Ameliorating time and cost control with project learning and communication management: Leveraging on reusable knowledge assets

Jeffrey Boon Hui Yap*, Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Legions of projects fail to attain their time and cost objectives due to ineffective coordination. This is often due to a lack of essential learning from projects because of insufficient communication and working experience. One of the key reasons why this occurs is that managers are unaware of what knowledge needs to be retained. In contrast with knowledge management research, which mostly focuses on the systems and processes for capturing, storing, and retrieval of knowledge, this paper investigates the nature of project communication and learning and their role on project time and cost control.

Design/methodology/approach: A stratified proportional purposive sampling approach was adopted in choosing the interview participants for the study. They are experienced industry practitioners working on building construction projects in Malaysia. Content analysis was then performed on the interview data. The identified variables were further validated by 11 industry experts from the three primary construction stakeholders. 

Findings: The results of a series of 12 in-depth interviews with industry practitioners are provided to reveal the effective communication tools for sharing and learning in a project-based environment, the learning inducing situations involved, and the use of reusable project experiences to improve project time and cost control. 

Research limitations/implications: A possible limitation of the study is its focus on a small group of Malaysian practitioners delimits the generalizability of the findings. 

Originality/value: A two-phase model with three-step project management process of input, tools, and output is developed from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide as an aid for more effective knowledge reuse in project time and cost control in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-792
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


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