construction project management case studies

Strategizing and Project Management in Construction Projects: An Exploratory Literature Review

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization

eISBN : 978-1-83867-051-1

ISSN : 2516-2853

Publication date: 1 May 2019

The study aims to investigate the concept of strategy-as-practice in construction management literature has been investigated. The focus is on the link between strategizing practices and project management.

Design/Methodology/Approach

An exploratory literature review is carried out based on fifteen journal articles on strategizing practices in the construction industry.

The analysis shows how strategy-as-practice questions and contradicts project management practices as depicted in the dominant deterministic perspective. Strategy-as-practice has a focus on reacting and adapting to a chaotic and changing environment, while project management is concerned with creating and maintaining a stable working environment. The findings point to the necessity of considering the organizational and institutional context of project management practices, and hence the values the strategy-as-practice lens, when considering new avenues for improving the industry.

Research Limitations/Implications

As the study is based on an exploratory literature review of only 15 articles, generalizations should be made with caution. The identified literature is restricted by search words and choice of database.

Practical Implications

The differences between strategizing and project management practices are very clear, and a focus on both may offer insights into how the construction industry could improve its productivity by developing more robust management practices.

Originality/Value

The paper illustrates the benefit of applying a strategizing perspective, which hitherto has been under-investigated in construction management research.

  • Construction industry
  • Project management
  • Project-based organization
  • Strategizing
  • Strategy as Practice

Klitgaard, A. and Gottlieb, S.C. (2019), "Strategizing and Project Management in Construction Projects: An Exploratory Literature Review", Lill, I. and Witt, E. (Ed.) 10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization ( Emerald Reach Proceedings Series, Vol. 2 ), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 253-258. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2516-285320190000002040

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Anne Klitgaard, Stefan Christoffer Gottlieb.

Published in the Emerald Reach Proceedings Series. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode

1. Introduction

Project management (PM) has traditionally been dominated by a deterministic perspective, which implies the possibility of planning, managing and controlling the construction project phenomena ( Padalkar and Gopinath, 2016 ). Clear roles and responsibilities of the project actors are regarded as the way to ensure efficiency in collaboration ( Gustavsson and Gohary, 2012 ). This approach to PM overlooks how projects exist in an external environment ( Kreiner, 1996 ), which is constantly changing and influencing the original intentions and aims of the projects. While this is no longer a new or controversial insight, we see the deterministic approach as a so-called dominant logic ( Bettis and Prahalad, 1995 ) that still is the norm in the construction industry.

Recently, the focus has shifted toward trying to create a better understanding of the contextual factors that shape projects and project practices. This includes also non-deterministic and explanatory approaches focusing on, e.g. project uncertainty, governance and project portfolio management ( Padalkar and Gopinath, 2016 ).

One such theory or approach is that of strategy-as-practice (SAP). The traditional definition of strategy assumes that a strategy is something organizations own or have, argues Johnson et al. (2007) , and stresses that in the SAP perspective, strategy is something people do. In SAP, strategizing (or doing strategy as practice) “comprises those actions, interactions and negotiations of multiple actors and the situated practices that they draw upon in accomplishing that activity” ( Jarzabkowski and Spee., 2009 : 70). With this turn toward practice, research into strategy shifts from a focus on the firm and why strategy is needed, to a concern for people and how they achieve the wanted strategy ( Johnson et al., 2007 ).

Drawing on practice perspective, Söderholm) (2008 : 81) argues that PM can be seen as an on-going social accomplishment or “everyday struggle to keep projects on track and on schedule” within a given context and that this can shed new light on situations that are nrmally not include in PM models.

While SAP is a well-established perspective in business management research, it is less used in construction management. On this basis, we ask

(RQ1) How is SAP and the role of context treated in the construction management literature?

(RQ2) How can SAP contribute to project management in construction?

The paper is based on an exploratory literature review. The literature search was conducted in the EBSCO database Business Source Complete, which covers all disciplines of business. A two-block “free text” search was conducted with a limitation to peer-reviewed journals. The first block containing the phenomena of interest represented by the search words “strategizing” and “strategy-as-practice” (722 hits). Another context block was created using the search words ”construction industry” (12,521 hits). A combination of blocks one and two gave seven articles; this was reduced to five articles by removing copies.

The first block was combined with another block containing the search query “project management” (14,662 hits), which gave ten combined hits. Eight of these were concerned with the construction industry, bringing the total of articles up to thirteen articles. In a final quality control of the search, two additional articles were found that were added to the sample, bringing it up to a total of 15 articles.

This search will at a later stage be extended with a snowballing search back and forth Löwstedt et al. (2018) “Doing strategy in project-based organizations: Actors and patterns of action”, which puts emphasis on the relation between strategizing and project management.

3. Analysis and Findings

3.1. strategy as practice and the project-based construction industry (rq1).

The final result of 15 articles in the search indicates a relatively low interest from the construction industry in the SAP concept. With one exception, all the empirical articles were written within the last six years, indicating a growing interest in the concept.

We divided the articles into two groups comprising empirical articles (11) and theoretical articles (4). The empirical articles were then further divided into three categories depending on the context in which strategizing took place (see Table 1 ).

The empirical articles, the terms in the brackets are the authors’ interpretation

The literature illustrates an interest in the difference between the practice of project managing and strategizing as the two practices are difficult to combine owing to their different focus.

In the theoretical articles, Clegg et al. (2018) set out to provide an agenda for further practice-based research in project portfolio management. Biesenthal et al . (2018) suggest a value in studying the institutional differences in megaproject and doing this by “taking a cue” from the strategy-as-practice approach. Flood and Issa (2010) suggest that the research practitioner should use strategizing as a step in developing an empirical model. Finally, the use of sensemaking, to create scenarios and narratives as a mean of strategizing, is addressed by ( Wright, 2005 ). He stresses that practitioners working at the periphery of the firm (project manager) tend to construct their strategy by induction rather than the rational strategists at the center of the firm.

This is an indication of how the project can shape the strategizing process of project managers. Several of the empirical articles also discuss the role of the firm. Sage et al. (2012) note in their study (on lean construction strategizing) that concepts are continuously translated and transformed during their journey through different contextual settings – and so are people. A group of practitioners working mainly in the firm will thus be working under the influence of the organizational context of the firm, while the practitioners working in projects will be working under the institutional influence of both the firm and the project.

Also, Löwsted et al. (2018) and Koch et al. (2015) discuss how “project actualities” and “nature of the situated practices which surround” operational strategizing afford project actors’ legitimacy and shape practices. Their findings suggest that the traditional PM focusses on principles of project fulfillment, and a narrow focus on how the project performs according to these, is insufficient and can benefit from a more nuanced perspective of the contextual factors that influence project practices. This is also noted by Vit (2011 ) who suggests that technical rationality is overridden in certain contexts. Davies et al. (2016) illustrate how specific dynamic capabilities, including strategic behaviors and collaborative processes, that are required to deliver complex projects, are based on the ability to balance routine and innovative action in changing and uncertain project environments.

3.2. SAP and a new understanding of project management (RQ2)

The SAP perspective may thus also offer some insights into the opportunities for building construction project teams. In SAP, practitioners are those involved in doing strategy. The strategy practitioner may refer to an individual or a group of individuals ( Jarzabkowski and Spee, 2009 ). This group of practitioners will often be joined in communities of actors or project teams. As Baiden et al. (2006) argue, a failure to collaborate effectively in the project teams has been seen as a major cause behind the productivity issue, stressing the need for effective PM.

In the construction industry, a belief in clearly planned and defined project roles and responsibilities as a basis for PM exists. This is, however, contrary to Whittington et al. ’s (2006) claim that strategizing and organizing run together as a smooth simultaneous activity.

The industry needs to ask itself if the deterministic PM approach focusing on stability could cause a loss of opportunity to develop practices toward better productivity. One way to address this issue may be with the introduction of new organization forms in guise of, e.g. integrated project delivery or strategic partnerships ( Gottlieb et al. , 2018 ).

