Challenges Of The Building Project Delivery Process

Challenges Of The Building Project Delivery Process: Perceptions Of Construction Professional In Anambra

State, Nigeria


    • Background of the Study

Smith (1999) observed that project delivery processes are critical to achieving project success as they entail an essential aspect of an organization’s strategic planning and management system that seek to minimize risks and uncertainties.




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He only argued that one major factor that often derails process success is poor management of the delivery system, such that in many occasions underperforming delivery systems tend to undermine the inevitable uncertainties that need to be overcome to avoid project failure, Smith (1999).

The construction industry is one such area where project management is very much plagued with project failures. It has been contended that the diverse and multifaceted nature of construction projects make it more “difficult to plan for, forecast, manage and control” (Smith and Jaggar, 2007), such that decision taken in the preliminary stages of project managements process are critical to project success (Miller et al, 2000). For example, some researchers have argued that “decisions made in the initial phase of a project’s life cycle have a much greater influence on a project’s outcome than decisions made in later phase” (Miller et al, 2000).

It has also been established by Davies, (2013) that project success varies from different perspectives can be looked at from multiple dimension such as achieving project objectives, user satisfaction, operational performance and functionality.

Project as strategic activities use initiated to create economic value and competitive advantage (Shenhar et al; 2002), and both large and small organizations in private and public sectors undertake project to achieve business goals and objectives. Therefore the effective execution and management of a project delivery system as mentioned, should be considered critical, as it has been found to be a major determinant of successful projects (Dolor, 2012: Chen et al, 2011; Erikson Westerberg, 2010).

However, a major concern in project delivery have long-term effects or implications on project performance after completion.

Also, in a lecture delivered at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Agu (2011), said that successful project delivery depends so much on translation of contract documents into modern and enviable edifices that will stand the taste of time.

Agu, (2011), also said that construction industry is capital intensive as such should be cautiously and carefully coordinated so as to ensure full performance in order to achieve the objective of good quality, within the cost limit and time frame. These are obviously realized by proper documentation and good planning (Agu, 2011).

However, high levels of project success can be achieved if the effects of the project delivery systems on project success are clearly established, and measures are taken by the owner to eliminate or retain these effects to the benefit of stakeholder (Wang and Huang; 2005).

These authors also contend that the institutional context, developed versus developing, with its related institutional supports and challenges can impinge on the capacity of organizations, private or public, to attain project success (Ameyam, Mensah and Osei-Tutu, 2012).

The history of building in Nigeria revealed that most buildings are partially abandoned for sometimes before beings completed and at times they get abandoned entirely. These have caused clients to loose interest investing on building projects. Effects have been made in different ways to curb the incidence of delayed building project delivery, but much of those efforts have not been good enough.

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The researcher, being a potential and aspiring builder, felt concerned and so decided to embark on this research work to determine those factors which pose/constitute challenges to the building project delivery process

  • Statement of the Problem

Critical review of related literature presents numerous cases of abandoned projects and delayed project delivery which tend to scare potential investors in building projects. A number of factors are feared to constitute challenges of successful building project delivery process, yet, this does not exit any research based record of those challenges this gap posed a serious concern which this project sought to address

  • Research aims and objectives

The main aim of this study is to determine various factors which tend to hinder successful building project delivery as perceived by the construction professionals involved in the procurement processes. In pursuit of this aim, the following specific objectives are outlined;

  1. To ascertain the perceptions of the construction professionals the extent to which the identified factors constitute challenges to the successful building project delivery processes.
  2. To identify challenges encountered during various building procurement processes.
  3. To make recommendations on ways to content with the challenges in order to achieve successful/ quality building projects delivery within estimated time frame.
    • Significance of the study

The findings of this study will significantly contribute to the re-examination of the course content, objectives and the appropriate learning experience that would curb the challenges of successful building project delivery process in construction industry.

Before now, most buildings are partially abandoned for some time before being completed and at times they got abandoned entirely, making clients to loose interest investing on building project. The results of this research and recommendation thereof will go a long way towards reducing incidences of projects delay and, or abandonment.

  • Research Questions

In the height of the above state problem, it is pertinent to ask the following research questions.

  1. What are the challenges encountered during building procurement processes?
  2. What factors constitute challenges to the successful building project delivery processes?
  3. What recommendations can be made to ensure successful/quality building project delivery?
    • Study area

The area of this study is Anambra State, Nigeria.

  • Definition of terms
  1. Construction: In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. For from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking. Normally, the job is managed by a project manager and supervised by a construction manager, design engineer, construction engineer or project architect.
  2. Project Management: This is the discipline of planning organizing, motivating and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavour with a defined beginning and end (usually tune constrained and often constrained by funding or deliverables) undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to being about beneficial changes or added value.
  • Time: This is a dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.
  1. Cost: A cost is the value of money that has been used up to produce something, and hence is not available for use anymore. In business, the cost may be one of acquisition, in which case the amount of money expended to acquire it is counted as cost.



