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Acceptance of standardized construction management processes : Project managers' acceptance in a change towards Standard Operating Procedures in construction consultancy firms.

Lo-Fo-Wong, Kevin (2023) Acceptance of standardized construction management processes : Project managers' acceptance in a change towards Standard Operating Procedures in construction consultancy firms.

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Abstract:Business process standardization (BPS) is crucial in achieving digital transformation and improving organizational performance, offering benefits such as streamlined processes, cost reduction, enhanced quality, process transparency, and better coordination. However, strict standardization can hinder innovation and improvisation. Cultural and individual factors, as well as organizational culture, play a role in the successful implementation of BPS. The case study focuses on Arcadis, a construction consultancy firm, and its efforts to standardize construction management processes through Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The research aims to understand the factors influencing project managers in accepting these changes and provides insights into behaviour change and recommendations for successful implementation. Arcadis follows a current way of working where each project is accompanied by a project management plan (PMP) that combines client methods and Arcadis' own approach known as The Arcadis Way. To enhance project management consistency and performance, Arcadis has developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for project and program management that provide detailed guidance for project managers. The SOPs cover processes such as Planning & Scheduling, and Quality Management. The intention is for the SOPs to become the new way of working for project managers. The implementation of the SOPs requires a change in the way of working by project managers, leading to resistance from project managers. Cultural factors play a crucial role in fostering acceptance of knowledge management practices like SOPs. Project managers go through the Kübler-Ross grief cycle in iterative stages of the 3C (Contact, Contract, Conflict) model, where there are phases of positive and negative behaviour during the implementation process. Interviews with project managers at Arcadis Netherlands identified barriers to accepting SOPs, including concerns about the extensive and time-consuming nature, limited decision-making freedom, potential loss of autonomy and job satisfaction, as well as communication and clarity issues. Project managers also highlighted issues within the SOPs related to Scheduling & Planning and Quality Management. The expert panel discussion emphasized the need for pragmatic and efficient changes in project managers' work processes to minimize barriers while realizing the benefits of SOPs. Cultural and technological drivers play a significant role in project managers' acceptance of the change, with cultural aspects heavily influencing acceptance. Effective communication, decisionmaking authority, and recognition of the value of experience are identified as cultural drivers. Technological drivers include the recognition of standardization, allowing flexibility within the SOPs and involving project managers through consultation. Understanding project managers' experiences during the implementation of SOPs using the KüblerRoss grief cycle enables organizations in the construction industry to develop effective strategies to support them through the change process. Addressing the identified barriers and drivers creates an environment where project managers accept the new way of working in standardized construction project management processes.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Arcadis, Amersfoort, Netherlands
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 56 civil engineering
Programme:Construction Management and Engineering MSc (60337)
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