Another approach is that of knotworking, a new form of collaboration which shows promising results ( Buhl et al . 2017 ). Results, which offer a more fluid, approach to the matter. Finally, a developing practice, which may link PM and strategizing, is the use of facilitation for changing existing routines to develop practices ( Klitgaard et al ., 2017 )

4. Conclusions

In this paper, we investigated the link between strategizing practices and project management practices. This literature study shows that the role of SAP in the construction industry is an area of increasing interest and that the literature is sensitive to the practioners’ double obligation; toward their firm and toward the project in which they are involved.

The dominant logic concept suggests that awareness of the primary perspective on practice is necessary. It seems that as long as the determinisitic approach toward PM is so dominant in the industry, it may hinder strategizing practices. Strategizing and project management practice are clearly distinct practices although there is a clear co-dependency between them. We argue that a focus on both may offer insights into how the construction industry could improve its productivity by developing more robust management practices.

This literature study is based on a limited number of articles so further studies are necessary.

Baiden, Price, and Dainty, 2006 Baiden , B. K. , Price , A. D. F. and Dainty , A. R. J. ( 2006 ), “ The extent of team integration within construction projects ”, International Journal of Project Management , Vol. 24 , No. 1 , pp. 13 – 23 .

Bettis, and Prahalad, 1995 Bettis , R. A. and Prahalad , C. K. ( 1995 ), “ The Dominant Logic: Retrospective and Extension ”, Strategic Management Journal , Vol. 16 , No. 1 , pp. 5 – 14 .

Bhattacharya, Momaya, and Iyer, 2012 Bhattacharya , S. , Momaya , K. S. and Iyer , K. C. ( 2012 ), “ Strategic Change for Growth: A Case of Construction Company in India ”, Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management . Vol. 13 , No 4 , pp. 195 – 205 .

Biesenthal, Clegg, Mahalingam, Sankaran, 2018 Biesenthal , C. , Clegg , S. , Mahalingam , A. , Sankaran , S. , ( 2018 ), “ Applying institutional theories to managing megaprojects ”, International Journal of Project Management , Vol. 36 , No. 1 , pp. 43 – 54 .

Buhl, Andersen, and Kerosuo, 2017 Buhl , H. , Andersen , M. , and Kerosuo , H. ( 2017 ), “A Knot – breaking the inertia in construction?”, In Buser , M. , Lindahl , G. and Räisänen , C. (Ed), “9th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization, 13-14 June, Chalmers University of Technology.

Clegg, Killen, Biesenthal, and Sankaran, 2018 Clegg , S. , Killen , C. P. , Biesenthal , C. and Sankaran , S. , ( 2018 ), “ Practices, projects and portfolios: Current research trends and new directions ”, International Journal of Project Management , Vol. 36 , No. 5 , pp. 762 – 772 .

Comi, and Whyte, 2018 Comi , A. and Whyte , J. ( 2018 ) “ Future Making and Visual Artefacts: An Ethnographic Study of a Design Project ”, Organization Studies , Vol. 39 , No. 8 , pp. 1,055 – 1,083 .

Davies, Dogdson, and Gann, 2016 Davies , A. , Dogdson , M. and Gann , D. ( 2016 ) “ Dynamic capabilities in complex projects: The case of London Heathrow Terminal 5 ”, Project Management Journal , Vol. 47 , No. 2 , pp. 26 – 47 .

Flood, and Issa, 2010 Flood , I. and Issa , R. R. A. ( 2010 ), “ Empirical Modeling Methodologies for Construction ”, Journal of Construction Engineering & Management , Vol. 136 , No. 1 , pp. 36 – 48 .

Floricel, and Miller, 2001 Floricel , S. and Miller , R. ( 2001 ), “ Strategizing for anticipated risks and turbulence in large-scale engineering projects ”, International Journal of Project Management , Vol. 19 , No. 8 , pp. 445 – 455 .

Gottlieb, Frederiksen, Koch, and Thuesen, 2018 Gottlieb , S. C. , Frederiksen , N. , Koch , C. and Thuesen , C. ( 2018 ), Institutional Logics and Hybrid Organizing in Public-Private Partnerships . In: Gorse , C. and Neilson , C. J. (Eds.), Proceedings 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2018, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, pp. 383 – 392 .

Gustavsson, and Gohary, 2012 Gustavsson , T. K. and Gohary , H. ( 2012 ), “ Boundary action in construction projects: new collaborative project practices ”, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business , Vol. 5 , No. 3 , pp. 364 – 376 .

Jarzabkowski, and Spee, 2009 Jarzabkowski , P. and Spee , A. P. ( 2009 ) “ Strategy-as-practice: A review and future directions for the field ”, International Journal of Management Reviews , Vol. 11 , No. 1 , pp. 69 – 95 .

Johnson, Langley, Melin, and Whittington, 2007 Johnson , G. , Langley , A. , Melin , L. and Whittington , R. ( 2007 ), Strategy as Practice – Research Directions and Resources , Cambridge University Press .

Ju, and Rowlinson, 2014 Ju , C. and Rowlinson , S. ( 2014 ) “ Institutional determinants of construction safety management strategies of contractors in Hong Kong ”, Construction Management & Economics . Vol. 32 ( 7/8 ), pp. 725 – 736 .

Klitgaard, Beck, Andersen, Jeppesen, Nissen, and Buhl, 2017 Klitgaard , A. , Beck , F. , Andersen , M. , Jeppesen , R. D. , Nissen , S. B. , and Buhl , H. ( 2017 ). “Towards the use of knotworking for increasing innovation in construction projects In: Chan , P. W. (Ed.) and Neilson , C. J. (Ed.), Proceedings 33rd Annual ARCOM Conference, 4-6 September 2017, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 420 – 429 .

Koch, Sage, Dainty, and Simonsen, 2015 Koch , C. , Sage , D. , Dainty , A. , and Simonsen , R. ( 2015 ). Understanding operations strategizing in project-based organisations: middle managers’ interaction and strategy praxis . Engineering Project Organization Journal , Vol. 5 ( 2-3 ), 106 – 117 .

Kreiner, 1996 Kreiner , K. ( 1996 ) “ In search of relevance: Project management in drifting environments ”, Scandinavian Journal of Mangement , Vol. 11 , No. 4 , pp. 335 – 346 .

Ling, and Lee, 2012 Ling , F. Y. Y. and Lee , S. Y. ( 2012 ) “ Careers development in construction firms: application of Sun Tzu’s Art of War principles ”, Engineering Construction & Architectural Management , Vol. 19 , No. 2 , pp. 173 – 191 .

Löwstedt, Räisänen, and Leiringer, 2018 Löwstedt , M. , Räisänen , C. and Leiringer , R. ( 2018 ). “ Doing strategy in project-based organizations: Actors and patterns of action ”, International Journal of Project Management , Vol. 36 , No. 6 , pp. 889 – 898 .

Padalkar, and Gopinath, 2016 Padalkar , M. and Gopinath , S. ( 2016 ), “ Six decades of project management research: Thematic trends and future opportunities ”, International Journal of Project Management . Vol. 34 , No. 7 , pp. 1,305 – 1,321 .

Sage, Dainty, and Brookes, 2012 Sage , D. , Dainty , A. and Brookes , N. ( 2012 ) “ A ‘Strategy-as-Practice’” exploration of lean construction strategizing. ”, Building Research & Information . Vol. No. 2 , pp. 221 – 230 .

Söderholm, 2008 Söderholm , A. ( 2008 ). “ Project management of unexpected events ”. International Journal of Project Management , Vol. 26 , No 1 , pp. 80 – 86 .

Vit, 2011 Vit , G. B. ( 2011 ), “ Competing logics: Project failure in Gaspesia ”, European Management Journal . Vol. 29 , No. 3 , pp. 234 – 244 .

