
contract disputes. Delays have strong relationship with
failure and in effective performance of contractors.
Chan and Kumaraswamy[7] conducted a survey to
evaluate the relative importance of 83 potential delay
factors in Hong Kong construction projects and found
five principal factors: poor risk management and
supervision, unforeseen site conditions, slow decision
making, client-initiated variations, and work variations.
They also found that there was a difference in
perceptions as to causes of delays by different groups of
participants in building and civil engineering works.
They suggested that biases of different industry groups
might direct blame for delays to other groups.
Ogunlana et al., [8] studied the delays in building
projects in Thailand, as an example of developing
economies. They concluded that the problems of the
construction industry in developing economies could be
nested in three layers: (1) problem of shortages or
inadequacies in industry infrastructure, mainly supply of
resources; (2) problems caused by clients and
consultants; and (3) problems caused by incompetence of
contractors.
Frank D.K. et al. [5], (2010) investigated the causes of
delay of building construction projects in Ghana to
determine the most important according to the key
project participants; clients, consultants and contractors.
Thirty-two possible causes of delay were identified from
the literature and semi-structured interviews of 15 key
players in the implementation process. These delay
factors were further categorized into nine major groups.
The list of delay causes was subjected to a questionnaire
survey for the identification of the most important causes
of delay. The field survey included 130 respondents
made up of 39 contractors, 37 clients and 54 consultants.

The relative importance of the individual causes and


the groups were calculated and ranked by their relative
importance index. The overall results of the study
indicate that the respondents generally agree that
financial group factors ranked highest among the major
factors causing delay in construction projects in Ghana.
The financial group factors were delay in honoring
payment certificates, difficulty in accessing credit and
fluctuation in prices. Materials group factors are second
followed by scheduling and controlling factors.
IV. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The research methodology contains two phases. The
first phase included a literature search and interviews.
The literature review was conducted through books,
conference proceedings, internet and international project
management journals. As the outcome of this phase, 59
causes of delays for residential construction projects were
identified. These causes were categories in nine main
groups as: Project related, Owner related, Contractor
related, Consultant related, Design-related, Material
related, Equipment related, Labour related and External
factors depending on their nature and mode of
occurrence. Framework of the causes is given in Table 1.
The second phase includes preparation of two type of
questionnaire based on two different approach used for
giving ranking to causes of delay of residential
construction projects. Present study suggests two
different techniques for ranking of causes of delay. In
first technique Relative Importance Index (RII) of each
cause of delay can be calculated and in second technique
Importance index is calculated as a function of frequency
and severity indices. Survey questionnaire based on these
techniques are given in Appendix 1 and 2.
A. Data analysis approaches
The following two types of approach should be used
for data analysis .
Relative Importance Index technique: Kometa et al.[6]
used the Relative Importance Index method to determine
the relative importance of the various causes and effects
of delays. The same method is going to adopted in this
study within various groups (i.e. clients, consultants or
contractors). The four-point scale ranged from 1 (not
important) to 4 (extremely important) will be adopted
and will be transformed to relative importance indices
(RII) for each factor as follows:
RII =
Where, W is the weighting given to each factor by the
respondents (ranging from 1 to 4), A is the highest
weight (i.e. 4 in this case), and N is the total number of
respondents.

397

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013)
The RII value had a range from 0 to 4 (0 not
inclusive), higher the value of RII, more important was
the cause of delays.
The RII was used to rank (R) the different causes.
These rankings made it possible to cross-compare the
relative importance of the factors as perceived by the
three groups of respondents (i.e. clients, consultants and
contractors). Each individual causes RII perceived by all
respondents should be used to assess the general and
overall rankings in order to give an overall picture of the
causes of construction delays in Indian construction
industry.
Importance Index technique: In this technique, For
each cause/factor two questions should be asked: What
is the frequency of occurrence for this cause? And what
is the degree of severity of this cause on project delay?
Both frequency of occurrence and severity were
categorized on a four-point scale. Frequency of
occurrence is categorized as follows: always, often,
sometimes and rarely (on 4 to 1 point scale). Similarly,
degree of severity was categorized as follows: extreme,
great, moderate and little (on 4 to l point scale).
Frequency index: A formula is used to rank causes of
delay based on frequency of occurrence as identified by
the participants.
Frequency Index (F.I.) (%) = a (n/N) * 100/4
Where, a is the constant expressing weighting given to
each response (ranges from 1 for rarely up to 4 for
always), n is the frequency of the responses, and N is
total number of responses.
Severity index: A formula is used to rank causes of
delay based on severity as indicated by the participants.
Severity Index (S.I.)(%)= a (n/N) * 100/4
Where a is the constant expressing weighting given to
each response (ranges from I for little up to 4 for severe),
n is the frequency of the responses, and N is total number
of responses.
Importance index: The importance index of each cause
is calculated as a function of both frequency and severity
indices, as follows:
Importance Index (IMP.I.)(%) = [F.I.(%)* S.I. (%)]/100

