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Investigating causes of delays and cost escalation in project execution during turnarounds.

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The main purpose of this dissertation is to evaluate the causes and consequences of delays in project execution and their impact on the success of the project. The research methods include qualitative and quantitative methods. Literature provides evidence that poor project management structure, poor planning and inadequate communication contribute negatively to the success of the project. Project planning is an essential part of the project as it provides the tools to plan – the scope, cost, communication, quality, risk evaluation, time frame, integration and the total project management process. In the event that planning is not done properly by the relevant stakeholders the likelihood of failure in projects increases. Understanding the root causes of failure provides the key elements that contribute to adequate methods of implementing corrective actions. This thesis will add value to the project management process as it will equip project managers to understand the main causes and consequences of delays in project execution and to formulate corrective actions in order to prevent delays in future. This thesis points out underlying issues that cause delays; it also attempts to outline the challenges that result in delays and cost escalations; it analyses possible the statements asked in terms of common agreements towards the statements and recommend possible solutions that may remedy delays and avoid cost escalation issues during the execution phase of the projects in turnarounds or shutdown environments. The major findings of this study identify poor communication, repetition of tasks, resource allocation, scope change, procurement process management, inadequate planning and budget estimates as major contributors to delays and cost escalation during project execution – these issues also result in cost escalation during project execution in turnarounds. It is recommended that Engen Refinery put some means together to improve in the above-mentioned issues.


Master of Business Administration. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville 2015.


Project management., Work breakdown structure., Business failures., Project management--Planning., Theses--Business administration., Project failures.