Managing Iterations in the Modular Real Estate Development Process
Editor: Scheurmann, E.; Maurer, M.; Schmidt, D.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Eppinger, S.D.; Bonelli, S.; Gonzalez, A.M.
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Section: Project and Process Management
Real estate development (RED) is a dynamic business with long-duration projects involving multiple parties with both common and sometimes conflicting goals. With large capital budgets in RED projects, time management is a primary factor determining success or failure. In recent years, Modular Construction Methods (MCM) have been successfully used to accelerate the construction of both residential and commercial RED projects. However, MCM requires higher levels of involvement from many parties earlier in the design and engineering stages of the RED process. This paper explores the interdependent relationships among the tasks involved in MCM RED projects. Using Design Structure Matrix (DSM) analysis, we have identified the planned and unplanned iterations in the development process which reflect rework of tasks that inherently require it and feedback loops that occur because of unanticipated problems. In our application of DSM to a typical large residential RED project, we have created both a normative process model and an improved one employing solutions to avoid the unplanned iterations in the original process which would result in costly setbacks. In doing so, we have identified best practices from MCM processes that can help enhance traditional RED processes.