Factors Affecting Schedule Delay, Cost Overrun, and Quality Level in Public Construction Projects

Jesper Kranker Larsen, Qiping Shen, Søren Munch Lindhard, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

233 Citations (Scopus)


As a result of the loss of financial resources and the need to optimize projects, academics, politicians, and the construction industry have become increasingly aware of the challenges presented by the frequent time and cost overruns and reduced quality of construction projects. The purpose of this study was to analyze the factors that project managers experience as having the greatest effect on time, cost, and quality, and to discover whether the effects of these factors are significantly different from each other. A questionnaire with 26 factors identified from interviews was sent to the full population of publicly employed project managers. Factors were ranked using the relative importance index and tested for significant differences using Friedman's test. Wilcoxon's test was used in a post-hoc analysis. From the findings it was determined that the most influential factor for time is unsettled or lack of project funding; for cost, errors or omissions in consultant material; and for quality, errors or omissions in construction work. The main conclusion of this research is that project schedule, budget, and quality level are affected in significantly different ways. Therefore, a project manager cannot handle such critical issues by focusing only on schedule or budget complications; nor can he or she assume that time, cost, and quality are equally affected.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4015032
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Construction management
  • Cost overrun
  • Denmark
  • Quality level
  • Schedule delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial relations
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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