Whittington, Molloy, Mayer, and Smith, 2006 Whittington , R. , Molloy , E. , Mayer , M. and Smith , A. ( 2006 ), “ Practices of Strategising/Organising-broadening Strategy Work and Skills ”, Long Range Planning , Vol. 39 , No. 6 , pp. 615 – 629 .

Whyte, Ewenstein, Hales, and Tidd Whyte , J. , Ewenstein , B. , Hales , M. and Tidd , J. , “ Visualizing Knowledge in Project-Based Work ”, Long Range Planning , Vol. 41 , No. 1 , pp. 74 – 92 .

Wright, 2005 Wright , A. ( 2005 ), “ The role of scenarios as prospective sensemaking devices ”, Management Decision , Vol. 43 , No. 1 , pp. 86 – 101 .

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Case Studies

Learn about the people behind the projects, the projects they deliver and the organisations raising the bar of project professionalism. We recognise what people can achieve through project management, and have been celebrating excellence in the profession for over 20 years.

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Petro Diakiv , Delivery Manager at RELEVANT SOFTWARE

Building Construction Project Management Software the Right Way (+ Case Study)

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  • Building Construction Project ...

At least one day per week .

That’s how much time you may be losing if your construction project scheduling and coordination are botched. Add the cost of never-ending paperwork and missed deadlines, and you’re so in the red.

200+ companies from 25 countries outsourced software development to Relevant

We provide companies with senior tech talent and product development expertise to build world-class software. Let's talk about how we can help you.

But here’s a silver lining.

If your construction plans often go awry because of poor project management, you can think of this as a warning shot. Admit it and find a way to do something about it. Or, you can keep reading to learn about your lifesaver without going elsewhere.

Construction project management software is a missing link between your project managers, subcontractors, engineers, and site workers. When it props up how you coordinate teams and oversee jobs, you can fight back time killers and inefficiencies. Adopt it wisely, and you’re in the black again.

At Relevant Software, we can show you how to bring in any construction software . We’ve had a hand in creating many web and mobile solutions, including those for project management. (You’ll have a chance to take a look at one of them at the end.)

Table of Contents

Where is the construction industry on its digital transformation path?

Many construction companies tend to go against the tide as other industries proactively say “Yes” to digital transformation. According to the report delivered by WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development), digitalization is only in its infancy in the entire sector. 

In other words, construction firms aren’t making the most of digital solutions like project management software programs yet. Why? There are several deterrents to embracing progress in the industry:

  • Your legacy systems and those of other stakeholders may cause the misalignment of your processes, making digital transformation hard to embrace.
  • An aging workforce is reluctant to adapt and lacks the skills to do so.
  • Your business culture may be old-fashioned, getting in the way of you keeping up with technology. (We’ve covered some strategies on how you can do this in this post .)
  • Digitalization is impossible without investments, and it won’t pay off in as little as a month.

But the thing is that none of these challenges can downgrade the importance of project management software in the construction industry and digitalization as a critical move. There are no plausible excuses for shying away from transformation.

While digitalization is no mean feat, it’s worth the effort. With digital solutions, you can keep processes consistent across departments, improve communication between your project managers and site workers, reduce costs, and move the needle on efficiency. 

Internal benefits aside, digital transformation is also a harbinger of improved sustainability in the construction industry. By decluttering your desks from paper documents and allowing for the more efficient use of resources, it can help green your business and clean up your image in the eyes of stakeholders. 

With IoT sensors, for example, you can keep your carbon footprint to its lowest while monitoring the performance of your machines and construction equipment.

Digitalization has a way of creating a ripple effect. Transform your construction company digitally, and you’ll behold it straight away.

What software solutions are used in the construction and engineering industry?

Would you be surprised to find out the global construction software market is amid unprecedented growth? 

Because it really is.

Contractors and builders look set to optimize their processes with full-fledged solutions, ballooning the market to a shade over $2.7 billion by 2027 . It’s happening now, so your rivals may have already brought software to their management tables.

From all-in-one construction software to platforms for specific processes, here are five solutions you may want to leverage for your business:

  • Business process management software . It houses extensive functionality for accounting, workflow coordination, invoicing, monitoring, tracking, and more. BPM systems are often available as cloud or web-based construction management software.
  • Takeoff software . If you’re tired of estimating the old-school way, this software is for you. It makes it easier to do takeoffs for any construction project, prepare proposals for general contractors, and take every dollar into account when bidding.
  • Worksite document exchange solutions . These can keep your workers in the loop about RFIs and engineering drawings you’ve just received while they’re in the field. They make sure all your teams are on the same page about your construction projects.
  • Equipment tracking and maintenance software. Whether you rely on your own heavy equipment or rentals, you want to maintain your assets. This software can do the trick, gleaning insights from IoT sensors to spot setbacks and create upkeep schedules.
  • Construction project management platforms . The functionality of these systems is second to none. They allow you to perfect every facet of project management, from planning and job progress tracking to forecasting and reporting. With a custom solution, you can even expand its range of features to include those that are exclusive to your company.

One thing to remember: smooth management is where your construction project success stems from. You can’t notch it up with other software if cost overruns and delays batter you all the time. So yes, project management solutions have a lot more in store for you.

Benefits of investing in project management software for the construction industry

Setbacks can hamper any construction company. But it’s the best of us who can bring them under control and pull through whatever is ahead.

Construction project management software development is one way to make your processes more efficient at the office and field levels. PM solutions pack organization and tracking benefits in spades, and they can make all the difference for your project managers, site workers, and bottom line.

For project managers

Ask your project managers if they’re okay with multiple spreadsheets and the paperwork they have to trawl through every day. Make no mistake: you’ll hear deep, weary sighs nine times out of ten.

Turning what once was a heavy burden into a snap is the key benefit of adopting a construction project management solution. With a PM system, your office team can do the job scheduling, workflow planning, and budgeting without an avalanche of paperwork weighing on it. When done digitally, these processes are way more efficient.

Also, PM software can save your project managers hours of tracking and reporting. You don’t want to overlook that, as these tasks may take over 25% of their time . This translates into more than two hours per day that could be spent coordinating field teams or resolving issues that require immediate attention.

For the construction crew

Your site workers know first-hand how closely poor field-office communication is tied to project delays. If they’re always in the dark about change orders and engineering plans while they’re in the field, any construction task is a roll of the dice.

However, web- or cloud-based construction project management software can help you make sure everything goes to plan. It sets up a real-time communication channel so that your field crew can receive change orders and updated plans as your clients issue them. 

It also stores all project documentation, allowing your site workers to dig up any blueprint or specs on short notice.

Using a PM system, your workers can stay aware of what construction tasks need to be handled first and log their time as they proceed with them. That’s how you know your project unfolds the way it’s supposed to, while your field teams know they’re paid fairly.

For your bottom line

There’s a fine line between construction projects that deliver substantial returns and those that may throw your business into a financial hole. And this line is often blurred when you fail to keep tabs on all expenses and deadlines.

Project management software reduces the risk of exceeding your budget in the middle of a construction project. It lets you put all your expenses (equipment rental rates, material costs, etc.) in one basket so that you can monitor how much you’re spending. 

Plus, it can do the calculations for you to prevent costly mistakes when adding up numbers and feeding them into your accounting system.

What bodes well for your bottom line is that PM software can help you take on more projects in the long run. Because it expedites the management process and eases your job tracking pain, it empowers you to get more done without putting in additional time.

Ready-made PM solutions that shine today

You have two ways to go to avail yourself of construction PM system benefits. You can either hire a software development team to get hand-picked pros to create a custom solution for your company or adopt a ready-made one.

