Keraminiyage, Kaushal, Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2005) Place of technology management as a key process area within construction process improvement: A critical analysis. In: RICS COBRA Conference (held as part of the QUT Research week), 3-8th July 2005, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)

Process improvement has been identified as an important strategy to address the current unpredictability and under-achievements of the UK construction industry. Within the technological view of process improvement, information technology (IT) has been identified as a key enabler. Various studies about the information technology in construction have revealed that construction show a slow IT adoptability and IT has failed to convince the stakeholders of the construction industry. Within some of these researches, it has been argued that immature processes within the construction industry are responsible for this unsatisfactory level of performance of IT. On the other hand, it has also been argued that, Information Technology is a primary stimulant of process improvement, thus process maturity can be driven by the IT push. Leading to a dilemma, this indicates that new information technological innovations could use by immature organisations within their process improvement strategies. This dilemma triggered the necessity to evaluate the place of the Technology Change Management within the construction context. Thus, a literature survey was conducted to identify the construction process improvement initiatives and its relationship with the IT usage in construction with a special emphasis on the SPICE approach, which has provided the basis for this critical analysis. The SPICE is a five levelled framework based on the popular Software Capability Maturity Model (CMM), and presents an assessment tool for the maturity of construction process. However, within the CMM the Technology Change Management has been considered as a key process area within the fifth maturity level, indicating that this is a concern of matured organisations. However, the IT usage within construction shows that the immature construction organisations have successfully adopted IT in an ad-hoc manner with the aim of achieving short term benefits. On the other hand construction literature have criticised this ad-hoc IT usage and linked that to the relative slow IT adoptability in construction. This in effect challenges the allocation of a fixed place for Technology Change Management as a Key Process Area with the construction process improvement, from the organisation maturity point of view.

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