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6.

0 Introduction
The researcher sets out themes that serves the framework and criteria in which the government and
senior managers can use to reduce construction cost overruns and schedule delays. The
Implementation Plan sets out the short-term activities and measures to achieve the strategy’s
immediate objectives. Developing such a plan will allow the government, senior managers to
clearly set out the activities it is currently undertaking, the activities it is planning and the
timescales for the development of future planning and decisions making.

6.1 The Implementation Plan


In developing the implementation plan, seven major themes have been formulated which will
underpin decisions made with respect to reduction of cost and time overrun in the public sector
construction in Ghana. These themes are:

6.1.1 Seven Major themes

6.1.1.1 Planning and Having a Master Program


Planning and developing a project master program is the first and central theme. Fayol highlighted
in 1916 that the main function of management started with planning (as cited in Northouse, 2013).
Project planning and control is an effective project success factor for any project (Turner & Zolin,
2012). In the planning phase, the project manager sets the project cost and time, estimates
resources, and plans for the budget to fund the project. The project planning is a critical factor that
has a significant effect on the project cost performance, where the contractor and the client share
the responsibility to plan for appropriate construction methods (Doloi, 2013). Applying better
planning could bring about productivity improvements in the construction process (Kenley, 2014).
Appropriate project planning is the most important task to reduce schedule delays in construction
(Agyekum-Mensah & Knight, 2017; Rama, Sathya, Shasikala, & Clifa, 2017).

6.1.1.2 Implementing Clear Project Processes and Procedures


The project manager establishes the processes and procedures at the planning stage (PMI, 2013).
Setting formal processes and procedures is essential for project cost and time control (Doloi, 2013).
The inclusion of systematic process reduces the project risks, improves the team performance, and
enhances the satisfaction of the stakeholders (Lappe & Spang, 2014). Poor application of quality
management systems in the developing countries causes design revisions and construction
reworks, which contribute to cost overruns and schedule delays (Alinaitwe et al., 2013). Senior
managers need to equip themselves with the essential knowledge and communication skills for
successful implementation of the PM process and practices (Kissi et al., 2014). Poor processes and
procedures is one of the main problems causing delays and cost overruns (Adam et al., 2017). PM
processes and procedures improve the use of resources (Nazarko, 2017). A systematic approach
reduces delays in construction (Hadidi, Assaf, & Alkhiami, 2017).

6.1.1.3 Managing and Completing Design Stage before Construction


Selecting the right consultant minimizes design changes, improves design documentation, and
reduces cost overrun and schedule delays (Hemal et al., 2017).
6.1.1.4 Procurement management
Procurement management includes procurement planning, procurement execution, procurement
control, and procurement closeout (PMI, 2013). In procurement management, the manager is to
collect the procurement requirements and management decisions, find alternative traders, decide
the seller, and formalize agreement (PMI, 2013). Selecting the lowest bid affects the decision and
action of the cost estimator who may underestimate the cost at tender stage (Dominic & Smith,
2014). AlSehaimi et al. (2013) selected earlier studies regarding cost overruns and schedule delays
and found that 69% of the cases identified poor procurement as one of the problems. The senior
manager set the right selection criteria for the consultant to reduce cost overrun and schedule
delays (Hemal et al., 2017).

6.1.1.5 Using Appropriate Software


Construction industry has to apply management software and other management soft kits to
standardize processes and procedures and to provide economical solutions in construction. These
includes the use of use of ACONEX for document controlling purposes, and EDRMS or BIM for
reducing cost overrun and schedule delays by providing a coordinated design with discrepancies
detecting features in the software. The use of PM software is beneficial to the construction industry
for better design coordination and enhances communication. BIM is an open data tool that
designers and PM consultants use to minimize errors and underestimations (Elmualim & Gilder,
2014). BIM provides timely solutions to the design of construction projects, particularly but not
limited to large projects (Lu et al., 2013). The use of software in business management improves
the decision-making process (Mendes et al., 2017). Soft modules are useful for enterprise resource
planning and provide cost-effective solutions (Hadidi et al., 2017). BIM model provides easy
access to the design, clash detection features, improved schedule planning, faster construction
packaging process, and cost-effective solutions (Isaac, Curreli, & Stoliar, 2017). The use of BIM
eases the access to design details and provides value to the design documents and details in
construction (Beazley, Heffernan, & McCarthy, 2017).

6.1.1.6 Setting project cost and time


There is the need to have logical project budget and schedule and avoid underestimation.
Preliminary cost estimates need extra care because a lot of details and information are uncertain
or unavailable at the project inception stage (Dominic & Smith, 2014). Engaging players such as
the client, financial representative, land surveyor and geotechnical experts, materials engineers,
and suppliers in the estimation process is helpful to improve the whole project cost estimation
(Ochieng et al., 2015). The project manager needs to plan realistic project duration and cost to
mitigate overruns and delays (Al-Hazim et al., 2017).

6.1.1.7 Setting Clear Scope


The project manager takes the information from the stakeholders, defines the work scope, divide
it into elements, and control the scope changes to avoid cost overrun and schedule delays (PMI,
2013). This helps in standardizing and making clear scope and contract conditions for particular
services or works related to the project consultants and contractors. This may include manual that
includes general and specific scope statement and contract conditions for each work or service
provided by the project consultants and contractors. There is also the need for listing deliverables
for each stage of the defined scope within every phase of the project lifecycle. Senior managers
need to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on scope changes (Singhania, 2013).
Project scope management is an essential knowledge area within the PM process.