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This paper presents arguments for the development of a strategy-led approach to planning and implementation of construction projects. It takes the position that there are deficiencies in traditional planning algorithms, which make them inefficient to cope with the unique character of construction projects. Thus a combination of construction project strategies crafted from experiential knowledge (reflective practice methodologies) and traditional planning algorithms are needed for successful construction project planning and implementation. To confirm the argument, the study investigates the influence of strategies on 35 critical success factors which were identified through literature. It uses a combination of data collected through a questionnaire survey of 40 NZIOB Excellence award recipients for the period 2001 to 2011, and interviews with three subject matter experts to validate the influence of the strategy-led approach towards some selected critical success factors. A correlation analysis shows that there is a positive relationship between increasing project complexity and the use of strategies. Further, content analysis of study information collected suggests that complementary approaches herein referred to as the strategy-led approach is needed to achieve successful project outcomes.
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