The prevalence of client dissatisfaction in the South African building industry is a consequence of non-achievement of set project objectives due to identifiable constraints. The paper presents the results of investigations into the nature, magnitudes and frequencies of occurrence of these constraints. The descriptive survey method was used with qualitative data gathering through semi-structured interviews, and quantitative data gathering using structured questionnaires. Multi-attribute methods and rank correlation tests were used in the data analyses. A set of consultants' and contractors' acts of omission or commission is shown as the most influential and most frequently occurring factor constraining successful project delivery in the South African building industry. The controllable factors account for 67% of the perceived discrepancies between expected and actual outcomes of project development. An Influence-Frequency matrix was developed and applied as a conceptual framework for establishing the risk levels of the identified project constraints. The application of this framework is recommended as an effective approach to risk analysis and risk response development in project management.