Time to market vs. Time to delivery. Managing speed in Engineering Procurement and construction projects

S. BEN MAHMOUD-JOUINI, C. Midler, G. Garel

International Journal of Project Management

July 2004, vol. 22, n°5, pp.359-367

Departments: Information Systems and Operations Management, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The time-to-market in NPD projects is a key factor in the competition between innovative firms. Research on concurrent engineering has shown that time can be managed as well as a delay and as a speed. Our concern in this paper is to study the time factor in the case of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) projects, where a customer initially contracts for a project from a contractor on the basis of specifications, budget and delay. Is time-to-delivery a key factor? Does its reduction represent a competitive advantage for the client and/or for the contractor in EPC projects? Is project speed a key variable to be managed, or does it result from other project parameters? We first define an analytical model to characterize a speed profile in EPC projects. We implement this model for six major construction projects developed by a large, international firm. A variety of speed profiles result. We conclude by showing the relevance of NPD project speed management in EPC projects