A Systematic Approach to Modelling Change Processes in Construction Projects

Ibrahim Motawa


Modelling change processes within construction projects isessential to implement changes efficiently. Incomplete informationon the project variables at the early stages of projects leads toinadequate knowledge of future states and imprecision arisingfrom ambiguity in project parameters. This lack of knowledge isconsidered among the main source of changes in construction.Change identification and evaluation, in addition to predictingits impacts on project parameters, can help in minimising thedisruptive effects of changes. This paper presents a systematicapproach to modelling change process within construction projectsthat helps improve change identification and evaluation. Theapproach represents the key decisions required to implementchanges. The requirements of an effective change processare presented first. The variables defined for efficient changeassessment and diagnosis are then presented. Assessmentof construction changes requires an analysis for the projectcharacteristics that lead to change and also analysis of therelationship between the change causes and effects. The paperconcludes that, at the early stages of a project, projects with a highlikelihood of change occurrence should have a control mechanismover the project characteristics that have high influence on theproject. It also concludes, for the relationship between changecauses and effects, the multiple causes of change should bemodelled in a way to enable evaluating the change effects moreaccurately. The proposed approach is the framework for tacklingsuch conclusions and can be used for evaluating change casesdepending on the available information at the early stages ofconstruction projects.

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