If you aren’t into reinventing the wheel, look at these five best construction project management software solutions to go ahead with (or check them out for inspiration for your own one):

  • Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate . A suite of end-to-end construction management tools coupled with many collaboration features.
  • Procore . A construction management app lauded for its integrations, logging, and job tracking functionality.
  • monday.com . An intuitive platform for project and workflow management with scores of collaboration tools and communication features.
  • Wrike . Decent construction project management software for subcontractors, main contractors, and enterprises managing hundreds of projects simultaneously.
  • Buildertrend . An easy-to-integrate system that can help with logging, paperwork management, messaging—all the way to invoicing.

But keep in mind that none of the ready-made PM solutions can match a custom one for business-specific processes. When it’s developed exclusively for you, its features are thought out for your company’s unique needs.

PM software features you want to have access to

Whether it’s some off-the-shelf PM solution or custom web development that kindles your interest, consider what features are cut out for your business. Ideally, you’d want to have your heart set on those that allow you to:

  • Track the progress of your construction projects
  • Schedule tasks and delegate responsibilities
  • Receive and send construction documents from/to stakeholders
  • Monitor your ongoing expenses
  • Keep in touch with your site workers
  • Manage timesheets
  • Prepare reports for your clients, building control bodies, and other agencies

These are basic features. If you need advanced functionality like billing, payroll processing, or heavy machinery tracking, custom construction project management software development can unlock it for you. When going this way, you can get a PM solution jam-packed with any features you want for improved control over your processes.

Construction PM software case study

At Relevant, we always deliver on our promises. So here’s our case study on a scalable construction project management system we’ve built for Svenn.

Svenn is a Norwegian company that serves small construction businesses in over 45 countries. Its platform is designed to simplify most daily tasks project managers deal with, from time tracking to payroll processing.

Our story with Svenn began in 2015 when the company decided to roll out mature SaaS construction project management software. Fast-forward several years, and now Svenn is a platform of choice for over 10,000 daily users.

Take a look at how we did it.

The features we’ve packed into Svenn

When Svenn first turned to Relevant, the company’s managers were very clear about their goals. Specifically, they were looking to build a PM platform with value-added features, not just tracking construction project statuses.

With this in mind, we extended Svenn’s basic functionality with:

  • Advanced tracking (projects, tasks, ongoing expenses, etc.)
  • Logging for hours, overtime, and more
  • Document management and exchange
  • Invoicing for hours worked and billing
  • Automated payroll
  • Custom reporting

As we specialize in web and mobile app development services , we embedded these features into Svenn’s web platform and app for iOS and Android.

When building a construction management system for Svenn, we created a modular architecture to make the end solution flexible. With that, we stuck to a nimble tech stack:

  • Cloud services : AWS
  • Programming languages : PHP, Java, Swift
  • Frameworks : Yii 2.0, Angular
  • Databases : MySQL
  • Runtime environment : Node.js

We also used other technologies and tools like Cron, Elasticsearch, and Kibana to keep Svenn well-presented at all levels.

PM software development isn’t all roses. When creating a Svenn platform, we faced several challenges associated with:

  • Customization
  • Data accuracy
  • Permissions
  • Integrations

But these challenges galvanized us into finding the right solutions to set Svenn up for success. We customized the platform’s reporting tool for granular reports without overhauling the entire system and skyrocketing development costs. 

Besides, we brought unique permission sets into Svenn, drawing a clear line between users, managers, and admins for the sake of data security. We then validated the data to prevent misleading entries upon the database transfer.

Integrations are challenging in their own right, regardless of the software type ( dive into the process for ERP solutions ). For Svenn, we surmounted the difficulties with data silos and inefficiencies while integrating a flexible billing system into the platform. This allowed Svenn to offer users additional payment-related functionality and scale without roadblocks.

Digital transformation isn’t really favored in the construction industry, but is resisting progress a smart way to keep going? This is something all business owners should ask themselves.

If you’re still here, you’re on the right track. Setting out on your transformation journey with construction PM software is an excellent starting point for pulling off more projects and streamlining workflows.

Now that you’ve matured away from spreadsheets, you’re ready for the next step. Relevant can help you take it while drawing on our experience developing construction project management software and real estate management software for small businesses. We can create it for you from scratch and embed custom features for your company. No cookbook approach.

At Relevant, we know the drill. Contact us , and we’ll prove it to you by giving you a few pointers on your construction PM software.

By various estimates, the construction software market will rise beyond $2.7 to $3 billion by 2027. It’s gaining steam as small businesses, and large enterprises acknowledge the importance of digital transformation. The market growth is fueled by the increasing demand for solutions for improved workflows from companies around the globe.

Construction PM software is used to help project managers with their job responsibilities. Although it can be customized for different tasks, a typical PM solution enables you to: – Oversee construction projects – Schedule and plan operations – Coordinate construction crews – Monitor expenses and deadlines – Keep tabs on issues – Track employee hours – Draw up progress reports – Handle documents and invoices

Many construction project management helpers are available as SaaS platforms and tools. Some of the most outstanding examples include: Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Procore, monday.com, Wrike, Buildertrend. There are many more construction project management systems. They vary by features, integration requirements, scalability options, and pricing. You should weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each platform if you’re considering a SaaS solution.

You don’t want to plunk down your money to have your construction software created in a hit-or-miss way. To avoid unexpected outcomes, do your best to find a development company with relevant expertise and an impressive project portfolio. At Relevant, we’ve amassed quite a few construction software success cases, which can help you make the right decision.

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Lydon Solutions

Lydon Solutions

Construction Project Management Software Solutions

Microsoft 365 for Construction Project Management

A Case Study on Using Microsoft 365 for Construction Project Management

Many organizations want to use Microsoft 365 to manage their construction projects. Unfortunately, figuring out where to start and how to bring all the Microsoft applications together into a cohesive solution can be overwhelming. We posted a three-part blog a little while back that includes some tips and considerations to help you on your way. You can check out that series here:

  • How to Start Managing Construction Projects in Microsoft 365 – Part 1
  • How to Start Managing Construction Projects in Microsoft 365 – Part 2
  • How to Start Managing Construction Projects in Microsoft 365 – Part 3

Starting with this new post, we are kicking off a new series to describe a case study of a real-world implementation of Microsoft 365 for construction project management. We will detail the challenges, explain some of our decisions, provide sample deliverables, and reiterate critical takeaways that might help your organization develop its construction program management solution in Microsoft 365. In this first post, we will discuss the client’s challenge and then provide a detailed analysis in follow-up posts.

The client’s challenge: How to use Microsoft 365 for effective project management

The client in this case study contracted Lydon Solutions to develop a Microsoft 365 project management solution for a multi-billion-dollar program with over eighty active projects. Meeting the client’s requirements required re-engineering their current processes and tools to deliver a solution using out-of-the-box Microsoft 365 applications effectively.

Below are the requests by the client, the systems they were using, and the Microsoft 365 applications and approaches we are implementing to solve their unique challenges.

Diagram of the applications with Project Online at the core of the solution

Before we dive into the solution space, we cannot stress enough the importance of collecting requirements. Without detailed requirements , it’s like building a house without a design. In many cases, we don’t have the luxury to perform a complete requirement gathering session since clients want a solution sooner rather than later, don’t have the resources to support the effort, and often see requirements gathering as unnecessary costs. Fortunately, we have the experience to work with whatever clients can provide and fill in the gaps where needed. But if you use a third-party vendor without this type of experience, you will end up with a disjointed solution that costs an arm and a leg to build.

In the next post, we will discuss how we approached and implemented a Project Online solution.

Lydon Solutions has been developing and implementing construction management solutions in Microsoft 365 since its inception way back in 2011. We also provide a turnkey construction management product called Construction Viz that can be quickly deployed into a client’s Microsoft 365 or hosted externally. You can check out a video of the CMAA product demo here .

