Benchmarking preproject planning effort

M. R. Hamilton, G. E. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Benchmarking key performance areas is key to continual improvement of processes. This paper focuses on measurement and benchmarking of the preproject-planning process for capital construction. While experienced members of the construction industry recognize that more effort put into early project planning results in a more successful project, there are few published studies that quantitatively verify this fact. This paper reviews a methodology developed to benchmark the preproject-planning phase to provide a basis for action, follow-up studies, and recalibration of measures and benchmarks. The project that was the object of this study measured the level of preproject-planning effort performed. This level was then related to the ultimate success of the project using data gathered on 62 projects and totaling more than $3.4 billion in authorized cost. Through formal preproject-planning effort, risk is reduced, cost performance can increase by as much as 20%, and schedule performance by as much as 40%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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