The industry is a driving force for the entire supply chain together with various components like and transportation systems for delivery and accessibility, the labor force including daily wage laborers, plumbers, technicians, builders, management of builders, etc. The industry also provides implicit for essential construction material i.e. cement, sand, steel, paint, hardware, etc.The total worth of the Pakistan construction industry is over $50 billion, and it contributes 12-13% of the GDP. The contribution of real estate worth approximately 1/3 ($15 billion) of the total industry.

There are more than 50 industries related to the construction industry. These industries give input to different levels of the supply chain. The impact of this industry is huge and affecting millions of lives across the country. First of all this sector brings employment for millions of laborers and also for daily wagers. All in all the industry has developed into the backbone of the country’s overall GDP in this time of Corona affected economy.Lack of professional construction project management implementation is rampant in the industry.
The main focus of this article is how to improve the overall conditions of this sector:

Project Management Weakness at construction Phase

Significant project management weaknesses in the client and contractor organizations include

  • Inefficient contract administration
  • The need for professional planning
  • Absence of competent project control
  • Slow decision making
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of leadership

Lack of Understanding of Project Management

There is a rather low trend of application of project management functions in various project phases. The execution of project management has not been a balance in most organizations and has only moderately succeeded in improving stakeholder relationships and project performance. The project management program has not been largely successful by the following:

Organizational culture is inappropriate

Organizational culture is inappropriate for successful project management implementation. Most organizations have a balanced matrix structure; only a few are project-based management organizations and are still undeveloped in most organizations.Higher organizational hierarchies lacking project management commitment and requirement of project management policies and procedures.
There are some common in feature lacking in organizational hierarchy:

  • Insufficient project management team building.
  • Lack of application of specialty contracting.
  • Lack of emphasis on project documentation submission requirements.
  • Essential bid decision making criterion during the pre construction stage.
  • Lack of focus on formal project planning, scheduling, and performance tracking.
  • Project decisions are mostly made by the in-charge of the project based on intuition and personal judgment.
  • The project team and managers not extensively subject to audits and evaluation.

Project evaluation and lessons

Project lessons learned are not logged by most stakeholders/owners for performance improvement purposes.There are some pitfalls in project evaluation and lessons learned from the project.

  • Post project performance ratings not being done for contractors/ subcontractors.
  • Suppliers are also rarely rated for performance. Little formal project management training disbursed to employees.
  • Some sort of informal project management training given by the moderate number of the respondents to their employees – the major focus of training being projected site content.
  • Punch list items are usually not resolved in due time.

Risk Management Practices

Formal risk management practices are infrequent among stakeholders/owners and the projects suffer from low productivity resulting in project delays and cost overruns. In many situations, stakeholders/owners perceive risks based on their own experience and judgment rather than using systematic procedures to identify, assess and resolve the risk. It can be concluded from the findings that stakeholders/owners in the Pakistani construction industry, owing to lack of systematic procedures, do not have the adequate capability of retaining and mitigating risks and hence resort to mechanisms such as transferring risks.

Obstacles in implementation of Risk Management

The top obstacles in the implementation of the formal risk management program, as indicated by the respondents, are shown below in descending order of responses:

  1. Lack of expertise and resources in risk management
  2. Risk analysis of construction projects is seldom formally requested by clients, as they expect project management practice to set up projects risk-free
  3. Lack of accepted industry model for analysis
  4. Time constraints
  5. Bottlenecks are not identified

Involvement of Construction Consultant

Compulsory involvement of construction project management consultants for major works in the public and private sectors should be mandated. The present system of construction supervision by engineering and design consultants has not paid off. This is primarily owing to their lack of emphasis on project management as compared to design implementation. Historically, by their knowledge and experiences, the consultants have proved to be highly technically oriented focusing their time, commitment, and skills on design issues rather than on management.

Lack of Implementation of Total Quality Management

The majority of the construction industry organizations perceive quality as meeting technical specifications to satisfy external customers and provide value for money.

Most stakeholders/owners feel that TQM will not work in their organizations because of the current organizational and industry culture. However, they are aware, to some extent, of the benefits of implementing TQM in their organizations and feel that it will be highly beneficial if it can be implemented. Most of them think that TQM is a means for improving cost estimating, warranty claims, and project economy.

Lack of Data Acquisition

Construction industry organizations in Pakistan are less focused on data acquisition. Neither customer suggestions nor customer satisfaction are given the due significance and are rarely incorporated or evaluated. Employee suggestions are seldom taken; neither employee empowerment exists in the majority of firms. This also refutes their claim that company policy invites employee participation in the quality building effort. Most of the companies do not rate the post-project performance of their service providers.

Quality Implementation

Quality implementation on projects is not the highest priority to construction industry organizations; due to cost constraints, quality is mostly compromised.No organization has TQM implemented as their quality policy. Most of the organizations are implementing periodic short-range solutions or motivational programs rather than more formal long-term programs.

Lack of Code of ethics

The majority of construction industry organizations either do not have a code of ethics or even if they do have, the implementation of this code is highly questionable because they do not have any disciplinary process for its implementation.

Lack of formal training

Most of the construction industry organizations do not provide any formal training to their employees about quality management systems.

The obstacle in the Implementation of TQM

The top 5 obstacles in the implementation of the TQM program, as indicated by the respondents, are:

  1. Lack of expertise/resources in TQM
  2. Rigid attitude and behavior of executive management toward quality
  3. Lack of top-management commitment/understanding
  4. Lack of employee commitment/understanding
  5. Lack of education and training to drive the improvement process

The organizations in Pakistan are generally neither willing nor prepared to adopt Total Quality Management (TQM) as a management philosophy within their organizational cultures.