Critical success factors for management of the early stages of prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction project life cycle

Ibrahim Yahaya Wuni, Geoffrey Qiping Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: For many types of buildings, prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC) is increasingly becoming a preferred alternative construction approach. Empirical evidence of project performance has consistently demonstrated that the ultimate success of PPVC projects is directly linked to the key decisions made at the outset of the PPVC project life cycle. However, there is limited knowledge of how to successfully manage these early stages. This research identified and evaluated the critical success factors (CSFs) required for the management of the conception, planning and design stages of the PPVC project life cycle. Design/methodology/approach: A multistage methodological framework was adopted to identify and evaluate the CSFs for management of the early stages of the PPVC project life cycle. Based on a comprehensive literature review and expert review, a list of the 9 CSFs relevant to the early stages of the PPVC project life cycle was established. Drawing on an online-based international questionnaire survey with global PPVC experts, the CSFs were measured. The data set was statistically tested for reliability and analyzed using several techniques such as mean scores, relativity weightings and significance analysis. Findings: The analysis revealed that the top 5 most influential CSFs for management of the early stages of the PPVC project life cycle include robust design specifications, accurate drawings and early design freeze; good working collaboration, effective communication and information sharing among project participants; effective stakeholder management; extensive project planning and scheduling; and early engagement of key players. The research further found correlations among the CSFs and proposed a conceptual framework for the management of the early stages of the PPVC project life cycle. Research limitations/implications: The research recognizes that data quality and reliability risks are the major drawbacks of online questionnaire surveys but the engagement of experts with substantial theoretical and hands-on experiences in PPVC projects helped to minimize these risks. Although small, the sample size was justified and compared with studies that adopted the same data collection approach but analyzed even smaller samples. However, the results should be interpreted against these limitations. Practical implications: The findings suggest that effective management of the early stages of the PPVC project lifecycle requires early commitment to the PPVC approach in a project; detailed planning and assessment of the suitability of PPVC for the given project; and collaborative design with manufacturers and suppliers to address module production challenges at the detailed design stage. These findings practically instructive and may serve as management support during PPVC implementation. Originality/value: This research constitutes the first exclusive attempt at identifying the CSFs for successful management of the early stages of the PPVC project life cycle. It provides a fresh and more in-depth understanding of how best to manage the early stages of the PPVC project life cycle. Thus, it contributes to the practice and praxis of the PPVC project implementation discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2315-2333
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2020


  • Critical success factors
  • Early stages
  • Management
  • PPVC
  • Project life cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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