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Construction Management and Economics (April 2008) 26, 387–393

The impacts of change management practices on project change cost performance YI ZOU1 and SANG-HOON LEE2*
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FMC Technologies Inc., Houston, USA Department of Engineering Technology, University of Houston, 304A Technology Bldg, University of Houston, Houston 77204, USA Received 18 June 2007; accepted 15 January 2008

Change cost is one of the most sensitive aspects of construction project management, but it is also one of the most difficult to control. It has been widely recognized that construction projects that adopt change management practices generally incur lower change costs in comparison with project budgets. The relationship between change management practices and cost performance is investigated. Construction project data for this research are derived from the Construction Industry Institute Benchmarking and Metrics database. Multiple one-way ANOVA and linear regression are performed to investigate the effectiveness of individual change management practices elements and overall change management practices implementation in controlling project change cost, respectively. The data analysis results show that individual change management practices elements have different levels of leverage in helping to control project change cost and that using change management practices is truly helpful in lowering the proportion of change cost in project actual cost. Keywords: Project management, change management, performance improvement.

Many researchers have conducted statistical analyses to reveal the correlations between project management best practices and project performance, and they have provided valuable recommendations to the industry about how to improve project performance. Among many project management best practices, change management practice is one of the most important practices (Lee et al., 2004; Zou and Lee, 2006). Further, project change cost performance is one of the most essential metrics used as a measure of project success (Williams, 2000; Eden et al., 2005). However, the previous studies concentrated on the overall change management practices implementation level, and none of them looked into individual change management practice elements. In addition, project budget was generally adopted as the basis for comparison when measuring project change cost magnificence, which entails a problem of accuracy, as will be elucidated later in this paper. This paper resolves these *Author for correspondence. E-mail:

problems, and its intention is to show construction managers how each individual element of change management practices can improve project change cost performance. A secondary aim is to explore the correlation between overall change management practice implementation and project change cost performance.

The Benchmarking and Metrics (BM&M) programme of the Construction Industry Institute (CIIH) has been committed to providing construction industry ‘quantitative data essential for the support of cost/benefit analyses’ (Construction Industry Institute, 2007). CII commenced the BM&M data collection in 1996, and the database currently represents over 1200 projects for which CII best practices and project performance indices have been or are being recorded. In 1990, the CII Cost/Schedule Controls Task Force published a research report about the impact of project changes on construction cost and schedule at the operational level.

Construction Management and Economics ISSN 0144-6193 print/ISSN 1466-433X online # 2008 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/01446190801918714

Sanders (2000) also explored the impacts of change management practices on certain projects. CII started to include change management practice in its database in 1997, which included 14 elements. This study is aimed at investigating the relationship between usage of these 14 change...
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