University of Twente Student Theses


Diagnosing verification and validation problems in public civil engineering projects : How "building the right system right" can go wrong

Schipper, S. (2016) Diagnosing verification and validation problems in public civil engineering projects : How "building the right system right" can go wrong.

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Abstract:In the civil engineering industry systems engineering is widely applied to structure the projects. Verification and validation, considered as crucial parts of system engineering, are quality checks. They are carried out to prove that the design and the realized system meet the user needs and satisfy the developed requirements. In the civil engineering industry both the client and contractor carry out verification and validation, but they both have difficulties with verifying and validating parts of projects. This study diagnoses the client’s and contractor’s problems related to the application of verification and validation. Case study research is used to detect and analyze these problems. This is assessed in five civil engineering projects, which represent the diversity of the civil engineering industry. The elements of verification and validation, requirements, design, and system, are used to classify the verification and validation problems. Three major causes of verification and validation problems are identified: (1) different client and contractor interpretation of hierarchy in requirements, (2) lack of verification of the client’s reference design, and (3) verification is not integrated in contractor’s daily design and realization work. First, the client and contractor interpreted the hierarchy in requirements as the other’s responsibility. They both did not validate the requirements. As a result the client was not convinced that all requirements were satisfied in the design and realized system. Second, in the civil engineering industry the client makes a part of the design as a preparation of the tendering process. The client did not verify its reference design, while doing so could have prevented contradictions between the requirements and the reference design. Third, the contractor did not integrate verification sufficiently in his daily work. As a result, the quality of the contractor’s work was not as high as promised. The verification and validation practice can be improved by carrying out verification and validation more efficiently and by differentiating derived requirements from decomposed requirements.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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