Examining The Utilization of Scrum by Engineering Consultants to Manage Construction Projects from Initiation until Closing

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The construction industry is considered a key contributing factor to almost every countries’ economy. Taking that into account, having strong, stable and successfully completed projects from A to Z is a vital component in determining the further development of a countries infrastructure and its position within the market and overall GDP. As of decades past, construction projects have been managed by applying the traditional project management methodologies or what is known as waterfall methodology, which is sequential in nature where construction activities flow in a sequence (a finish to start relationship). This sequential pattern also applies to other project phases, such as pre and post construction phase (execution phase). Many projects around the world have been successfully completed, in terms of time and cost, when managed by the traditional methodology, but at the same time there have been many that have not reached completion in particular complex projects or mega projects where multiple parties are involved. Construction projects go through many phases before it remotely reaches the construction phase (Execution phase), which is usually executed and completed by a contractor after the project has been designed and specified by a consultant. The role and involvement of a Client in construction projects is usually shallow and their main communication is with the project consultant as it is the responsibility of the project consultant to manage proper execution and timeline. The consultant’s role exceeds beyond the design phase into supervision as the project commences and begins to be erected from the ground up as well as work as the client’s representative in monitoring the project’s duration, cost and even selecting materials on behalf of the client. Clients usually do not get deeply involved in their projects due to their limited experience and knowledge in this type of works and so they go on to hire consultants on their behalf, which in many cases creates conflict and may cause delays and cost overrun due to rework and losses of materials. Throughout decades, many professionals in construction and managing construction projects tried to apply different methodologies and solutions striving for the completion of successful projects that were on time and within budget and most importantly matched the client’s desires and expectations. One of the latest project management methodologies is Scrum, which is considered an agile methodology. This methodology has many features that can be utilized to enhance managing construction projects by the traditional methodology. This research will discuss the utilization of Scrum in managing construction projects from a consultant’s point of view, since it can be applied in many phases apart from the construction phase, which is usually handled by contractors and in general wider than client’s scope in managing construction projects. Scrum may not be a comprehensive methodology to manage construction projects, but it has proved to be sufficient and effective when applied in certain phases, or in managing certain activities within certain phases. This research will describe Scrum in depth, show results from applying Scrum as the only methodology to manage certain phases, how it can be combined with the traditional methodology to accomplish the desired results, and how Scrum can positively affect time, cost, and overall client satisfaction.
scrum, engineering consultants, construction projects, construction industry, client satisfaction