Task Duration in the Construction and Engineer Industry

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I will be comparing the Services Industry abilities in project planning to that of the Construction and Engineering field. The services industry falls short of CE (Construction and Engineering) in many ways and there is a lot of room for improvement. However, the two industries are very different in nature. Construction and Engineering has a long history of project management focus. It was civil engineers and architects that pioneered project management long ago in the early1900’s (Pinto, 1995, p.2 ). In the 1950’s, construction and engineering organizations really started to systematically apply project management tool and techniques. Henry Gantt was an engineer!

From my experience, project managers in the SE industry are not trained especially for this role. Often we are in a functional role within the company and given a project to manage as extra responsibility. The SE industry is also a much more customer-focused business. It’s interesting to note that customer satisfaction runs high in the journal’s statistics, despite its low scores in other areas. James Harrington (2000) said, “Quality is meeting or exceeding customer expectations at a cost that represents value to them.” Project Managers in the SE industry will work harder to satisfy customers, allowing scope creep and the like in order to provide a better project in spite of time and cost delays.

The following statistics summarize the journal article results for the CE and SE industry. SE cost and schedule overruns and organization support were the largest negative variances against CE.

Project Planning Success in CE and SE Industry

Cost Overrun (%)17%23%(35%)
Schedule Overrun19%27%(42%)
Customer Satisfaction8.18.32%
Organizational Support3.83.2(16%)

In a recent study of 100 companies, only 37% of major SE projects were completed on time and only 42% were completed on budget (Gordon, 1999). I...
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