Planning in construction involve defining the activities, actions, time, cost, durations and performance milestone which will result into successful completion of the project. Previous researches attributed insufficient construction planning to Nigerian indigenous construction companies, this insufficiency in construction planning was found to contribute to their low productivity, profitability, time overrun and cost overrun. This study was carried out to assess construction project planning of indigenous contractors with a view to enhance their performance. The objectives of the research were to assess contractors’ perception of construction project planning, articulation of contractors’ current method of construction project planning and assessing the efficiency of each contractor’s method of planning construction projects. The methodology of the research involve use of purposive sampling technique, sample size of 50 companies was determined using 90% confidence level from a population size of 1920 calculated with sample size table and formula. Questionnaire was self-administered to respondents, questionnaire (A) was administered to project managers of the organizations which contains questions that aim at assessing how organizations plan and what planning entails in their organizations, this questionnaire record 83% response rate. Questionnaire (B) was administered to professionals in the organizations who manage construction on site, questionnaire (B) aim at assessing the effectiveness of construction planning, problems associated with construction planning and how to improve construction planning, questionnaire (B) records 88% response rate. Questionnaires were analyzed and results was presented in tables and bar charts. Findings from the research revealed that construction project planning is insufficient and requires improvement. Cost overrun, time overrun, poor scope control and reduction in profit are problems experienced by contractors. The failure of construction project planning was attributed to client unethical dealings, lack of integrity in financial dealings of client and poor communication among project members. In order to improve planning of construction project, the research recommends contractors to perform financial and ethical check on client, employ distinct project manager to each project, employ the use of computerised systems and experience in planning construction projects. The research also recommend contractors to improve communication among project team through establishment of reliable and accessible communication channel.

Background of the Study
The guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge PM BOK (2004) defined project to be a temporary human effort which has definite start and finishing date and also has clear objectives. Henry (2006) identified project to be made up of group of interrelated activities constrained by specific scope, budget and time to deliver specified product or service. Example of projects are construction of a house, building a software and accomplishing a space mission. Hence, a project is characterized by time, scope and objectives.

Construction activities also shares features of a project, this is because construction involve transforming raw materials, finished or semi-finished goods using management, manpower and technology with in an agreed specification of time, quality into a facility. Abimbola (2013) defined construction as series of actions undertaken by an entity which produce, modify or altar building or infrastructure.

Regardless of the nomenclature, every project involve accomplishment of distinct or interconnected stages, these stages are conceptualization, planning execution and completion, and they are termed the project life cycle. For a project to be successful, every aspect of it needs to be prepared or planned. Project planning was defined by PM BOK (2000) as that stage of a project which identify the project activities and how each of the activities will be accomplished. The purpose of planning project is to identify each major task, estimate time and resources required, and provide a frame work for management or owners to review and control its progress.

Construction project planning involve defining the work to be done, its objectives and constraints, choice of methodology and technology on how the construction will be carried out. It also involve identifying key activities that must be accomplished, their sequence and any possible interconnection between activities.

Construction project share similar life cycle with projects of other industries, but Emad (2009) indicated that construction project are unique, because most of the time construction project produce facilities that house or serve as means of future production, they deal with geographical differences, involve assembling of team hired for a specific purpose. According to Abimbola (2013), Construction project also consume a lot of physical materials and make use of physical tools and machineries, they involve several stakeholders and are labour intensive. Due to their unique nature, construction projects are faced with their own unique challenges, they are executed differently and hence requires to be planned differently.

The construction industry in both developed and developing countries may be viewed as that sector of the economy, which through planning, design, construction, maintenance and repair, transforms various resources into constructed facilities ( Fred and Janet, 1976). Ibrahim (2012) and Uduak (2006) defined Indigenous construction companies as contracting firms that are fully owned and managed by Nigerians.

In Nigeria, enterprises are classified to reflect their size, location or capability, this classification provide basis for government intervention, socio economic planning and research. Because of labour intensity of construction, construction companies are often categorized according to size of their permanent employees. This classification include that of Abdul Azeez (2012), who identified four categories, namely; Micro (one to nine employees), small (10 to 99 employees), medium (100 to 299 employees) and large (300 and above employees). Abdul Azeez (2012) indicated that most enterprises in Nigeria are labour intensive and their size can be classified using size of their permanent employee work force.

Effectiveness of construction planning was criticize by researchers such as Graham and John (2005), this criticism has led to debate on the effectiveness of construction project planning. Despite this argument, Francis and Rafi (2004) asserted that it is widely recognized that inefficient planning of construction projects play a role in causing project failure. This failure is still regarded much, considering White and Fortune (2002) reported that success ratio for construction and engineering project are still lower than 40%.

Some critiques of construction project planning, such as Laufer and Tucker (1987) argued that planning and evaluation of planning processes are insufficient, there is emphasis on critical path methods, inexperience of construction process and lack of information gathering methods by construction planners hinders the construction project planning process. Planning of construction project often become more of control-oriented rather than action oriented, construction planning are often presented with complex and technical terms which can only be understood by professionals in construction industry.

Graham and John (2005) indicated that despite the fundamental importance of the debates, recent researches have proceed into refinement of existing planning tools and emphasizing on use of software for construction planning, but neglecting researching to explore organizational context of construction planning. This approach of studying planning has not provide the required improvement in construction project planning, this is indicated by Basil (2005), who reported that lack of successful construction project planning to be an important factor that lead to death of newly formed small and medium construction firms in Nigeria with in their first five years of in cooperation.

Construction project planning involve identification of activities and actions, time and cost targets, performance mile stone, it is one of the four phases of construction project life cycle. Construction planning was shown to impact project positively, Harris and Mc Caffer (2005) indicated that contractors of the developed countries have embrace planning of construction project, because the performance and profitability of the companies were found to be directly affected by efforts expanded in planning, careful and controlled construction project delivery. But many Nigerian indigenous construction companies are unable to meet their contractual requirements because of their in ability to prepare and implement a good plan for a successful construction project delivery (Aniekwu and Audu, 2010). This according Saleh (2004) has contributed to the inability of the industry in meeting the construction needs of Nigeria

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 119 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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