Generally, project is seen as a pieces of work that is carefully planned and done over or period of time. A project, therefore, is a concrete objective setout for attainment. This is why CHADENET and KING (1972), defined a project as an optimum set of investment oriented actions by means of which a defined combination of human and material resources is expected to cause a determined amount of economic and social development.


A project is any task which has time and cost limit with defined scope and quality standards. Love (1980), a project may be defined as a short time goal requiring the commitment of varied skills and resources. This combination of both human and non-human resources are pulled together in a temporary organization to achieve a specific purpose within a given time. A project can, therefore, be used to process the following features:

  1. A specific set of goals.
  2. A defined beginning and end.
  3. A series of complex or interrelated activities.
  4. A limited budget.

According to Srivastave (March 5, 2015), summarized when project managers plan implementations, they often do not adequately anticipate failure despite the risks associated with any project. Rather, they plan for the best case scenarious driven by the budget, deliverable, sponsor expectations and deadlines. And despite their best efforts at project management, failure rates remain high.

Project implementations can fail for a number of reason-ranging from realistic expectations, poor methodology, poor requirements, untrained teams, unrealistic budgets, to poor communication and more.  With such a long list of factors that can lead to failure, the chances of project implementation success seems low.


  1. Business and organizational issues need to be identified and analyzed with clarity and without emotion.
  2. Audits and assessments conducted by an external auditor add value to the project implementation and protect it against.
  3. Real time monitoring and analysis of the project implementation’s progress can help identify the risk triggers early on and indicate endangered work package.
  4. A project manager needs to set and manage the expectations of the project.
  5. Don’t set only aggressive or optimistic schedules.

According to Demetrios, (March 15, 2011), highlighted the most common challenges project manager face during their day-to-day lives. They includes:

  1. Making unrealistic deadlines realistic: Some would argue that most project have “schedule slippage” as a standard feature rather than an anomaly. The challenges of many managers becomes finding alternate approaches to the tasks and schedules in order to complete a project “on time” or to get approval for slipping duties.
  2. Accountability: The project participants and related players should understand that they will held accountable for their results, or lack of achieving all of them, implementing improved and clearer workflows can help determine and use accountability as part of the project risk profile.
  • Communication: Is the single most important key to project management, providing just the right amount of communication at the right times to a large group of stakeholders is not an easy task, however, because opinions vary in terms of what the right way to communication is for this reason, communication is an out that takes many years to learn and develop in project management.

In recognition of the fact that only gain accruable in using foreign contractors are packaged products with little or no local value added. This debacle is what has informed the landing of the national construction policy in June, 1991 with the aim of pursuing aggressive policies and acquiring the necessary technological and managerial skills required to develop and sustain a viable indigenized construction industry in Nigeria.

The structural problems of the construction as on alien outfit that has for years lacked the desired indigenous contents and this remains incompatible with Nigeria stressed the economic importance of the construction industry as a potent motivator for the National Economy in the generation of employment. National trade export market, a driving force behind technological development and a stimulant for research and productivity. And proffered building up viable indigenous construction industry in Nigeria through pursuing very aggressive policies as enumerated.

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According to Sherlock Holmes (1987), noted the base concepts in the development of construction planning that is a fundamental and challenging activity in the management and execution of construction project. It involves the choice of technology, the definition of work tasks, the estimation of the required resources and durations for individual tasks, and the identification of any interactions among the different work tasks. A good construction plan is the basic for developing the budget and the schedule for work. Developing the construction plan is a critical task in the management of construction, even if the plan is not written or otherwise formally recorded.

In addition to these technical aspects of construction planning, it may also be necessary to make organizational decisions about the relationship between project participants and even which organizations to include in a project.


Environmental planning is the application natural and social science to promote environmental sound development and management of natural resources. It is a broad field bridging the disciplines of geology, soils, hydrology, plant and wildlife ecology, law and public policy. Many environmental planners are also specialists in these fields; what distinguishes them as planners is that they bring analytical, managerial and policy making skills to bear on decisions about the appropriate use of land and natural resources.


According to Pate (March, 1968), formulated the legal aspects of construction. He said that the most specifications are written the intent to be very specific in providing a form disposition of any dispute which may arise.

Being human, however, the engineer or architect protects both himself and the owner with a liberal use of terms such as: “to the satisfaction of the engineer”, “in a workman like manner” and “the contractor shall thought investigate”.

The theory being that any unexpected difficulty is the responsibility of the contractor. The phrase “workman like manner” seems to have as many definitions as there are people who interpret it. A provision that work shall be done in a good and workman like manner relates to the things specified to be done and does not impose on the contractor the duty of doing outs or talking precaution which ought to have been, but were not provided for in the plans and specification then becomes a question of fact rather than law, but the interpretation of these facts is necessary to determine liability of the parties. Most specifications state something to the effect that the engineer or architect is empowered to make final determination of disputes between the owner and contractor or to determine the intent of the specification.

Challenges Of The Building Project Delivery Process


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