Factors Affecting Pre-Project Planning in the Ghanaian Construction Industry: Impacts and Remedies

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In Ghana Projects are often rushed without sufficient budgetary allocation and proper assessment about the need. The detailed briefing on the functional and technical requirements of construction projects is not carefully assessed by developers or owners and consequently creates lapses in the design and construction process. The aim of the study was to examine pre-project planning processes in Ghanaian construction industry and identify factors and impacts affecting the planning process. In collecting data for the study, a questionnaire was developed to assess the perception of clients, consultants and contractors on the relative importance of the factors and impacts identified. In all 80 respondents in the Ghanaian construction industry within the Accra metropolis participated in the study. In analysing the data for the study, Relative Importance Index (RII) method was used to determine the relative importance of each of the factors and impacts identified. The five-point scale ranged from 1(not important) to 5 (very important) was adopted and transformed to relative importance indices (RII) for each. The study identified the following in descending order as the 5 most important factors from a list of 14 , affecting the pre-project planning processes (feasibility studies) in the Ghanaian construction industry: (1)Stakeholder representation, (2) funding(resources for the study), (3)Time, (4)rewards and recognitions for team members, (5)project team leadership. Furthermore the study revealed the following as the 5 most important impact of the factors from a list of 10 affecting the pre-project planning processes in the Ghanaian construction industry in the descending order of : (1)project cost, (2)project completion time (3)excessive change order, (4)quality of work (5) demoralization of parties. The findings of the study also showed that in Ghana, relevant stakeholders are not well represented during the pre-project planning stage of the project. The study further shows that design professionals and the clients are the 1st and 2nd most well represented stakeholders in the pre-project planning process whereas external stakeholders are the least represented. Moreover, the study further showed that in Ghana the amount of resources committed to the pre-project planning process and the level of motivation given to project team members during the planning processes are mostly not adequate. From the study, it was concluded that the pre-project planning process in Ghana is affected by several factors identified above. These identified pre-project planning factors were found to impact the process in several areas including project cost, project completion time, excessive change orders, and quality of work, demoralization of parties, project profitability just to mention a few. Based on the findings of the study, some recommendations have been made to ensure effective and efficient pre-project planning process in the Ghanaian construction industry  
A Dissertation Report Submitted to the Department Of Building Technology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for a Degree of Master of Science in Construction Management.