2013 journal article
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Construction Information Management System Implementation: Case Study
JOURNAL OF CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT, 139(4), 445–455.
In construction projects, construction managers spend a significant portion of their time gathering project data, assessing production rates, communicating with project participants, and tracking project quality. Executing those tasks manually reduces efficiency and can result in less effective project management operations. In order to improve efficiency of information process flow, various types of construction information management systems (CIMSs) have been introduced to construction projects. However, due to the difficulty of tracking fragmental and illusive data, measuring the cost and benefit of the implementation and evaluating the trade-off remain a challenge for construction practitioners. This paper’s contributions to the body of knowledge include (1) proposing a framework to assess tangible and semitangible or intangible costs and benefits of innovative construction technology application, (2) determining costs and benefits of the use of CIMSs by conducting a product-specific case study, and (3) summarizing lessons learned through the application of a CIMS from the first-hand users so that construction managers can avoid pitfalls in other projects. This study provides data collected during real-time immersion in the project as part of the project team over a 6 month period. The study found that the use of CIMSs, coupled with mobile technologies, increased efficiency and decreased clerical time of operations-level construction personnel, and thereby increased value to the project through improved allocation of managerial time. The internal observation and analysis provide a useful guidance to project managers who are interested in implementing CIMS in construction projects.