Revisiting Project Delivery Performance

CPF-RGA 02-18 Topic Summary
CPF RGA 02 18


In 2018, CII and the Charles Pankow Foundation co-funded a research team that examined project delivery performance by comparing the cost, schedule, and quality performance of design-bid-build (DBB), construction manager at risk (CMR), and design-build (DB) projects. This project updated a CII study published in the mid-1990s that showed that DB project outperformed both CMR and DBB projects in terms of unit cost, cost and schedule growth, and all metrics relating to the speed of delivery.

CPF-RGA 02-18 examined data from over 200 projects of varying size, sector, complexity, and location. Then the team compared its results with the original CII study, which included data from over 350 projects. The results of the comparison show that the delivery speed for DB projects has increased over the past 20 years, while still providing a lower cost per square foot and greater reliability in cost and schedule performance.

The research summary and report are free of charge and available through the Charles Pankow Foundation site:

  • Research Summary: Revisiting Project Delivery Performance: 1998–2018
  • Report: Revisiting Project Delivery Performance

The original CII report is available on the CII website:

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Project Performance Comparison, 1998 vs. 2018

The team compared median performance benchmarks for project delivery systems, then contrasted a modern comparison with the parallel work RT-133 did in the 1990s. Design-Build (DB) projects are still delivered faster and with greater reliability in cost and schedule performance than projects that use design-bid-build (DBB) or construction manager at risk (CMR).

Reference: (CPF-RGA 02-18)

2 : Cost Performance Comparison

DB projects have the best performance with respect to unit cost and cost growth. The findings are consistent with previous findings, although the performance gap between project delivery systems has narrowed.

Reference: (CPF-RGA 02-18)

3 : Factors Impacting Cost Performance

Reference: (CPF-RGA 02-18)

4 : Schedule Performance Comparison

Reference: (CPF-RGA 02-18)

5 : Factors Impacting Schedule Performance

Reference: (CPF-RGA 02-18)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved cost, Improved schedule, Improved quality (reduced errors & omissions)

Presentations from CII Events

Session - Revisiting Project Delivery Performance: 1998–2019

Publication Date: 08/2019 Presenter: Number of Slides: 27 Event Code: AC2019