Serugga, Joas (2020) A Decision Support System for Benefits Realisation in Front End Design of Construction Projects in Dynamic Contexts. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

There is an increasing interest in the performance of construction projects, focussing on measurable value delivery. This research proposes a novel decision support system to support Front End Design (FED) decision making in addressing continuing value constraints in the delivery of project benefits. Stakeholder involvement and interests in projects that impact on project requirements understanding and management often means competing and sometimes conflicting requirements. However, projects now face increasing expectations to cope with emergent needs, which adds to uncertainty in the design process. As a result, there are continuing challenges in understanding and measuring project performance in terms of derived benefits.

Increasingly, research points to the need for new understanding of FED processes on account of their vital contribution to value generation throughout the project life cycle. Much of current design practice however relies on qualitative explanatory/rationalistic methods to model uncertainty and predict changes in use cases in projects. The reliability of the approaches in the face of myriad, often conflicting and competing stakeholder interests in AEC design is increasingly under focus. This research adopts a mixed-methods approach in developing, validating and evaluating the proposed system in two case study project contexts for comparative assessment of the modelling results. The research formalises a new decision system (DESIDE), in exploring mathematical modelling based on Bayesian probabilistic models and proposes a new system focussed on the utility of decision making in the realisation of project benefits. The research explores the use of probability theory and appropriate mathematical approaches in the management and modelling of requirements and uncertainty during design decision making. The research also explores the use of complementary requirements forecasting modelling in a holistic integrated modelling approach.

The research contributes to knowledge through 1) the new decision system that presents new frontiers in empirical evaluation of FED Benefits Realisation, 2) presenting an integrated analytical modelling approach of project requirements modelling in FED with a focus on the full project lifecycle performance based on analytical utility assessments and cause-effect modelling and 3) presenting a new integrated forecast and uncertainty probabilistic modelling approach of requirements in FED to support benefits realisation in projects.

FINAL THESIS - Serugga.pdf - Accepted Version
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