Validating and Testing a Project Delivery Success Model in Construction: A Mixed-Method Approach in Australia

Amir Ghanbaripour*, Craig Ashley Langston, Roksana Jahan Tumpa, Gregory James Skulmoski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Despite considerable research on the subject, there is still some misunderstanding about what characterizes successful project delivery in construction projects. Evaluating project delivery success is crucial for organizations since it enables them to prepare for future growth through more effective project management mechanisms and rank the organization's projects for continuous improvement. There is considerable disagreement over a set of success criteria that can be applied to all kinds of projects when evaluating project delivery success, making it a complicated procedure for practitioners and scholars. This research seeks to alleviate the problem by validating and testing a systematic project delivery success model (3D integration model) in the Australian construction industry. The aim is to establish a dependable approach built upon prior research and reliable in evaluating delivery success for any project type. 

Design/methodology/approach: Based on a novel project delivery success model, this research applies a case study methodology to analyse 40 construction projects undertaken by a single Australian project management consultancy. The research utilizes a mixed-method research approach and triangulates three sets of data. First, the project delivery success (PDS) scores of the projects are calculated by the model. Second, a qualitative analysis targeting the performance of the same projects using a different system called the performance assessment review (PAR) scores was obtained. These culminate in two sets of ranking. The third step seeks validation of results from the head of the partnering organization that has undertaken the projects. 

Findings: The findings of this study indicate that the 3D integration model is accurate and reliable in measuring the success of project delivery in construction projects of various sizes, locations and durations. While the model uses six key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure delivery success, it is evident that three of these may significantly improve the likelihood of PDS: value, speed and impact. Project managers should focus on these priority aspects of performance to generate better results. 

Research limitations/implications: Restrictions inherent to the case study approach are identified for this mixed-method multiple-case study research. There is a limitation on the sample size in this study. Despite the researcher's best efforts, no other firm was willing to share such essential data; therefore, only 40 case studies could be analysed. Nonetheless, the number of case studies met the literature's requirements for adequate units for multiple-case research. This research only looked at Australian construction projects. Thus, the conclusions may not seem applicable to other countries or industries. The authors investigated testing the PDS in the construction sector. It can assist in improving efficiency and resource optimization in this area. Nonetheless, the same technique may be used to analyse and rank the success of non-construction projects. 

Originality/value: Despite the research conducted previously on the PDS of construction projects, there is still confusion among researchers and practitioners about what constitutes a successful project delivery. Although several studies have attempted to address this confusion, no consensus on consistent performance metrics or a practical project success model has been formed. More importantly, (1) the ability to measure success across multiple project types, (2) the use of triple bottom line (TBL) to incorporate sustainability in evaluating delivery success and (3) the use of a complexity measurement tool to adjust delivery success scores set the 3D integration model apart from others.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2023


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