Whole life performance assessment: critical success factors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whole life costing (WLC) has become the best practice in construction procurement and it is likely to be a major issue in predicting whole life costs of a construction project accurately. However, different expectations from different organizations throughout a project's life and the lack of data, monitoring targets, and long-term interest for many key players are obstacles to be overcome if WLC is to be implemented. A questionnaire survey was undertaken to investigate a set of ten common factors and 188 individual factors. These were grouped into eight critical categories (project scope, time, cost, quality, contract/administration, human resource, risk, and health and safety) by project phase, as perceived by the clients, contractors and subcontractors in order to identify critical success factors for whole life performance assessment (WLPA). Using a relative importance index, the top ten critical factors for each category, from the perspective of project participants, were analyzed and ranked. Their agreement on those categories and factors were analyzed using Spearman's rank correlation. All participants identify “Type of Project” as the most common critical factor in the eight categories for WLPA. Using the relative index ranking technique and weighted average methods, it was found that the most critical individual factors in each category were: “clarity of contract” (scope); “fixed construction period” (time); “precise project budget estimate” (cost); “material quality” (quality); “mutual/trusting relationships” (contract/administration); “leadership/team management” (human resource); and “management of work safety on site” (health and safety). There was relatively a high agreement on these categories among all participants. Obviously, with 80 critical factors of WLPA, there is a stronger positive relationship between client and contactor rather than contractor and subcontractor, client and subcontractor. Putting these critical factors into a criteria matrix can facilitate an initial framework of WLPA in order to aid decision making in the public sector in South Korea for evaluation/selection process of a construction project at the bid stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1161
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • life cycles
  • assessment
  • costs
  • contracts
  • construction management
  • contract management
  • bids


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