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Top 15 Project Management Case Studies with Examples

Home Blog Project Management Top 15 Project Management Case Studies with Examples

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Having worked for more than 9 years in the dynamic field of project management, I would strongly refer to real-world case studies as invaluable resources for both budding and experienced professionals. These case studies provide critical insights into the challenges and triumphs encountered in various industries, illustrating the application of project management principles in practical scenarios.   I have curated the case studies as a part of this article in such a way that it delves into a selection of compelling project management case studies, ranging from the healthcare sector to infrastructure and technology. Each case study is a testament to the strategic planning, adaptability, and innovative problem-solving skills necessary in today's fast-paced business environment. These narratives not only highlight past successes but also offer guidance for future projects, making them essential tools for anyone eager to excel in project management.

What is Case Study?

A case study refers to an in-depth examination of a specific case within the real-world context. It is a piece of content that sheds light on the challenges faced, solutions adopted, and the overall outcomes of a project. To understand project management case studies, it is important to first define what a project is . A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end, aimed at achieving a specific goal or objective. Case studies are generally used by businesses during the proposal phase. However, they are also displayed on the websites of companies to provide prospects with a glance at the capabilities of the brands. It can even serve as an effective tool for lead generation. In simple words, case studies are stories that tell the target audience about the measures and strategies that the organization adopted to become successful.

What is Project Management Case Study?

A project management case study is a piece of content that highlights a project successfully managed by the organization. It showcases the challenges that the organization faced, the solutions adopted, and the final results. Keep reading in order to explore examples of successful project management case studies.

Top 15 Project Management Case Studies and Examples 

Are you looking for some examples of PMP case studies? If yes, here are some of the best examples you can explore. Let’s dive in!

1. Mavenlink Helps Improve Utilization Rates by 15% for BTM Global

The case study is all about how Mavenlink helped BTM Global Consulting to save hours of work and enhance utilization with resource management technology. BTM Global Consulting offers system development and integration services to diverse clients. The challenges that the company faced were that tools like Netsuite OpenAir and Excel spreadsheets were not able to meet the customization needs as the company grew. It impacted their overall productivity.

In order to overcome the challenge, the solution they adopted was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was that it increased the utilization of the company by 10% and enhanced project manager utilization by 15%. It also reduced resource allocation work from 4 hours to just 10 minutes.

2. Boncom Reduces Billing Rate Errors by 100% With Mavenlink

Boncom is an advertising agency that collaborates with different purpose driven brands to create goods worldwide. The challenge was that the company relied on several-point solutions for delivering client-facing projects. However, the solutions failed to offer the required operational functionality. An ideal solution for Boncom was to adopt Mavenlink. The result was that the billing rate error got reduced by 100%. Accurate forecasting became possible for Boncom, and the company could generate reports in much less time.

3. whyaye! Reaches 80% Billable Utilization with Mavenlink

whyaye is a digital transformation consultancy delivering IT transformation solutions to businesses operating in diverse sectors. The challenge was that whyaye used to manage resources and projects using tools such as emails, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Excel. However, with the growth of the company, they were not able to access project data or gain insights for effective management of the projects . The ultimate solution to this challenge was to make a switch to Mavenlink. The result was an increase in the utilization by 6%, doubling of new clients, tripling of the company size, and seamless support through business growth.

4. Metova Increases Billable Utilization by 10% With Mavenlink

If you are looking for a project planning case study, Metova can be the right example. Metova is a technology firm, a Gold Partner of Microsoft, and an advanced consulting partner of AWS. The challenge was that the company handled several projects at a time. However, its heavy dependence on tools like Google Sheets limited the growth capabilities of the organization. So, the company looked for a solution and switched to Mavenlink. The result was that it was able to increase its billable utilization by 10%, increase its portfolio visibility, and standardize its project management process.

5. Appetize Doubles Length of Forecasting Outlook with Mavenlink

Appetize is one of the leading cloud-based points of sale (POS), enterprise management, and digital ordering platform that is trusted by a number of businesses. The challenge of the company was that its legacy project tracking systems were not able to meet the growing needs of the company. They experienced growth and manual data analysis challenges. The solution they found was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was an increase in the forecast horizon to 12 weeks, support for effective companywide scaling, easy management of over 40 major projects, and Salesforce integration for project implementation.

6. RSM Improves Client Satisfaction and Global Business Processes with Mavenlink

RSM is a tax, audit, and consulting company that provides a wide array of professional services to clients in Canada and the United States. The challenge of the company was that its legacy system lacked the necessary features required to support their work- and time-intensive projects and delivered insights relating to the project trends. An ideal solution to this challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was better to risk mitigation in tax compliance, improved client-team communication, templatized project creation, and better use of the KPIs and project status.

7. CORE Business Technologies Increases Billable Utilization by 35% with Mavenlink

CORE Business Technologies is a reputed single-source vendor self-service, in-person, and back-office processing to the clients. It offers SaaS-based payment solutions to clients. The challenge faced by the company was that its tools like spreadsheets, Zoho, and Microsoft Project led to a hectic work schedule owing to a huge number of disconnected systems. The solution to the challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was the enhancement of team productivity by 50%, time entry compliance by 100%, and enhancement of the billable utilization rate by 35%.

8. Client Success: Health Catalyst Improves Business Processes and Increases Consistency in Project Delivery with Mavenlink

Health Catalyst is a company that delivers data and analytics services and technology to different healthcare organizations. The firm provides assistance to technicians and clinicians in the healthcare sector. The challenge of the company was that the tools like Intacct and spreadsheets that is used for project management were not able to provide the required data insights and clarity for better project management. It also limited effective resource management. The solution was to embrace Mavenlink. The result was better resource forecasting, enhanced interdepartmental communication, consistency in project delivery, and better resource data insights .

9. Client Success: Optimus SBR Improves Forecasting Horizon by 50% with Mavenlink

Optimus SBR is a leading professional service provider in North America. It offers the best results to companies operating in diverse sectors, including healthcare, energy, transportation, financial services, and more. The challenge was that legacy software tools that the firm used gave rise to project management issues. The company was not able to get a real-time revenue forecast or gain insights into its future financial performance. The solution that the company adopted was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was better data-driven hiring decisions, efficient delivery of remote work, and enhancement of the forecasting horizon by 50%.

10. Client Success: PlainJoe Studios Increases Projects Closing Within Budget by 50% With Mavenlink

PlainJoe Studios is an experimental design studio that focuses on digitally immersive and strategic storytelling. The company has a team of strategists, architects, and problem solvers to create value for the clients. The challenge of the company was that the manual processing of the company affected its ability to grow and manage the diverse project effectively. They lacked clarity about their project needs and profitability. The solution to deal with the challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was an enhancement in the billing rates by 15%, better project closing within budget by 50%, better data insights for the success of different projects, and a faster shift to remote work.

11. Client Success: RPI Consultants Decreases Admin Time by 20% With Mavenlink

If you are looking for an example of one of the best software project management case studies, then RPI Consultants can be the ideal one. RPI Consultants offer expert project leadership and software consulting services for enterprise-level implementation of solutions and products. The challenge was that the task management solutions adopted by the company gave rise to a number of complications. It resulted in poor interdepartmental transparency and time-consuming data entry. The ultimate solution that the company embraced was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was a rise in the utilization rate by 5%, lowing of admin time by 20%, better forecasting and resource management, and a single source for gaining insights into the project data.

12. Client Success: CBI's PMO Increases Billable Utilization By 30% With Mavenlink

CBI is a company that is focused on protecting the reputations, data, and brands of its clients. The challenge that the company faced was that the solutions used were unable to meet the growing needs of the organization. The systems were outdated, data sharing was not possible, and time tracking was inconsistent. The solution to the challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was better interdepartmental alignment, enhancement of time tracking to support business growth, an increase in the billable utilization rate by 30%, and detailed insights for a greater success of the projects.

