Improving the transition of a successful tender from estimating to project management phases

Richardson, Joseph (2016) Improving the transition of a successful tender from estimating to project management phases. [USQ Project]

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Research indicates that in Australia, there is a gap in the knowledge regarding a specific set of processes which should be employed by construction companies for the gathering and transfer of tacit project knowledge between estimating and project management teams at tender handover. It has been identified by the project sponsor, that the current processes in place for the capturing, codification, and transfer of project knowledge from estimating to project management teams are out of date and do not reflect the current practices of the estimating or construction teams. They have identified this as an area of interest for the implementation of process updates and improvements.

This project aimed to identify and design process improvements that would enable the effective and efficient management of knowledge, and it transfer between estimating and project management teams.

To understand the relevant literature pertaining to the topic, an extensive literature review was undertaken. It identified that that there are proprietary software systems available to assist in the management of project information. However, there are limitations to their application specifically for the capture or management of tacit knowledge. It identified that effective knowledge management is critical to the success or failure of construction projects. Value stream mapping was identified as an appropriate lean construction tools to form the basis of the project methodology in order to improve the transition of a successful tender from estimating to project management phases.

The five phases of value stream mapping are the initial analysis, mapping the current state, mapping the future state, developing the action plan, and testing. Once the inefficiencies were identified within the existing system, potential improvements were identified. A revised tender
management procedure and flowchart were designed, which worked in conjunction with the integrated workflow solution (IWS). The proposed IWS was formatted as an excel spreadsheet (named the Tender Knowledge Register or TKR), with different tabs representing each phase in the tender process, with prompts to assist the estimating team in identifying and codifying reusable project knowledge. All captured knowledge was electronically filed, in addition to the tender documentation, with a guideline provided for the transfer of all knowledge and information to the project management teams, upon successful conversion of a tender to a project.

The proposed solution was evaluated through an analysis of quantitative survey results from the key project stakeholders to determine the system’s relevance both to the project sponsor and the wider construction industry. Results were measured against the key performance indicators of increased efficiency and effectiveness (quality of information). The results were generally positive.

The estimating team considered the revised processes to be more relevant to their current practises than the existing processes. This is evident in the increased overall relevance rating from 31.1% to 71.1%. The time required to complete the processes was similar, with the existing process taking an estimated 13 hours, and the revised taking an estimated 13.77 hours. The increase in estimated time did not dramatically affect the estimating team’s overall ratings of the system. The average rating was 5.94/10.

The project teams rated the system higher overall than the estimating team, with an average rating of 6.47/10. It is proposed that the higher rating provided by the project teams is due to the system being tailored to suit their knowledge and information requirements at project startup. The project teams considered the information which has been included in the tender knowledge register (TKR) as very important. The overall average importance rating of captured information and knowledge, and its presentation within the TKR was 7.8/10.

The scope of the project was limited to the knowledge and information transfer between estimating and project management teams. It was determined that focusing on more than stage of the project lifecycle would exceed the scope and intent of this undergraduate research project.

It was noted that the response rates to surveys was poor. The lower-than-expected response rates to surveys resulted in a higher margin of error (ranging from 13.56% to 22.89% @ 95% confidence) relating to the accuracy of responses.

It is recommended that the proposed systems undergo further testing by real-time application to tenders. This will aid in the measurement of the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of the information and knowledge transfer. Further testing of the process (potentially with compulsory participation from stakeholders), combined with minor refinements, has the potential to produce a powerful knowledge management system that can be implement to continuously improve knowledge transfer between estimating and project management teams.
The system would fulfil the requirements of both the sponsor, and with minor adjustments, other organisations in the industry.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Construction (Honours) Major Construction Management project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Tilley, Paul
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 04:34
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2017 04:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: tacit project knowledge; construction companies; estimating; project management phases
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090502 Construction Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400504 Construction engineering

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