Developing a clients’ charter and construction project KPIs to direct and drive industry improvements

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Built Environment Project and Asset Management, 2017, 7 (3), pp. 253 - 270
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© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a case, with live examples from a construction industry development initiative in India, for developing a proactive construction clients charter; and a core set of key performance indicators (KPIs), as basic tools for facilitating the expectations of this special issue in “securing clients’ organisational objectives and project aspirations throughout construction project lifecycles” apart from empowering construction industry improvements in general. Design/methodology/approach: Having identified 19 critical issues in the Indian construction industry at two construction clients-academia roundtables, two of the “action teams” formed to address specific issue sets, separately developed a relevant construction clients charter and useful KPIs, respectively, through a combination of literature reviews and brainstorming conference calls, along with iterative drafts of, and feedback on interim outputs. Validation of “working papers” presented at a “Consolidation Roundtable” of construction clients and their consultants, elicited further suggestions for fine tuning of final outputs. Findings: The charter was formulated in structured steps, including identifying “priorities” under four categories: overall, expectations from supply chains, by supply chains and by end users. The six sub-heads of the charter are on procurement, design, innovation and technology, project execution, human resource development and worker welfare, and quality, safety and sustainability. The “suggested KPIs” for building clients in India enable organisations to choose: from three different groups (i.e. design phase, construction phase, or business outcomes), and at three different levels (i.e. project/organisation level, benchmarking club level, or industry level). Originality/value: There is no known overarching Construction Clients’ Charter at present. Some project KPI sets are available elsewhere. However, those developed in India, while focusing on project performance, also connect to organisational performance and business outcomes. Furthermore, KPIs are provided to separately probe client, consultant and contractor performance. Significantly, the charter and KPIs are outcomes from an industry-led self-improvement initiative launched with building construction clients at the forefront, rather than a top-down imposition from government. Furthermore, while prioritising client aspirations, they also address common supply chain and end-user concerns, which may also be interpreted as a longer-term win-win-win client’s aspiration.
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