To achieve the targets of all project key stakeholders, construction projects, in particular, require sufficiently long preparation and execution periods that go beyond ensuring project break-even. Assessing the break-even, or commercial viability, of a project directly depends on its complexity and underlying conditions. Time and funds are necessary to achieve a sufficiently high quality in construction project management, planning, and specification. At the project planning stage, the budget associated with specific use requirements should be calculated whilst also determining the quantities and quality standards achievable within a pre-defined budget. To successfully plan and execute construction projects, it is crucial to identify available resources in terms of funds and time in advance, thus making it possible, at a very early stage, to strike a realistic balance between the (financial) project targets and the available budget. If these targets exceed the budget, works are often specified incompletely, or specified quality standards are lowered with a view to arrive at lower costs in early project phases in order to ensure that the required permit is issued. This paper adopts a qualitative approach to highlight the influence of project preparation (i.e. project lead time and project preparation budget) on achieving the client's/owner's project targets.
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