In this research it is used to show the degree of


agreement between the different parties. The correlation
coefficient varies between +1 and 1, where +1 implies a
perfect positive relationship (agreement), while 1 results
from a perfect negative relationship (disagreement). It
might be said then that sample estimates of correlation
close to unity in magnitude imply good correlation, while
values near zero indicate little or no correlation. The
Spearmans rank correlation coefficient r is used to
measure and compare the association between the
rankings of two parties for a single cause of delay, while
ignoring the ranking of the third party. And it is
calculated by the following formula:

rs= 1[(6 d2) / (n3 n)]


Where r is the Spearman rank correlation coefficient
between two parties, d is the difference between ranks
assigned to variables for each cause, and n is the number
of pairs of rank.
V. SUMMARY
Present study outlines the major causes of delay for
residential construction projects in Indian context. Based
on literature study and from interview of experts, 59
causes were identified under 9 major groups. Further
methodology is suggested to work out critical causes
from available ones by two techniques: Relative
importance index and Importance index as a function of
severity index and frequency index. Survey
Questionnaire is prepared based on these techniques. It is
proposed to carry out ranking of causes of delay from
two different techniques in the next phase of research.
REFERENCES
[1]

[2]
[3]

[4]

B. Data accuracy check approach


Spearmans rank correlation factor is going to be used
to check the accuracy of collected data. Spearmans rank
correlation coefficient is a non-parametric test. Nonparametric tests are also referred to as distribution free
tests. These tests have the obvious advantage of not
requiring the assumption of normality or the assumption
of homogeneity of variance. They compare medians
rather than means and, as a result, if the data have one or
two outliers, their influence is negated. Correlation is a
relationship measure among different parties or factors
and the strength and direction of the relationship.

[5]

[6]

[7]

[8]

398

Al-Ghafly MA. Delays in the construction of public utility


projects in Saudi Arabia. Master thesis, CEM Dept., KFUPM,
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 1995.
Al-Momani, A.H. (2000).Construction delay: aquantitative
analysis, Journal of ProjectManagement18, 51-59.
Assaf, S.A., Al-Khalil, M. and Al-Hazmi, M. (1995). Causes of
Delay in Large Building Construction Projects. Journal of
ProjectManagement in Engineering ASCE, 2; 45-50
Frimpong Y, Oluwoye J, Crawford L. Causes of delay and cost
overruns in construction of groundwater projects in a developing
countries; Ghana as a case study. Int J Project Manage
2003;21:3216.
Fugar, F D K and AgyakwahBaah, A B Delays in building
construction projects in Ghana, Australasian Journal of
Construction Economics and Building, 10 (1/2) (2010) 103116.
Kometa ST, Olomolaiye PO, Harris FC. Attributes of UK
construction clients influencing project consultants performance.
Construction Manage Econ 1994;12:43343.
Kumaraswamy, M.M. and Chan, W.M. (1998).Contributes to
Construction Delays, Journal of Construction Management &
Economics, 16; 17-29.
Ogunlana S.O. Prokuntong, K. and Jearkjirm, V. (1996).
Construction Delays in Fast Growing Economy Comparing
Thailand with Other Economies. International Journal of Project
Management 14 (1),37-45.

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013)
TABLE I
OF CAUSES OF DELAY

CLASSIFICATION

No.

