The effects of the variability of project planning on cost commitment curves: A case study

A. P. Kaka, J. Lewis, H. Petros

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Standard value/cost flow models (often referred to as S-curves) are widely used in cash flow forecasting, particularly at the tender stage. A substantial amount of research has concentrated on improving the accuracy of these curves. Categorizing construction projects into groups and subgroups has helped, but the fact remains that different construction projects possess different profiles of cost flow. This paper is an attempt at assessing the extent of influence of planning and programming the work on the cost flow curves. One real project was used as a case study and four planners were independently asked to produce programmes for executing the project. These programmes were analysed and converted to cost flow curves using one database of productivity and unit cost rates. Results confirmed that the variations in programmes produced less variations in cost flow curves than the errors to be expected from the use of average curves derived from project groups (mean SDY 2.88 compared to previous studies of 5.5, 8.5 and 10.67). The results suggest, taking due account of the limitations of the scope of the study, that further effort at the categorisation of projects into subgroups will result in a reasonable improvement in accuracy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)15-26
    Number of pages12
    JournalEngineering Construction and Architectural Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • Construction management
    • Cost control
    • Estimating
    • Planning
    • Regression analysis
    • Scheduling


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