According to CII (1995) project planning is the process through which the management collects and organize the strategic information to cope up with the specific uncertain situation or project. The resources required to collect and organize the information is also employed by the management during the project planning process.
Merrow and Yarossi (1994) added that the initial stage of the project planning involves the selection of the initial choices. In their viewpoint, the project planning process consists of the project’s definition, scope and detailed framework. The scope of the project is the phase during which the rationale of the project is defined and the significance of the project is explained. Defining scope is very important as it highlights the expected performance of the project.
Menches et al (2005) explained that project planning has gained increasing repute in the construction industry. The reason for the prevalence of the project planning in the construction industry is that it enhances the probability of the project’s success. Numbers of the constructors believe that the planning before the initiation of the project results in favourable outcomes like greater success and higher profits. Wang and Gibson (2008) said that the project planning holds a vital place in the success of the project and there exists a positive relationship between both variables i-e project planning and project success.
The aim of the current research is to investigate the significance of the project planning in the project success-considering the case of UK construction industry.
The aims and objectives designed for the upcoming research are as below
The importance of the research questions in any research cannot be denied as they form the base of the research. The questions for the research are
“Examination of the role project planning plays in the success of the project-UK construction industry as case study.”
H:1Project planning has a positive role in the project’s success.
H:2 Project planning has a negative role in the project’s success.
H:3 Project planning has no significant role in the project’s success.
In the history of the construction industry, there are the roots of project management. In the construction industry three have been a number of studies which are executed so to discuss the importance of project management in the construction industry. The studies which have been conducted usually based on the correlation between the outcomes of project and project management. In the project management studies this area has been focused more than any other area. Hamilton and Gibson (1996) are of the view that when the planning before the project is done it increases the financial returns. This has been mentioned that the projects which focus on the pre project planning show the success rate of eighty-two percent. According to Shehu and Akintoye (2009) the list of those factors which have the significant role for the success of any project is led by the planning of the project. According to Gibson and Gebken (2003) a method which is adopted by many of the construction industries now days is PDRI, according to this method, the definition and the scope of any project are measured before the start of the project. Construction Industry Institute has developed this tool in the year 1999, and now this tool is widely used by the construction industries. Wang and Gibson (2008) are of the view that this tool is used in the construction industry as it provides the services to the owner for gauging the pre project planning quality. Gibson et al (2006) has identified that if the effective planning is done then the outcomes of the project are outstanding. There are three things which are directly correlated with the pre project planning and those three things are mentioned below:
It is witnessed that the pre project planning and the outcomes of the study are interlinked with each other. The probability of the project’s success increases if the planning is done in an effective manner. Given below is the report of the survey to show the level to which the pre project planning increases the success chances of the project.
Success Index vs. Preproject Planning Effort Index, after Gibson et al. (2006)
In the graph the score is set in a way that for planning it ranges from one to five. The results of the graph indicate that the relation between pre planning and the success of the project is linear. For the construction industry, the success rate of the project is high if the planning is done in an effectual manner. Collyer et al (2010) stated that the success of the project depends heavily on planning.
Comparison of Projects with PDRI-Building Projects Score Above and Below 200, after Gibson and Pappas. (2003)
It has been witnessed that at times in some of the projects the phase of planning has been totally skipped and the project is directly executed without any kind of planning. It happens when the owner of the project leaves the planning on the contractor as a result, the disastrous outcomes of the study are gathered by the end. Wang and Gibson (2008) are of the view that planning impacts the costs, schedule and performance of the project directly.
Cost Performance vs. Industrial PDRI Score, Wang and Gibson (2008)
The graph presented above is the clear indication of the direct relationship between the outcomes f the project and the effective project planning. When the project is done in a sound manner it results in the projects which are cost effective, and it ensures the success of the project too. According to Gibson and Hamilton (1994) when the project planning would be done in an effective manner it would impact the project financially as well. The project schedule plan is another aspect which is identified in the project’s planning. This aspect is important for the reason that it shows the significance of the project planning. Ginzberg (1979) has presented a model according to which the implementation phases of the project run parallel the name of the model is Unfreezing-Moving-Freezing. According to Ginzberg (1979) scheduling and planning is the first phase of the unfreezing model. Then there is another model presented by Kolb and Frohman, the model is named as the consulting process, according to this model planning is a two-directional phase (Kolb and Frohman’s 1970). This model of Kolb and Frohman states that planning acts like a link in the process of analysis.
The planning process is like a backbone of any of the project, considering this much significance of the project planning it has further been divided into four phases which are as formulation, conceptualization, detailing, and evaluation. Thomas et al (2008) stated that in the projects of the construction industry it’s not just the end product that matters but the whole process is important, and the most critical is the phase of planning.
It is not just the genius team which can accomplish anything but for the successful accomplishment of the project effective planning is needed along with the genius work force. No genius team on the globe can make the project successful if it lacks effective and sound planning. If the project is started without the proper planning it would mean that the project from the very start is on the wrong path, and it would ultimately crumble.