Causes of delay

1
2
3

Original contract duration is too short


Legal disputes between various parties
Ineffective delay penalties

4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Delay in progress payments by owner


Delay to furnish and deliver the site to the contractor by the owner
Change orders by owner during construction
Late in revising and approving design documents by owner
Delay in approving shop drawings and sample materials
Poor communication and coordination by owner and other parties
Slowness in decision making process by owner
Unavailability of incentives for contractor for finishing ahead of schedule
Suspension of work by owner

13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

Difficulties in financing project by contractor


Rework due to errors during construction
Conflicts b/w contractor and other parties (consultant and owner)
Poor site management and supervision by contractor
Poor communication and coordination by contractor with other parties
Ineffective planning and scheduling of project by contractor
Improper construction methods implemented by contractor
Inadequate contractors work
Delay in site mobilization

22
23
24
25
26
27
28

Delay in performing inspection and testing by consultant


Delay in approving major changes in the scope of work by consultant
Inflexibility (rigidity) of consultant
Poor communication/coordination between consultant and other parties
Consultant
Late in reviewing and approving design documents by consultant
Conflicts between consultant and design engineer
Inadequate experience of consultant

29
30
31
32
33
34

Mistakes and discrepancies in design documents


Delays in producing design documents
Unclear and inadequate details in drawings
Complexity of project design
Insufficient data collection and survey before design
Misunderstanding of owners requirements by design engineer

35
36
37
38
39
40

Changes in material types and specifications during construction


Delay in material delivery
Damage of sorted material while they are needed urgently
Delay in manufacturing special building materials
Late procurement of materials
Late in selection of finishing materials due to availability of many types in
market

41
42
43
44

Equipment breakdowns
Shortage of equipment
Low level of equipment-operators skill
Low productivity and efficiency of equipment

Group
Project

399

Owner

Contractor

Consultant

Design

Materials

Equipment

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Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013)
45
46
47
48

Shortage of labours
Unqualified workforce
Low productivity level of labours
Personal conflicts among labours

49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59

Effects of subsurface conditions (e.g., soil, high water table, etc.)


Delay in obtaining permits from municipality
Rain effect on construction activities
Unavailability of utilities in site (such as, water, electricity, telephone, etc.)
Effect of social and cultural factors
Traffic control and restriction at job site
Accident during construction
Differing site (ground) conditions
Changes in government regulations and laws
Delay in providing services from utilities (such as water, electricity)
Delay in performing final inspection and certification by a third party

Labour

External

External

APPENDIX I
MAIN QUESTIONNAIRE (FOR FINDING RELATIVE IMPORTANCE INDEX)

Please indicate by ticking the appropriate column the relative importance of each of the following causes of building
construction delay. Please tick mark according to your point of view only in one column in each row.
No.

Group

Causes of delay

Very
important

Project

Original contract duration is too short

Project

Legal disputes b/w various parts

Project

Ineffective delay penalties

Owner

Delay in progress payments by owner

Owner

Owner

Delay to furnish and deliver the site to the


contractor by the owner
Change orders by owner during construction

Owner

Owner

Owner

10

Owner

11

Owner

12

Owner

13
14
15

Contractor
Contractor
Contractor

16

Contractor

17

Contractor

18

Contractor

19

Contractor

Late in revising and approving design


documents by owner
Delay in approving shop drawings and
sample materials
Poor communication and coordination by
owner and other parties
Slowness in decision making process by
owner
Unavailability of incentives for contractor for
finishing ahead of schedule
Suspension of work by owner
Difficulties in financing project by contractor
Rework due to errors during construction
Conflicts b/w contractor and other parties
(consultant and owner)
Poor site management and supervision by
contractor
Poor communication and coordination by
contractor with other parties.
Ineffective planning and scheduling of
project by contractor
Improper construction methods implemented
by contractor

400

important

Somewhat
important

Not
important

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013)
20

Contractor

Inadequate contractors work

21

Contractor

Delay in site mobilization

22

Consultant

23

Consultant

24

Consultant

Delay in performing inspection and testing


by consultant
Delay in approving major changes in the
scope of work by consultant
Inflexibility (rigidity) of consultant

25

Consultant

26

Consultant

27

Consultant

28
29

Consultant
Design

30
31
32

Design
Design
Design

33

Design

34

Design

35

Materials

36

Materials

37

Materials

38

Materials

39

Materials

40

Materials

41
42
43
44

Equipment
Equipment
Equipment
Equipment

45
46
47
48

Labour
Labour
Labour
Labour

Shortage of labors
Unqualified workforce
Low productivity level of labors
Personal conflicts among labors

49

External

50
51
52

External
External
External

53

External

Effects of subsurface conditions (e.g., soil,


high water table, etc.)
Delay in obtaining permits from municipality
Rain effect on construction activities
Unavailability of utilities in site (such as,
water, electricity, telephone, etc.)
Effect of social and cultural factors

