Project Management Institute

Strategic management of variation orders for institutional buildings

leveraging on information technology

Recent research shows that when construction project managers use a structured and systematic process during the earliest phases of design, they are better able to transfer and organize their existing knowledge and previous experience. Such processes, especially those aided by computerized decision-support systems, help project managers , improve their project performance and make more informed project decisions regarding the management of project variations. This article describes an effort to develop a knowledge-based decision support system (KBDSS) for project managers working on a Singapore Government-initiated rebuilding effort involving 290 buildings. In doing so, it analyzes information gathered from source documents for 79 structures rebuilt through the initiative as well as from surveys of--and interviews with--this initiative?s stakeholders. It discusses the frequency of variation orders and the reasons for making variation decisions.
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