Besner and Hobbs (2011) are of the view that when the right steps are taken in the beginning of the project the project would work effectively and it would end up with giving the healthy outcomes for the business. And if the beginning of the project is not right then there would be no coming back from it. It has been observed during the conduction of the literature that if the project is failed then the entire burden is put on the shoulders of bad planning, but if it gets successful then the significance of the planning is negated. According to Catersels et al. (2010); Umble et al. (2003); Yeo (2002) the factors which are responsible for the bad performance of any project are given below:
Many of the researchers in their researches have suggested that these causes can be removed via effective and proper planning. So the results of their researches indicate that the effective planning is the key driver in making any of the projects successful.
Yeo (2002) recognized the factors which play a key role in the failure of the project, he highlighted that it’s the lack of proper planning which ultimately results in the failure of the project. According to Turner and Muller (2003) planning as hygiene is for a body to keep it healthy.
Dvir et al (2003) stated that there is a direct correlation between the planning of the project and its success. It has been identified by Dvir et al (2003) that when the project is successful then the role of planning is not acknowledged but when it fails the direct blame is on poor planning. Well-organized efforts should be put in by the start of the project to make it successful one (Catersels et al. 2010; Dvir et al. 2003; Poon et al. 2011; Turner and Muller 2003 and Zwikael andGloberson2006).
The most significant function of project management is the planning of the project. Planning is the key factor in the overall planning of the project. Planning has been discussed by numerous researchers in their researches; According to Naoum et al (2004) planning is a tool which is used by the stakeholders of the project so to accomplish the project in a successful manner. Hore et al. (1997) and Faniran, Love and Smith (2000) stated that when all the resources are exploited to the optimum level through systematic arrangement this is known as the pre project planning.
According to Fortune and White (2006); Johnson et al (2001) and some other researchers for the failure or success of the project the most crucial element is of planning. It is an agreed fact that no team of super genius professionals can make the project successful if the project would lack pre planning. Zwikael and Globerson, (2004) stated that when the phase of planning is enhanced the probability for the success of the project increases too. The basic objective for the planning phase is to structure the proper way for execution of the project, it must be ensured that the structure is powerful enough to deal with the risks during the project.
Fortune and White, (2006); Zwikael, Shimizu, and Globerson, (2005) are of the view that the most significant element for the success of the project is planning. As per words of Johnson et al. (2001); Zwikael and Sadeh (2007) planning is the most important factor in the execution of the project successfully.
In simple words, planning is deciding what is going to be done for the project in the future. It is the way of designing such a direction which would help the team of the project to work in that direction. Planning is done so to explain it to the team that what resources would be available for the execution of the project (Meredith and Mantel 2006).
Given below are the positives which the effective and quality planning can give Kerzner (2006).
By the end all of the responsibility is on the shoulders of the manager. Hence, he is required to follow the steps which are already decided in the planning phase because he has to satisfy the stakeholders by the end. This is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that the pre project planning is capable of handling the potential risks during the execution of the project. It must also be ensured by the manger that the planning is show casing the consent of all the stake holders. Forty-eight percent of the project is comprised of planning, which is a huge percentage and it is also mentioned that there are round about forty-two process which the project manager has to perform PMBOK® Guide—Fourth Edition (PMI 2008).
Oni (2008) stated that planning involves the below mentioned aspects.
Mentioned below are the roles which the pre project planning plays in the project.
According to Thomas et al (2008) it not just the final product that matters but the phase of planning is the most important thing for the project which matters a lot. He stated that everyone must admit this fact that neither of the world’s best team can give the best results if the planning is faulty for the project.
Besner and Hobbs (2011) stated that when the project is started with the wrong way, then there is no way to rectify the mistakes in the middle of it. Hence it is very important to start the project in a better manner by following the step by step procedure. The literature which has been reviewed of the past studies showed that when the project is successful the credit is not given to the the planning but when the project crumbles then the planning is responsible.
Dviret al (2003) stated that there is a direct correlation between the success of the project and the phase of planning. This has been identified by him while he was examining the impact of the planning on the results of the project. Hence the efforts must be put in, in the very beginning of the project so to avoid the discrepancies in the future (Caterselset al. 2010; Dviret al. 2003; Poon et al.2011; Turner and Muller 2003 ;Zwikael and Globerson 2006).
The diagrammatic representation of the dependent and independent variables are called as theoretical framework. Given below is that diagram which shows the relationship between both the variables, here the dependent variable is the outcomes of the project whereas the independent variable is planning of the project.
This section is as importance as a skeleton in the body, which holds the whole body same is the case with this section of research. This is significant in any of the research for the reason that it has all the methods and ways which the researcher may adopt for the study. For the execution of the research these methods play a key role and they are important for the accomplishment of the study.
3.2 RESEARCH PROCESS
Each and every step of the study must be crystal clear so that there is no doubt about anything in any of the research process. This is the most significant section of the study so all the processes of the study must be presented comprehensively, so the best option to present all the processes is the diagrammatic presentation. A picture has been given by Saunders et al (2003) which describes all the processes step by step and that picture is onion shaped and named after Saunders hence known as Saunders onion.
