Construction projects like other projects are guided by objectives which are achieved when effective planning is deliberately done. Moreover, quality is assured with effective planning. Irrespective of the activities undertaken on a construction projects, due diligent to planning is essential which adapts accepted techniques for the realization of the project objectives. Small Scale Construction Firms (SSCF) are challenged with the application of the planning tools, therefore, the study aims at investigating into the construction planning tools and techniques used by SSCF in the Ghanaian Construction Industry. Review of existing literature was carried out to identify the factors and it was followed by questionnaire survey to the respondents. 73 questionnaire were retrieved out of 80 questionnaires administered. The analysis was consequently grounded on this response rate. Mean Score Ranking and Relative importance index were the analytical tools used on the data collected. The following findings were identified from the study; respondents indicated that organizations utilized only simple tools, and tools that require less training to use. Furthermore, it was revealed that management problems, limited project planning, knowledge, awareness problems, policy problems are the challenges faced by SSCF in the implementation of construction planning tools and techniques. The following recommendations were made due to the findings of the study; construction professionals should have formal training in construction planning education in order to apply construction planning and techniques tools, or otherwise organizations should employ the services of qualified construction planning professionals to undertake construction planning.

1.1 Background
Globally, the building industry is known to have an important contribution in the socio-economic growth of every country. Owusu-Sechere (2008) stated that, infrastructure development and opportunity for employment has been associated to the industry, which is all key indicators to the socio-economic growth of countries. Construction contributes about 10.5% of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and employed about 6% of the economically active population (Ghana Statistical Services, 2013). However, despite the substantial role of construction in the economy, numerous studies have indicated that there are large numbers of unsuccessful construction projects implementation in the construction industry due to the inability or limited practicing of planning techniques (Hayford and Sarfraz, 2013). They further clarified that, though the level of planning tools and techniques application within the larger firms is much more utilized, there still appear to be constrictions in terms of its utilization.

In the developing economies which Ghana is not an exemption, there exist more Small Scale Construction Firms as related to Large Scale Construction Firms (Kenny, 2007). The importance of Small Scale Construction firms in every country can never be underestimated, as they have crucial role in the countries especially the developing. Increasing importance has been given to Small Scale Construction Firms in the building industry of Ghana. Nonetheless, they have received a lot of attention from government in developing countries (Raynard and Forstater, 2002; Forstater et al., 2006), as a result of the role that they play.

Construction implementation as Murphy and Ledwith (2007) writes is the core area of construction that clarifies the appropriate tool or techniques to use in defining, planning during the implementation stage of the project. Ko and Cheng (2003) indicated that, planning of construction activities is the process of achieving the objectives of construction by construction resources. The Project Management Institution (2000) added that, construction planning applies knowledge, skills, techniques and tools to decide on the suitable resources required to achieved the project objectives of working within time, within or on budget and delivering a quality project This is fully echoed by Baccarini (1999) who emphasized that, present construction planning owes to three principal stimuli:

Complexity – Emerging complexity of task as well required for a great mark of knowledge.

Change –Advancing innovative environments with unchanging pressure within organizations to implement as a result of universal competition.

Time – Call for tasks to be done as swiftly as possible.

Nonetheless, current construction planning has grown as a field of specialty continuously restructuring it capabilities to integrate itself in current practices (Murphy and Ledwith, 2007). Construction planning is a diffusion of trending problems, tools and techniques as well as methods of planning that integrate a field of discipline which are applied to diverse specialties, for diverse challenges in diverse cultures” as opined by Cawford et al. (2005).Numerous tools and techniques have been proposed and established for the purposes of planning construction in large organizations; yet Small Scale Construction Firms are weak in areas of initiating the project, planning and execution of project (Ledwith, 2004). As Murphy and Ledwith (2007) write, small scale contractors demonstrated limited use of planning tools and techniques are not benefiting from management of construction in terms of increase quality as well as services delivery. Construction planning tools and techniques as utilized by large firms has gained the interest of construction management researchers and has become an area of much research interest. Although it has become an area of much research interest, very little work has been done about construction tools and techniques appropriate planning construction projects for Small Scale Construction Firms. Thus, the study seeks to investigate into the application of construction planning tools and techniques employed on construction projects executed by Small Scale Construction Firms in the Ghanaian construction industry.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 57 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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