13. Client Success: Butterfly Increases Billable Time by 20% with Mavenlink

Butterfly is a leading digital agency that provides digital strategy, website design and development services, and ongoing support to businesses across Australia. The challenge was that the different legacy systems used by the agency limited its capability of effective project management and reporting. The systems were time consuming and cumbersome. In order to deal with the challenge, the solution was to make a switch to Mavenlink. The result was the enhancement of billable time by 20%, fast reporting insights, enhancement of productive utilization by 16%, and better Jira integration.

14. Client Success: TeleTracking Increases Billable Utilization by 37% With Mavenlink

TeleTracking Technologies is a leading provider of patient flow automation solutions to various hospitals in the healthcare sector. The challenge of the company was that it used different systems such as Microsoft Excel, Sharepoint, MS Project, Jira, and Netsuite. The use of a variety of solutions created a number of challenges for the company. It had poor forecasting capability, an insufficient time tracking process, and unclear resource utilization. The solution was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was the enhancement of time tracking compliance by 100%, rise in hours to date by 18%, and enhancement of billable utilization by 37%.

15. Client Success: Taylors Improves Utilization Rates by 15% with Mavenlink

This is a perfect example of a construction project management case study. Taylor Development Strategists is a leading civil engineering and urban planning organization in Australia. The challenge that the company faced was that the systems that it used were not able to support the growth of the business. There were a lot of inefficiencies and limitations. The solution to the challenge was to switch to Mavenlink. The result was better global collaboration, an increase in the utilization rate by 15%, consistency of timesheet entry, and in-depth insights relating to utilization and project targets.

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Start Creating Your Project Management Case Study

Not that you have a detailed idea about project management case studies, it is time to prepare your own. When doing the project management case study exercise, make sure to focus on covering all the important elements. Clearly stating the challenges and the solutions adopted by the company is important. If you want to get better at project management, getting a PMP Certification can be beneficial.

Case Study Best Practices and Tips 

Want to prepare a project management case study? Here are some tips that can help. 

  • Involve your clients in the preparation of the case study. 
  • Make use of graphs and data. 
  • Mix images, texts, graphs, and whitespace effectively.

Project Management Case Studies Examples

Hospital el pilar improves patient care with implementing disciplined agile.

If you are looking for an example of one of the best hospital related project management case studies, then Hospital El Pilar can be the ideal one. Hospital El Pilar is a private hospital in Guatemala City, Guatemala, that provides comprehensive care to patients in various medical specialties. The challenge was that the hospital’s application development team faced several obstacles in managing and delivering projects, such as unclear priorities, a lack of visibility, little interaction with users, and competing demands. The solution that the team adopted was to use Disciplined Agile® (DA™), a flexible and pragmatic approach to project management that optimizes the way of working (WoW). The result was improved project outcomes, increased user satisfaction, greater transparency, and more trust from stakeholders and customers.

British Columbia’s Ministry of Technology and Infrastructure (MoTI) gets its principal corridor for transportation up in 35 days

Reconnecting Roads After Massive Flooding (2022) is a case study of how the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) used a project management approach based on the PMBOK® Guide to restore critical routes after a catastrophic weather event. It is one of the examples of successful project management case studies you can look into. The challenge was that an atmospheric river caused severe flooding, landslides, and bridge collapses, cutting off the lower mainland from the rest of Canada2. The solution was to prioritize the reopening of Highway 5, the principal corridor for transportation of goods and people, by creating scopes, work breakdown structures, and schedules for each site3. The result was that Highway 5 was reopened to commercial traffic in 35 days, despite additional weather challenges and risks4. The construction project management case study we discussed demonstrated the benefits of flexibility, collaboration, and communication in emergency response.

Case Study Template 

To create a well-crafted and highly informative case study template in the realms of project management, you should start by providing a brief overview of the client's company, focusing on its industry, scale, and specific challenges. Follow with a detailed section on the challenge, emphasizing the unique aspects of the project and obstacles faced. Next, you might want to describe the solution implemented, detailing the strategies, methodologies, and tools used. Then, you would need to present the results, quantifying improvements and highlighting objectives achieved. Finally, please conclude the case study with a summary, encapsulating key takeaways and emphasizing the project's success and its implications for future endeavors. By following this structure, you can present a comprehensive yet concise analysis that is ideal for showcasing project management expertise and insights. You can also refer to the template for crafting a better case study on project management – Template for writing case studies.

By now, you must have gained a comprehensive knowledge of preparing a project management case study. This article elaborately explains the significance of real life project management case studies as vital tools for demonstrating a company's expertise in handling complex projects. These case studies, showcasing real-world scenarios, serve as compelling evidence of a firm's capability to navigate challenges and implement effective solutions, thereby boosting confidence in potential clients and partners. They are not only a reflection of past successes but also a lighthouse guiding future project endeavors in the discipline of project management within the fields of construction, pharmacy, technology and finance, highlighting the importance of strategic planning, innovation, and adaptability in project management. If you are aspiring to excel in this field, understanding these case studies is invaluable. However, you would also need to learn from project management failures case studies which would provide a roadmap to mastering the art of project management in today's dynamic business landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. how do you write a project management case study.

In order to write a project management case study, keep everything brief but mention everything in detail. Make sure to write it with clarity and include graphs and images. 

2. Why is a case study important in project identification?

It is important to highlight the story of the success of your company and your clients.

3. What are case studies in project management?

A case study in project management is the success story of how effectively a company was able to handle a specific project of the client.

4. What should a project case study include?

A project study must include information about the client, how your company helped the client in resolving a problem, and the results.

5. Which are the best-case studies on project management?

The best-case studies on project management have been listed above. It includes BTM Global, Butterfly, Boncom, and more.

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Kevin D.Davis

Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

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construction project management case studies

Project Management Case Studies

Roofing isolated repairs—leeds.

A leading national trade supplier appointed Bradley-Mason LLP as Project Manager, Contract Administrator and Principal Designer to manage the roof refurbishment works following ongoing water ingress issues to their property held on a FRI Leasehold basis.

Recoat Profiled Metal — Maidenhead

A leading national trade supplier appointed Bradley-Mason LLP as Project Manager, Contract Administrator and Principal Designer to manage the roof refurbishment works.

Roofing Asbestos Replacement- Newbridge

A leading national trade supplier appointed Bradley-Mason LLP as Project Manager, Cost Consultant and Principal Designer to manage the roof refurbishment works following extensive ongoing water ingress issues to their property held on an FRI Lease basis.

Roofing Overclad Asbestos—Hamilton

A leading national trade supplier appointed Bradley-Mason LLP as Project Manager, Contract Administrator and Principal Designer to manage the roof refurbishment works following extensive ongoing water ingress issues to their property held on a FRI Leasehold basis.

Design and Project Management, Speedy, Super Workshop, Erith

Bradley-Mason LLP were pleased to act as lead consultants and project managers in the creation of the Erith “Super Workshop” for Speedy Asset Services. A lengthy consultation with operational and managerial stakeholders from all four divisions of the business formed an essential part of the procurement process.

Firstmost Darlington Dilaps to Project Management

Bradley-Mason LLP were engaged to inspect a vacated retail premises in a high street location in Darlington. The previous Tenant’s Lease had expired and the unit was left in poor condition with external defects and redundant shop fittings. A thorough inspection was made and a detailed Schedule of Dilapidations prepared in accordance with the Lease and the relevant clauses.

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Top 20 Project Management Case Studies [With Examples]

Top 20 Project Management Case Studies [With Examples]

Project management case study analyses showcase and compare real-life project management processes and systems scenarios. These studies shed light on the common challenges that project managers encounter on a daily basis. This helps project managers develop effective strategies, overcome obstacles, and achieve successful results. 

By leveraging project management case studies , organisations can optimise their operations by providing insights into the most effective approaches. With effective implementation of these case studies, strategies, and methodologies, ensuring successful project completion is achievable.

Criteria for Selection of Top 20 Case Studies

The top 20 case studies are selected based on significance, impact, challenges, project management strategies, and overall success. They provide diverse insights and lessons for project managers and organisations.

