Rethinking project management and exploring virtual design and construction as a potential solution

Heng Li, Weisheng Lu, Ting Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The construction sector is facing widespread criticism of its low efficiency and poor performance. This has led to a rethink of contemporary project management (PM). However, current critical perspectives have failed to diagnose the practical problems existing in PM, and as a consequence, no promising solutions have been proposed. In this research, a combination of critical literature review, field works, case studies, open debates and interviews revealed five fundamentally problematic aspects of contemporary PM: (1) using artificial tools and methods; (2) cannot try before build; (3) discontinuity in construction processes; (4) ineffective information and knowledge management; and (5) creeping managerialism. These problems were then scrutinized by referring them to Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) as a potential solution. Strengths of VDC are explored, and hurdles that prevent it from gaining momentum are also evaluated. It is found that the problems of contemporary PM can largely be alleviated by the use of VDC although its many hurdles are yet to be overcome. This research provides new insights into how construction companies can adopt VDC technology to improve the problematic PM practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2009


  • Project management
  • Virtual design and construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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