Construction Project Management Dissertation Abstracts

On this page you will find details of some sample dissertation abstracts from the Construction Project Management MSc.

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  • A Proposal for a Standard Methodology and Quantitative Measurement for Implementing Last Planner Delivery System: Establishing the Boundaries for Lean Construction; Student: Daniela Mardones Aravena; Supervisor: Eric Lou

    Lean Construction (LC) and its most popular tool the ‘Last Planner System’, has been implemented for over 20 years in several projects. However, several problems related to its application hinder this tool from being used to its full advantage. An identified obstacle in better LC application is the lack of standards and quantitative metrics to decrease uncertainty. This dissertation analyses the necessity of a quantitative metric in LC fields and describes four elements that reveal why this problem is relevant. Firstly, it analyses the barriers that the LC literature shows whereby formal standardisation and quantitative measures might decrease the failure of implementations. Secondly, it directly tackles the lack of performance measurement in the methodology of implementation, and thirdly, highlights the necessity of benchmarking practices between different implementation indicators. Lastly, it examines how the LC theory does not offer criteria applicable to itself. These four points demonstrate that the methodology associated with the LC theory requires an important revision and subsequently, an agreement for standards & metrics. This dissertation suggests a novel proposal for the assessment of the Last Planner System implementation processes existing in the literature.

  • Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) in Principle and in Use: A case in the Construction Industry; Student: Emmanuel Ahabwe; Supervisor: Paul Chan

    Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) is an engineering technique used to identify and eliminate known/potential errors from the system, design, process, and/or service before they reach the customer and optimise the maintenance required. In the construction industry, the technique is known to be used in the context of project risk management yet little has been published on how FMEA is generally used.

    The aim of this dissertation is to compare what happens in practice against the principles of FMEA best practice, as applied in the construction industry. 31 semi-structured interview transcripts, with 37 interviewees, conducted in 16 companies involved in the construction industry, were analysed. They are discussed under four themes: failures and failure modes data collection practices, effective FMEA team requirements, maintenance related practices and practical examples of FMEA use in the construction industry. It was found that only one company out of the 16 interviewed had actually used FMEA, but had only applied it once and on one system. When their FMEA worksheet was compared to FMEA’s principles of best practice, some bad practices were identified, and recommendations were put forward based on those bad practices highlighted.

  • The Importance of Design Process Frameworks for Successful Management and Execution of Projects: Case Study of the RIBA plan of Work 2013 Version; Student: Dorica Fungo; Supervisor: Jack Rostron

    This dissertation aims to review and evaluate the importance of Design Process Frameworks in achieving successful management and execution of projects. It has used the 2013 framework of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), as its case study in achieving the aim. An example that followed the RIBA guideline (i.e. the National Graphene Institute project) was used to further test the applicability of the design frameworks. The study employed qualitative research by using a desk-study collection method from different sources. After thorough review and analysis of the collected information, the study established that design process frameworks are very useful in achieving project success. They give guidance on what to do at each stage of the project lifecycle which is useful to even the new and less-experienced project team members. However, the study found that in order for a project to be fully successful, other procedures should be applied in management and execution, because the design process frameworks do not provide solutions to all uncertainties that may happen in the course of the project lifecycle. Such procedures may involve brainstorming sessions, workshops and meetings among the team members when issues arise, or by lessons learned from similar previous projects.

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