1. The Sydney Opera House Project

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The Sydney Opera House Project is an iconic example of project management case studies as it faced multiple challenges during its construction phase. Despite facing leadership changes, budget overruns, and design failures, the project persevered and was completed in 1973, a decade later than planned. The Opera House stands as a symbol of perseverance and successful project management in the face of humankind.

2. The Airbus A380 Project

The Airbus A380 Project is a project management case study showcasing the challenges encountered during developing and producing the world’s largest commercial aircraft. The project experienced massive delays and impacted costs of more than $6 billion, with several issues arising from the manufacturing and delivery process, outsourcing, and project coordination. 

However, the Airbus A380 was successfully launched through carefully planned project management strategies, delivering a world-class aircraft that met customer expectations.

3. The Panama Canal Expansion Project 

The Panama Canal Expansion Project serves as a compelling case study, illustrating the management’s encounters in expanding the capacity of the Panama Canal. The project included multiple stakeholders, technological innovations, environmental concerns, and safety challenges. 

4. The Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project

The Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project serves as a project management case study of a large-scale underground tunnel construction project. It successfully addressed traffic congestion and was completed in 2007. The project was completed in 2007, with numerous hurdles delaying progress like complexity, technology failure, ballooning budgets, media scrutiny, etc.

5. The London 2012 Olympics Project

The London 2012 Olympics Project stands as a successful project management case study, showcasing the management of a large-scale international sporting event. This project involved the construction of a new sports infrastructure, event logistics and security concerns. The project was successfully accomplished, delivering a world-class event that captivated the audience.

6. The Hoover Dam Bypass Project

The Hoover Dam Bypass Project was a construction project in the United States of America that intended to alleviate traffic from the Hoover Dam by building a new bridge. Completed in 2010, the bridge spans across the Colorado River, connecting Arizona and Nevada and offers a safer and more efficient route for motorists.

7. The Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project

The Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project is a case study example constructed in San Francisco, California. Its objective was to enhance the bridge’s resilience against earthquakes and aftershocks. Completed in 2012, the project included the installation of shock absorbers and other seismic upgrades to ensure the bridge’s safety and functionality in the event of a major earthquake.

8. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Project

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Project is a massive case study that intends to connect Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau with a bridge-tunnel system of 55 kilometres. Completed in 2018, the project required massive funds, investments and innovative engineering solutions, providing a new transport link and boosting regional connectivity.

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9. The Panama Papers Investigation Project

The Panama Papers Investigation Project is a global case study of journalistic investigations into offshore tax havens. It involved leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm. Coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the project resulted in major political and financial repercussions worldwide, garnering widespread media attention.

10. The Apple iPhone Development Project

The Apple iPhone Development Project started in 2004, aiming to create a groundbreaking mobile device. In 2007, the iPhone transformed the industry with its innovative touchscreen interface, sleek design, and advanced features. This project involved significant research, development, marketing, and supply chain management investments.

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11. The Ford Pinto Design and Launch Project

The Ford Pinto Design and Launch Project was a developmental project intended to create an affordable, fuel-efficient subcompact car. Launched in 1971, because of its fuel tank design, it became infamous for safety issues. The project was rigged for ethical and safety concerns, lawsuits, and recalls.

12. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response Project

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response Project was a response to the largest oil spill in US history, caused by an offshore drilling rig explosion in 2010. This crisis response project utilised a waterfall project management approach, where the project team followed a pattern of planning, executing, monitoring, and closing phases. 

13. The NASA Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster Project

  The NASA Challenger Disaster Project was a tragic space exploration mission in 1986, resulting in the loss of all seven crew members. Extensive investigations revealed design and safety flaws as the cause. This disaster prompted NASA to address decision-making processes and improve safety cultures.

14. The Three Gorges Dam Project

  The Three Gorges Dam Project was a large-scale infrastructure project developed in China that aimed to build the world’s largest hydroelectric dam on the Yangtze River. Completed in 2012, it encountered environmental, social, and engineering challenges. The dam currently offers power generation, flood control, and improved navigation, but it has also resulted in ecological and cultural consequences.

15. The Big Dig Project in Boston

The Big Dig Project was a transportation infrastructure project in Boston, Massachusetts, intended to replace an old elevated highway with a newer tunnel system. Completed in 2007, it serves as one of the most complex and costly construction endeavours in US history. Despite facing many delays, cost overruns and engineering challenges, the project successfully improved traffic flow and urban aesthetics but also resulted in accidents, lawsuits, and financial burdens.

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16. The Uber Disruptive Business Model Project

  The Uber Disruptive Business Model Project was a startup that introduced a new ride business model that disrupted the taxi-cab industry by connecting riders with drivers via a mobile app. Launched in 2010, this project required innovative technology, marketing and regulatory strategies and faced legal actions and ethical challenges related to labour, safety, and competition. Uber has since then dominated the market with its ride-sharing business plan.

17. The Netflix Original Content Development Project

The Netflix Original Content Development Project was an initiative created to launch its original content for its platform. This launch by the online streaming giant in 2012 was a huge success for the company. The project required huge investments in content creation, distribution and marketing and resulted in award-winning shows and films that redefined the entire entertainment industry’s business model.

18. The Tesla Electric Car Project

The Tesla Electric Car Project was a revolutionary project that aimed to compete for its electric vehicles with gasoline-powered vehicles. The project required a strong project management plan that incorporated innovation, sustainability, and stakeholder engagement, resulting in the successful launch of the Tesla Roadster in 2008 and subsequent models. Tesla has one-handedly revolutionised the entire automobile industry on its own. 

19. The Johnson & Johnson Tylenol Crisis Management Project:

The Johnson & Johnson Tylenol Crisis Management Project was a case study in crisis management in 1982. The project required quick and effective decision-making skills, stakeholder communication, and ethical leadership in response to the tampering of Tylenol capsules that led to deaths. 

20. The Airbnb Online Marketplace Platform Project  

The Airbnb Online Marketplace Platform Project was a startup that created an online platform which connected travellers with hosts offering short-term rental accommodations in flights. The project required innovative technology, user experience design and stakeholder management. Airbnb’s success has led to the disruption of the hospitality industry and inspired many other project case study examples of sharing economy platforms.

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Future developments in project management.

Future developments in project management include all the insights on the increased use of artificial intelligence, agile methodologies, hybrid project management approaches, and emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility, along with many more developing ideas that will address the evolving market innovations. 

Key Takeaways from the Case Studies

The project management case study examples illustrate real-life examples and the importance of project management in achieving project success. The cases show the use of innovative technologies, tools, techniques, stakeholder engagement, crisis management, and agile methodologies. 

Project Management also highlights the role of ethical leadership and social responsibility in project management. To learn more and more about case studies, upGrad, India’s leading education platform, has offered an Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad that will equip you with in-demand management skills to keep up with the changing trends!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Project Management is extensive planning, executing, monitoring and closing of a project before its deadline. Project management ensures accuracy and efficiency across all organs of a project, right from its inception to its completion.

Project Management case studies are real-life examples of projects to put an insight into all the tools, techniques and methodologies it provides.

The role of a project manager is to ensure that all day-to-day responsibilities are being met by the resources deployed in a certain project. They have the authority to manage as well as lead the functioning members as well.

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LOE in Project Management: Understanding Level of Effort and Its Application

  • February 13, 2024

Understanding the key aspects of project management is crucial for effectively managing any enterprise. One often overlooked integral component is LOE, or Level of Effort. Project management, by definition, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to the activities of a project to fulfill its requirements. This discipline spans across various industries and types of projects, ranging from IT implementations to construction projects, and even event planning. Each project, regardless of its scale or type, requires thorough and thoughtful planning, execution, and control.

