V: Insight from Delphi research study: A case of Ghanaian experts
A two-stage Delphi methodology was adopted to establish the need for and relevance of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in the construction industry, the main and sub-attributes that bring about effective M&E and whether the attributes are comparable to other country settings, to identify the critical challenging factors that influence M&E and, finally, to determine the impact of effective M&E on construction project delivery. Ninety-eight attributes categorized into seven main factors achieved consensus at the end of the second round of the Delphi study. It is also confirmed from the study that M&E practice in the Ghanaian construction industry is influenced by the involvement of key stakeholders, the M&E budget allocation, the approach to M&E implementation, communication and the leadership role. Consensus was achieved on some challenges outlined amongst the 11 experts empanelled. Regarding the relationship between M&E and project success, experts largely agreed that there is a significant relationship suggesting effective M&E will lead to project success.
A case study approach employing the Delphi methodology was undertaken to understand the relevance, determinants, challenges and impact of M&E in construction project delivery. The following Delphi-specific objectives (DSO) were established for the case study chapter of this book:
DSO1 To ascertain the need for and relevance of M&E in the Ghanaian construction industry;
DSO2 To determine the main factors and sub-attributes that bring about effective M&E and to examine whether the attributes that determine effective M&E in other countries are similar to construction project M&E in Ghana;
DSO3 To identify the critical challenging factors that influence M&E in the Ghanaian construction industry; and
DSO4 To determine the impact of effective M&E-determining factors on the success of construction project delivery in Ghana.
The philosophy regarding the above objectives was to arrive at a common consensus on the factors and attributes of effective M&E in the Ghanaian construction industry. The DSO is intended to help settle on the key factors and attributes critically significant to determine effective M&E in Ghana and to help develop a holistically integrated monitoring and evaluation model for the Ghanaian construction industry for implementation by other industries that share similar characteristics.
An expert panel of 20 construction industry and academic professionals with M&E expertise consented and were constituted initially for the first round of the Delphi study. However, 13 experts constituting 65% responded and participated in the first round of the Delphi study. Subsequently, 12 experts responded to the second round of the Delphi study. The major selection criteria for experts compulsorily included experts having consulted or been involved in construction project delivery at the metropolitan, municipal and district assembly (MMDA) level in Ghana, their years of experience in the construction industry and their academic qualification. The criteria were considered significant to the study since experts were required to possess a thorough understanding of the M&E practices at the local government level in the Ghanaian construction industry. Expert panel members were also considered based on their affiliation to recognized professional bodies in the Ghanaian construction industry, namely the Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhlS), Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) and the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE). Experts were also empanelled from the academic and research environment as well as those in industry practice in Ghana.
Round One of the questionnaire was designed based on the summaries from a comprehensive review of literature highlighting the main and sub-attributes that are potential in influencing effective M&E implementation in the Ghanaian construction industry. Subsequently, the Delphi Round Two (final round) questionnaire was designed based on the previous response from Round One. Round One of the Delphi study was significant to the study as it served as a brainstorming exercise to empirically include the list of main and sub-attributes that determined effective M&E in the Ghanaian construction industry.
To accomplish this objective therefore closed and open-ended questions were used in Round One after which they were analyzed and formed the basis for Round Two of the study. Frequencies were obtained to measure the level of consensus reached amongst experts regarding the main and sub-attributes that determined effective M&E in the Ghanaian construction industry. The essence of Round Two of the Delphi study was to afford experts the opportunity to revise their earlier responses in Round One of the Delphi study and also respond to the new attributes which were proposed by other experts in Round One and which have the potential to influence effective M&E in the Ghanaian construction industry. After analyzing the response from the second round of the Delphi study, the characteristics and features which determined effective M&E as agreed to by the expert panel were reorganized to present a holistic picture of the attributes that determine effective M&E in the Ghanaian construction industry.
A successful Round Two presented results indicating a general agreement (consensus) amongst experts; a third round of the Delphi study was, therefore, not necessary. The median, mean and standard deviation and interquartile deviation (1QD) scores of each attribute were calculated. In situations where the score was 1 point from the median score, experts were requested to explain their responses. Upon reaching a consensus after the second round of the Delphi study, experts were communicated with regarding the consensus reached. Consensus is said to be achieved with 100% of experts in agreement. However, two-thirds of experts agreeing are considered a common consent (Stitt-Gohdes & Crews, 2004). Good consensus was therefore reached with each question or statement analyzed.