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Project Management & Commissioning KPI’s – A Way To Measure Quality?

Project Management & Commissioning KPI’s – A Way to Measure Quality?

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 33) – All IMHO:

When I was in property development management I went from being an average project manger to a good one, after taking the time to understand KPI’s. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are a useful project management tool that can be extended to the commissioning management process to enhance management and accountability of building design, construction and commissioning.

Traditional high level property development KPI’s, also known as the “triple constraints” are Time, Cost & Quality. The constraint aspect being their interconnectedness. i.e. generally;

  • Higher quality = higher costs and more time or;
  • Schedule acceleration = higher costs and lower quality or;
  • Lower costs = lower quality and less time. 

However the following are more granular KPI’s that are indicators of quality in particular and time and money by consequence:

  1. RFI’s –  Indicates the quality and completeness (Errors & Omissions) of the building design drawings and specifications. All projects have a legitimate small number of RFI’s clarifying design issues but hundreds of RFI’s are a red flag.
  2. Change Orders & Instructions – The inevitable consequence of high levels of RFI’s, who pays for these?
  3. Deficiencies – Indicates the efficacy of the design, construction and commissioning process.
  4. Contractor / vendor call backs – Indicates the efficacy of the design, construction and commissioning process.
  5. Energy use in operation –  Indicates the efficacy of the design, construction and commissioning process. However also equally influenced by the operation and maintenance of the building.

My observations based on the above KPI’s are:

  1. 80% of the problems and additional costs on a property development are “baked in the cake” with the design documents issued at tender. Management of the design process is a key quality and risk management issue.
  2. Projects that employ the Commissioning process, particularly Commissioning Management, from design to occupancy should have significantly improved KPI scores on the above measures (this is my experience but also see case studies in BSRIA Application guide 5/2002 “Commissioning Management – how to achieve a fully functioning building”).
  3. Many building designs produce an energy model. Why not pass it to the owner and use the model as a base line, then calibrate it based on actual operation. This way the building performance can be managed and even improved based on analysis, not complaints to the help desk. 

Property developers should track the KPI’s above on all projects to identify the designers, construction firms and Commissioning professionals that actually deliver value for money. 

​Image curtesy of CDML Consulting Ltd

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