Level of Effort (LOE) forms a critical part of this planning and control process. At its basic level, LOE refers to the volume of work required to complete a project task. It is typically measured in person-hours, and includes the time it takes to perform a task, as well as the time spent managing and overseeing it. An accurate estimation of LOE is paramount to a project’s planning accuracy, as it directly influences timelines, resource allocation, and financial planning.

This blog aims to provide a fresh perspective on the significant role that LOE plays in project management. It covers facets ranging from the basic definition of LOE to its application in real-world contexts. This provides the reader a comprehensive understanding of this critical project management tool. In the blog, we will explore the concept and history of Level of Effort (LOE), its role in project planning, and how it’s estimated for different types of projects. We will also delve into practical case studies where LOE has been instrumental in guiding/project outcomes. By the end of the blog, the reader will have gained valuable insights into how LOE can help accurately forecast project timelines, control resources, manage risks, and eventually, lead to successful project completions.

Defining Level of Effort (LOE)

In a bid to understand LOE – Level of Effort – we first need to define this term in the context of project management. LOE refers to the amount of work or effort, typically measured in hours, assigned to a specific task within a project. This concept is fundamentally different from duration, which refers to the total time required to complete a given task, including not just the effort but also periods of inactivity, waiting, or delays.

The importance of LOE in Project Management cannot be overstated. It provides an estimate of the level of resources required to correctly perform a task. These estimations, in turn, can be fashioned into a project schedule, thus forming the basis for resource planning, budgeting, and project control measures. By accurately estimating the LOE, project managers can improve resource allocation, manage costs, and improve overall project performance.

Now that we have defined LOE and its importance, let’s delve into its history and evolution. The concept of Level of Effort was first introduced within project management methodologies in the late 20th century as part of ‘Earned Value Management’ (EVM). This approach strives for the integration of project scope, schedule, and cost objectives. Initially, it was applied in industrial and military projects. It has since been adapted and used in a wide range of project types, marking a clear evolution in its application. Project managers recognize the immense potential it brings to project planning, tracking, and control.

Overall, LOE serves as a critical tool in various stages of project management, shaping the way the entire project is planned and executed. As we dig deeper into its applications and role in project planning in the following sections, remember the foundational understanding of LOE as an effort estimation method for tasks within a project, and its pivotal role in successful project execution.

The Role of LOE in Project Planning

Delving into the first objective, it’s essential to identify the Level of Effort (LOE) for individual tasks within any project management. Identifying LOE allows project managers to estimate the resources and hours that a task may require. As such, it forms an integral part of project planning, providing project managers with an overview of the demands of individual tasks within the larger project at hand.

Moving on, LOE contributes critically to the creation of project schedules. Recognizing the LOE for each task can assist in drafting a realistic timeline for project completion. When LOE is accurately identified, it allows for sensible time allocation for each task and helps prevent costly overruns. This responsible time management leads to a well-rounded and holistic plan that accommodates each aspect of the project.

Looking further, the impact of LOE extends to the management of project resources. Understanding this dynamic can assist in streamlining resources towards the most labor-intensive tasks. This action prevents wastage and ensures adequate resources are provided for high LOE tasks . Therefore, accurately identifying LOE enables efficient resource management within a project.

Lastly, the role of LOE in risk assessment and management cannot be disregarded. The LOE for each task can help identify potential risks and obstacles during the execution phase of the project. Tasks with high LOE might commonly carry more significant risks; being aware of such correlation can enable project managers to take proactive measures for mitigation. In this way, LOE serves as an effective tool for identifying and managing risks in project management.

construction project management case studies

Methods for Estimating Level of Effort

In any project management scenario, estimating the Level of Effort (LOE) is a critical step. There are various techniques that can be used to effectively estimate LOE. Some common methods include the use of historical data, expert judgment, parametric estimating, and analogous estimating. Historical data uses past performance figures to predict future LOE. Expert judgment depends on the experience and expertise of industry professionals, while parametric estimating uses statistical methods to predict LOE. On the other hand, analogous estimating uses data from similar past projects to estimate LOE. Deciding which method to use requires a thorough understanding of the project at hand and the available resources.

Comparing and contrasting these methods can help project managers choose the most suitable approach for their specific situation. For instance, if a project is similar to ones that have been completed in the past, analogous estimating might be the best approach. However, if the project is new or unique, relying on expert judgment or statistical models via parametric estimating could be more suitable. It’s crucial to remember, though, that no one method is universally correct, and often, a combination of methods is used to get the most accurate LOE estimate.

Project managers often encounter challenges in estimating LOE. Some common difficulties include the absence of similar historical projects, technological changes, and variations in team experience and efficiency. These challenges can alter the accuracy of the LOE estimates and make them harder to predict. Solutions to these challenges may involve using a combination of estimation methods, continuously updating estimates as more information becomes available, and including buffer time to cover unforeseen circumstances.

By understanding these methods and their pros and cons, project managers can make informed decisions when estimating LOE , leading to better project planning and execution. In the next section, we will look at some real-life case studies that illustrate how proper LOE estimation aids in achieving project goals.

Applying LOE in Project Management: Case Studies

To better understand the practical application and impact of LOE (Level of Effort) in project management, let’s delve into some case studies. These real-life scenarios will serve to illuminate how LOE assessment guides project activities and contributes to the overall success or failure of a project. They will provide a concrete background to the theoretical perspectives we have discussed previously.

A classic example is the construction project of a new office building. In this situation, the LOE estimation of each construction task, such as laying the foundation, erecting the structure, wiring, and interior decoration, played a significant role in determining project timelines and resourcing. The correct estimation of LOE ensured that each task was allocated an adequate duration and the necessary resources, subsequently leading to the successful completion of the project within the stipulated timeframe.

On the other hand, a contrasting case would be an IT project involving the development of a new software application. Here, initial LOE estimates for coding and testing were underestimated. This miscalculation led to project delays and a significant overrun of the budget. This scenario draws attention to the crucial influence of accurate LOE estimates on schedule development and resource allocation.

From these two case studies, we can derive some valuable insights. Firstly, the importance of accurate LOE estimation in project planning cannot be overstated; it significantly determines if the project will stay within its budget and timeline. Secondly, the estimate should be tailored to the nature and complexity of the project. This ensures that there is an appropriate allocation of resources. Lastly, it is important to realize that LOE estimation is a fluid process that needs to be iteratively updated and adjusted during the project lifecycle based on actual project dynamics.

These case studies underscore the critical role of LOE in project management and demonstrate the potential for LOE to act as a catalyst for achieving project success by ensuring accurate schedule development and resource allocation.

In conclusion, we have delved deep into the vast world of LOE project management. We began by defining what LOE or Level of Effort is, and its significant role in the field of Project Management. Our discussion shed light on the evolution and history of LOE, providing a fascinating view of how the concept has grown and adapted to the ever-changing world of project planning.

The critical role of LOE in project planning was emphasized, spotlighting its application in identifying tasks within a project, constructing schedules, and effectively managing resources. Additionally, we considered LOE’s essential part in risk assessment and management, demonstrating that estimating effort levels and time allocation profoundly impacts project planning stages and mitigates potential project risks.

Moving forward, we explored various techniques for estimating LOE, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, and suitability for different types of projects. We acknowledged that no single approach suits all scenarios, underscoring the importance of selecting the appropriate estimating method depending on various project features. Moreover, we identified the common challenges encountered when estimating LOE and provided viable solutions to tackle these issues effectively.

The theoretical discussion was supplemented with practical examples and case studies, illustrating how the application of LOE impacts project outcomes. These cases underscored the critical role of accurate LOE estimation in achieving project goals and offered valuable lessons for future project initiatives.

In summary, understanding the Level of Effort and its application has proven to be crucial in successful project management practices. Its proper implementation can significantly contribute to project planning, execution, and successful delivery. Therefore, we encourage you to consider LOE estimation in your project management toolkit. Always remember, good project management is not just about task completion; it’s also about effort estimation and time management. Embrace LOE in your practice: see how it revolutionizes your project management experience.

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