American Society of Civil Engineers

Defining High-Level Project Control Data for Visual Information Systems

by Namhun Lee, (Assistant Professor, Department of Construction Management, East Carolina University, 343 Rawl Building, Mail Stop 307, Greenville, NC 27858-4353, USA. E-mail: and Eddy M. Rojas, (Professor, Department of Construction Management, University of Washington, 120 Architecture Hall, Box 351610, Seattle, WA 98195-1610, USA. E-mail:
Section: Information Technology and Computer Applications, pp. 518-257, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Construction Research Congress 2010: Innovation for Reshaping Construction Practice
Abstract: Over the course of a typical construction project, project managers constantly monitor progress and resolve problems. However, it may be not easy to track and identify performance problems when a construction project generates a great volume and variety of ever-changing data during the construction phase. Traditionally, in order to identify performance problems, project managers walk job sites and meet or call several individuals. Since the advent of web-based tools, project managers have been able to obtain information by logging on to a project’s web site. However, early efforts at using computers to manage construction projects came up short with technology that was awkward or costly. Today, thanks to advancements in information technology, web-based tools are capable of displaying information in easy-to-read graphics, assembled from data pulled from multiple sources in real time. This paper explores what data should be collected for web-based systems to provide project managers with threshold level information regarding actual project status so that they can focus on the "big picture." This exploration is based on literature review and interviews with fifteen project managers from construction firms in the Puget Sound area. The information presented in this paper may serve as the foundation for the development of visual information systems to support the work of construction project managers.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Project management
Information systems