Enhancing Construction Project Workflow Reliability through Observe–Plan–Do–Check–React Cycle: A Bridge Project Case Study

Ashtad Javanmardi, Chuanni He, Simon M. Hsiang, S. Alireza Abbasian-Hosseini, Min Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This research aims to determine the appropriate level of effort required for each step of the Observe–Plan–Do–Check–React (OPDCA) cycle to improve the workflow reliability of a construction project. Empirical data on detailed weekly meeting minutes over 18 weeks and the planned and actual starting and finish times of 475 activities were collected from a bridge construction case project. The information theory approach was utilized to measure the information gained from discussions pertaining to the OPDCA cycle during weekly planning meetings. Cooperative game theory and the Shapley notation of fairness were used to compute the contribution of each OPDCA step to workflow reliability. Results showed that “Observe”, “Plan”, “Do”, “Check”, and “reAct”, contributed 18%, 23%, 23%, 24%, and 12% to observed variations in workflow reliability measured by the percent plan complete (PPC). Also, findings revealed that synergy exists between the “Check” step and other steps in the OPDCA cycle. The methodology developed in this paper has potential implications for engineering managers. The method can be generalized to help project managers find the balance between planning and control efforts to improve workflow. It also provides proven techniques for continuous improvement during project execution to facilitate project success. Furthermore, at the organizational level, the developed method can help higher-level managers make informed investment decisions for employees’ training and development to improve performance in future projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2379
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Deming cycle
  • OPDCA cycle
  • construction workflow
  • game theory
  • information theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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