BOOK REVIEW - Global Construction Success
Global Construction Success by Charles O’Neil. Published by Wiley Blackwell (2018). Pages 360. Hardback. £69.95. ISBN No 978-1-119-44025-3.
This is a unique book that addresses a challenge that is important worldwide: what are the ingredients for a successful construction project? Notwithstanding the importance of construction projects being delivered on time, within the budget and to the appropriate quality, many projects around the world fail to achieve one or more of these goals, resulting in wasted resources and disputes.
This book, written by Charles O’Neill with the assistance of 17 other experienced construction professionals, comprehensively addresses the many factors that influence the success or failure of a construction project. It is a very practical book – the authors all have many years of experience on major projects in the construction industry working for government, employer organisations, contractors, engineers, consultants, universities, financiers and lawyers. They not only collectively cover the wide range of disciplines essential to the delivery of construction projects, they have experience of project delivery in many countries around the world, both successful and unsuccessful. These experiences are articulated in the book in highlighting behaviour that contributes to unsuccessful projects, but perhaps more importantly, in identifying the behaviours and processes that result in successful projects. This is one of the book’s great strengths – considered views from a variety of construction practitioners with different perspectives.
The aims of the book can best be summed up by the following quote from the Introduction:
“This book seeks to identify and understand the key structural ‘why’ questions related to the construction industry at this time, and then to make constructive arguments as to ‘how’ we can improve in the future, with emphasis on ‘what’ specific actions and focus could produce a long-term improvement in the industry’s general health.”
In this reviewer’s opinion, the book not only ticks all these boxes, but does so with a clear understanding of the many real-world challenges that often inhibit project success and offers practical suggestions to overcome them.
Following an introduction, the book looks at the state of the industry in Chapters 2 to 6. The book then contains a number of chapters under each of the following headings:
• People and teamwork (Chapters 7 to 11).
• The right framework – forms of contract, business models and Public Private Partnerships (Chapters 12 to 15).
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