A taxonomy for causes of changes in construction

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2012

Thesis Language: English


Principal Supervisor (For Co-Supervisor Theses): Irem Dikmen Toker

Co-Supervisor: Mustafa Talat Birgönül


Change is an inevitable and inherent factor of each construction project which is a result of the nature of industry and the uniqueness of projects. Risky and unstable environment of construction industry usually triggers the potential of occurring changes during a project life cycle. Effective management of changes usually leads to increasing the project success. Change prediction and evaluation is the major step of change management process which enables the project management team to have a clear perspective of probable changes and their impacts on project. An effective prediction should be conducted based on a generic overview of likely causes and impacts of changes on projects; therefore establishing a comprehensive model of “Change Causes” is imperative in order to facilitate the systematic management of project change. This thesis is based on a literature review on existing investigations and researches on project changes and their causes in construction industry and tries to develop a generic and comprehensive classification of “Change Causes”, from project design to construction and utilization. The proposed taxonomy is in the form of a hierarchical system to facilitate the application and extension of “Change Causes” categories. The taxonomy has 3 levels of categories which are identified based on their origin and independent from responsible party of change cause. Since the changes usually occur during the whole project lifecycle, the proposed taxonomy covers all project phases from conception to construction and commissioning. The proposed taxonomy has been validated through a survey among the construction professionals and last revisions have been conducted based on the results of validation phase.