A Construction Project Classification Framework: Mapping the Dimensions for Classification of Pacific Northwest Highway Project Types
In the construction industry, it is an accepted fact that not all projects are created equal, so analysis and evaluation of project performance should follow the same principle. Gaining insights into contract performance requires practitioners to compare project performance on various dimensions, look for patterns, and make generalizations. In contract administration, practitioners are interested in project performance as it relates to cost, time, quality of work, scope of work, and contract changes. A standard project type classification framework that would allow such comparisons does not exist for use by practitioners working on highway projects. In the absence of a standard project type classification framework, practitioners have taken the pragmatic and ad hoc steps to classify projects to meet their specific needs. The lack of a standard project type classification framework makes it difficult for practitioners who administer highway projects to effectively gain insights, find patterns, generalize findings, extend knowledge, and transfer knowledge gained. Following qualitative synthesis research and participation from Pacific Northwest (PNW) state departments of transportation (DOT), a project type classification framework was developed. The proposed project type classification framework captures the differentiating dimensions and corresponding measures that define highway projects. A data input wireframe was also developed for implementing the project type classification framework into a searchable database. The significant contribution of this study was that basic project performance analytics can be enhanced by using the project type classification framework. In addition, the proposed project type classification framework would eliminate the use of ad hoc classification systems. It is recommended that future research focus on evaluating whether the proposed project type classification framework enables better visibility of and insights into contract administration.
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