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Simplifying complexity? On quality decision-making and non-conformance outcomes of megaprojects

Ford, Gavin, Gosling, Jonathan ORCID: and Naim, Mohamed ORCID: 2024. Simplifying complexity? On quality decision-making and non-conformance outcomes of megaprojects. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 10.1109/TEM.2024.3359821

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Research in quality management has provided much insight into the challenges construction projects face with non-conformance and rework. However, most rework research has focused on most prevalent and costly avenues that desire improvement, rather than the capabilities of quality problem solving and appropriate decision-making in uncertain situations. Quantitative method is adopted whereby 1205 non-conformance report (NCRs) from a £1.45bn highways megaproject are analysed using a cognitive decision-making framework to determine real-time and retrospective action pathways employed to rectify non-conformance problems. We identify that the interventions to address quality problems are typically premature and do not fully consider the wider picture of non-conformance failure. The findings revealed many cases of oversimplification, resulting in premature quality problem solving outcomes. This causes NCRs to be ineffectively addressed and does not eradicate future occurrence. We show that with the assistance of a cognitive decision-making framework and a categorisation ruling, projects can improve decision-making by determining when to switch intervention pathways to ensure the correct outcomes. There cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to quality problem solving. Project teams must be more aware of the differing complexities with NCRs that require different courses of action. We close with the limitations of the paper and suggest avenues for further research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN: 0018-9391
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 January 2024
Date of Acceptance: 25 January 2024
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2024 00:35

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