EXTENT OF USE OF COMPUTER-AIDED PROJECT PLANNING AND CONTROL SYSTEMS IN THE GHANAIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

ABSTRACT
The scope of infrastructure development is growing larger and more complex as time goes on making the various resource inputs – human, material and plants and machinery – required for their successful completion large as well. It is therefore essential that the entire process be properly planned and controlled in order to ensure this. Computer-Aided Project Planning and Control Systems (CAPPCS), software, provides the various mechanisms for the effective coalition of all the resources required for the planning and control of projects. This in turn serves as the basis for management decisions that ultimately leads to the success of projects. This research was aimed at determining the extent of use of CAPPCS in the Ghanaian construction industry. A descriptive survey was used to solicit information from professionals in the industry. This was done through self-administered questionnaires. The survey population was made up of professionals from construction consulting and professionals working with D1 construction organisations in Ghana. The data garnered was analysed using descriptive statistics, a quantitative approach. The findings of this research indicated a general awareness and use of CAPPCS by the respondents and the organisations that they worked for. The use was however limited to basic scheduling functions. It was evident that more needs to be done in terms of training and sensitising of professionals on the use of CAPPCS.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Background of the Study
Construction projects are becoming increasingly complex. Developments now require the input of huge resources - human, material, plants and machinery, if they are to be successful. Effective planning and control is therefore essential if the various resources are to be properly allocated, made use of and optimised. Over the years, in the construction industry, this has been executed mostly through manual means. Kim et al. (2013) suggests this approach for managing and controlling projects is considered unreliable and not effective.

This manual and increasingly quasi-automated means of planning and controlling projects within the construction industry poses some challenges to the project manager; especially when they are not proactively and effectively managed. Time and effort which could have otherwise be used in achieving other project deliverables has to be now spent repeating tasks and rechecking activities. Also important information that could help in effective and timely decision making may be omitted or incorporated in the programme at a time that renders it useless insofar as safeguarding the project from negative impacts is concerned. Managers and decision makers are now using information management systems and tools to bring up the levels of project management efficiency and control and to also increase the chances of achieving project objectives.

A combination of techniques, tools and systems for the gathering of project data and its analyses in order to help in the making of choices for efficient project execution known as Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) - a subset of which is computer-aided project planning and control systems (CAPPCS) - helps managers to do this in the construction industry. Through PMIS, the stage is set for the correct amalgamation of the various project aspects – processes, tools, resources and techniques - to shape a system of information which can then be used for the effective management of the project by the various stakeholders which then leads to the achievement set-out project objectives and thus project success.

From the different forms of keeping records, information systems have evolved into complex corporate systems such as Enterprise Business Solution systems. According to Ahlemann (2009), project management information systems have also evolved from just focusing on the project scheduling and sometimes resource management to becoming comprehensive systems that support projects through their entire life cycles and even entire project portfolios. 

Information systems play vital roles and these roles as posited by O’Brien and Marakas

(2010) are listed below:

Provision of support to business processes and operations.

Provision of support to decisions made by management and employees.

Provision of support to approaches that lead to competitive advantages.

Extending this, project management information systems helps in project execution by providing:

Support activities required for project progress.

Support for decisions made by the various stakeholders of the project.

Support for the proper planning and control of the project to meet set targets.

Despite the various benefits of the successful deployment and use of information systems in the running of projects, the use of such systems in the Ghanaian construction industry, from casual observation, is seemingly limited. Though several factors may be deterring its use, the final cost to projects and the total failure of some project as due to the actions of stakeholders, arising from the absence of clarity of project linkages and dependencies makes this a worthwhile undertaking. The incorporation of project information systems in project execution will enable project participants to have greater visibility of project variables and make informed decisions on the proper application of project resources to ensure that projects are successful.

This paper will seek to find out the extent of the use of computer aided project planning and control systems in the construction industry of Ghana. This dissertation will seek to establish how widespread the use of computer aided project planning and control systems is in the Ghanaian construction industry. In addition, it will seek to establish which of the software among the suite of computer programmes available is mostly used. Furthermore, this paper will explore which of the tools available in the software are usually used.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Project Material  |  Attribute: 62 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: GH50  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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