Poor communication/coordination between


consultant and other parties Consultant
Late in reviewing and approving design
documents by consultant
Conflicts between consultant and design
engineer
Inadequate experience of consultant
Mistakes and discrepancies in design
documents
Delays in producing design documents
Unclear and inadequate details in drawings
Complexity of project design
Insufficient data collection and survey before
design
Misunderstanding of owners requirements
by design engineer
Changes in material types and specifications
during construction
Delay in material delivery
Damage of sorted material while they are
needed urgently
Delay in manufacturing special building
materials
Late procurement of materials
Late in selection of finishing materials due to
availability of many types in market
Equipment breakdowns
Shortage of equipment
Low level of equipment-operators skill
Low productivity and efficiency of
equipment

401

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013)
54
55
56

External
External
External

Traffic control and restriction at job site


Accident during construction
Differing site (ground) conditions

57
58

External
External

59

External

Changes in government regulations and laws


Delay in providing services from utilities
(such as water, electricity)
Delay in performing final inspection and
certification by a third party
APPENDIX II
MAIN QUESTIONNAIRE (FOR FINDING IMPORTANCE INDEX)

Please tick the appropriate column to indicate frequency of occurrence of causes and degree of severity of the causes
on building construction delay.
No.

Group

Causes of delay

Project

Original contract duration is too


short

Project

Legal disputes b/w various parts

Project

Ineffective delay penalties

Owner

Delay in progress payments by


owner

Owner

Delay to furnish and deliver the site


to the contractor by the owner

Owner

Change orders by owner during


construction

Owner

Late in revising and approving


design documents by owner

Owner

Delay in approving shop drawings


and sample materials

Owner

10

Owner

Poor communication and


coordination by owner and other
parties
Slowness in decision making
process by owner

12

Owner

13

Contractor

14

Contractor

15

Contractor

Conflicts b/w contractor and other


parties (consultant and owner)

16

Contractor

Poor site management and


supervision by contractor

Frequency of occurrence
Always

Often

Suspension of work by owner


Difficulties in financing project by
contractor
Rework due to errors during
construction

402

Sometimes

Degree of severity
Rarely

Extreme

Great

Moderate

Little

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No.

Group

Causes of delay

18

Contractor

Ineffective planning and scheduling


of project by contractor

19

Contractor

Improper construction methods


implemented by contractor

20

Contractor

Inadequate contractors work

21

Contractor

Delay in site mobilization

22

Consultant

23

Consultant

24

Consultant

Delay in performing inspection and


testing by consultant
Delay in approving major changes
in the scope of work by consultant
Inflexibility (rigidity) of consultant

25

Consultant

26

Consultant

27

Consultant

Conflicts between consultant and


design engineer

28

Consultant

Inadequate experience of
consultant

29

Design

30

Design

31

Design

Unclear and inadequate details in


drawings

32

Design

Complexity of project design

33

Design

Insufficient data collection and


survey before design

34

Design

35

Materials

36

Materials

Misunderstanding of owners
requirements by design engineer
Changes in material types and
specifications during construction
Delay in material delivery

37

Materials

39

Materials

40

Materials

41

Equipment

Equipment breakdowns

42

Equipment

Shortage of equipment

43

Equipment

Low level of equipment-operators


skill

44

Equipment

Low productivity and efficiency of


equipment

Frequency of occurrence
Always

Often

Poor communication/coordination
between consultant and other
parties Consultant
Late in reviewing and approving
design documents by consultant

Mistakes and discrepancies in


design documents
Delays in producing design
documents

Damage of sorted material while


they are needed urgently
Late procurement of materials
Late in selection of finishing
materials due to availability of
many types in market

403

Sometimes

Degree of severity
Rarely

extreme

Great

Moderate

Little

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No.

Group

Causes of delay
Always

45

Labour

Shortage of labors

46

Labour

Unqualified workforce

47

Labour

Low productivity level of labors

48

Labour

Personal conflicts among labors

49

External

50

External

51

External

52

External

53

External

Effects of subsurface conditions


(e.g., soil, high water table, etc.)
Delay in obtaining permits from
municipality
Rain effect on construction
activities
Unavailability of utilities in site
(such as, water, electricity,
telephone, etc.)
Effect of social and cultural factors

54

External

55

External

Traffic control and restriction at job


site
Accident during construction

56

External

Differing site (ground) conditions

57

External

58

External

59

External

Changes in government regulations


and laws
Delay in providing services from
utilities (such as water, electricity)
Delay in performing final
inspection and certification by a
third party

Frequency of occurrence
Often
Someti
Rarely
mes

404

extrem
e

Degree of severity
Great
Moderat
e

Little