Source: Saunders et al. (2003)
3.3 available RESEARCH PHILOSOPHIES
As per words of Smith (1975) research philosophies are in huge number to be used in research but the most commonly used across the world are mentioned below:
The nature of the study must be kept in mind while opting the research philosophy. What research demands must be kept in mind too while going for the philosophy selection. When the research is qualitative in nature, then the researcher must use the phenomenological research philosophy. This research philosophy is essential for the researches because of its nature, it is descriptive in nature. In addition to this interview is used as an instrument for the collection of data when this philosophy is employed. When the research is descriptive in nature, then interview is the most appropriate tool for the collection of data. According to Denscombe (2003) any research in which phenomenological research philosophy is used the researcher has to explain the wide-ranged features in a structured and comprehensive manner. Whereas positivistic research philosophy is best for the researches which are quantitative in nature, Goodwin (2009) stated that then the tool which would be used must be quantitative in nature too.
3.3.1 PHILOSOPHY for the current research
The current study is executed to analyse the role of project planning in project success, hence the data would be gathered by employing the qualitative techniques for data collection. Phenomenological research philosophy would be used for the on-going study, and the tool used for data collection would be the interview.
3.4 Strategies of Inquiry
The strategies of the research are as huge in number as the philosophies of the research are. The strategy of the study is selected in accordance o the nature of the research. Few of the research strategies are mentioned below.
3.4.1 Case Study strategy
Employing this strategy of the research means that a specific case is to be taken in account and would be examined under the light of the topic. According to Robson (2002); Bryman (2007) when this strategy is employed, it shows that particular industry or company would be examined.
3.4.2 Surveys strategy
As per words of Strauss and Corbin (1990) when the data is to be collected from the larger population, then this strategy would be employed for the data collection. The viewpoints of the huge fraction of the population are recorded and then examined when the researcher employs this strategy of the survey.
3.4.3 Grounded theory strategy
Strauss and Corbin (1990) are of the view that in the grounded theory strategy the hypothesis is formulated in the start of research, the foundation of the grounded theory strategy is hypotheses.
3.4.4 current RESEARCH’s strategy
For the data collection process, the strategy which would be used will be survey strategy and the case study strategy would be employed.
3.5 RESEARCH design
Approaches for the research are mentioned below:
3.5.1 Current research’s design
Inductive approach is the suitable most approach for the on-going study. This approach provides the very clear understanding of the all the aspects of the study. When the inductive approach is used by the research than the research process would be started with the specific case and by the end general results are drawn (Collins 2010).
3.6 data collection methods
According to Saunder et al (2003) there are two kinds of data collection techniques and those are primary sources and secondary sources.
The sources of data which are not raw and which are not used for the first time for the specific research are called as secondary sources. These sources are used by the other studies as well. There are some of the secondary sources which are used for the on-going study and those are mentioned below:
3.6.2 Primary DATA
Data, which is used for the specific study is called as primary data; this data is raw in nature. The sources for the collection of primary data are mentioned below:
In the on-going study the data collected would be via conducting the interviews of the respondents.
3.7 RESEARCH Instrument
Sapsford (2007) is of the view that for the data collection process, there is a variety of tools which are available such as interviews, questionnaires and a survey, but these tools are used according to the nature of the executed study. So by keeping in view the nature of the current study interviews would be used as a tool for data collection.
Sample size of the on-going study would be ten managers from different construction companies.
Mentioned below are the limitations for the on-going study, the researcher may face these during the execution of the study.
The following ethics will be ensured during the research
It would be ensured that the current study is plagiarism free, to ensure this all the work of prior studies would be alluded to with references.
This section incorporates the most important and almost all the steps which the researcher may employ for the on-going study. In the current section all those methods are discussed precisely.
The questions that will be asked from the respondents are in accordance with the literature reviewed and the research questions proposed at the earlier sections. This is due to the fact that the questions that will be asked must be in relevance to the topic of research so to yield the results that would help in devising reasonable and relevant conclusion. The data collected with the help of the interviews of the respondents will be analysed through qualitative techniques in the data analysis and findings chapter. The selection of the qualitative data collection instrument and the qualitative analysis method will allow the detailed and thorough collection and detailed analysis of the collected data respectively. Each and every question will be analysed separately to scrutinize the impact of project planning on project success and other related factors. After careful analysis of the collected data and information the hypotheses devised at the earlier stage will be tested to for their acceptance or rejection. The results and findings of the current research will be matched with the earlier research to authenticate the results and to make sure that the hypotheses are accepted or rejected on sound grounds.
RESEARCH Reliability and Validity
The authenticity of the research can be enhanced via the reliability and validity of the research (Saunders et al. 2007).
As per view of Saunders et al (2007) the validity of the data can be ensured only if the data is first hand, and is raw in nature, as it has already been mentioned that the validity of the research rests heavily on the validity of the collected data. So it can be said that the valid data is hence a plus point for any of the research’s authenticity.
Saunders et al (2007) explained reliability as the point to which the assembled facts and data can be relied on. In order to increase the reliability of the collected data, the unreliable data must be ignored.
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