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developing new understanding and approaches to complex service systems

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Thayla Zomer

Thayla Zomer

PhD Student


Thayla holds a BSc in Civil Engineering and an MSc in Production Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. She graduated Summa Cum Laude (with the highest distinction) and was classified among the 5% students with the highest GPAs of the engineering course. Prior to her PhD, Thayla worked as a researcher at the Production Engineering Department of the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

A framework of the factors influencing the performance of digitally enabled construction projects

Building Information Modelling (BIM) sits at the heart of digital transformation across the UK built environment. BIM is a collaborative way of working, underpinned by digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of creating and maintaining the assets. Several benefits of implementing BIM have been promulgated within the construction industry and literature, such as cost and time savings, enhanced productivity and quality, improved collaboration and inefficiency reduction. However, BIM is not a panacea to improving project performance, which requires more than new digital technical solutions; the full potential of BIM cannot be realised without changes in both organisational and inter-organisational processes. Although there are a range of international standards and best practices for BIM implementation, no reference exists for assessing the success of BIM projects. In addition, the factors and mechanisms that affect BIM project performance remain unclear and fragmented, although there are many publications investigating factors that affect conventional projects’ performance. Notably, there are mixed findings in the literature about BIM implementation and the conditions under which a BIM project has improved performance outcomes. Therefore, grounding on the inter-organisational relations literature, this research aims to elucidate which factors and mechanisms influence the successful execution and completion of digitally enabled construction projects. The goal is to understand the antecedents, competencies, processes, activities, procedures and behaviours, and the relationship of these elements with the projects’ outcomes. The main measures of construction projects’ success considered in this study include cost, schedule, change, quality, productivity and health & safety. Multiple case studies will be conducted because theory building through case studies is recommended when the goals are to identify and describe key variables and their linkages. This research seeks to contribute to the literature and practice in different ways, such as by adding to the limited empirical research that focuses on the relationship between project processes and project performance. In addition, although the technical side of BIM is maturing, the managerial areas of BIM remain unexplored. Thus, this study aims to expose unexplored factors that are related to functional and management competencies and their relationship to improved performance. This study also adopts an inter-organisational perspective, which has scarcely been considered in the literature thus far, versus either an organisational or a purely technological perspective. Finally, from the practical perspective, identifying relevant competencies at different levels will not only facilitate BIM adoption but will also clarify which complex activities regarding multidisciplinary collaboration impact project performance.


  • Construction Industry
  • Digital Economy
  • Digital Transformation
  • Digitisation
  • Performance

Cambridge Service Alliance

Welcome to the Cambridge Service Alliance…

  • a unique global alliance between leading businesses and universities;
  • bringing together the world's leading firms and academics;
  • all of whom are devoted to delivering today the tools, education and insights needed for the complex service solutions of tomorrow.

Members of the Cambridge Service Alliance include BAE Systems, Caterpillar, IBM and the University of Cambridge.


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11 June 2018 - High-Quality Prediction Intervals for Deep Learning: A Distribution-Free, Ensembled Approach - by Tim Pearce, Mohamed Zaki, Alexandra Brintrup, Andy Neely

Theme Update - Blockchains in Smart Services

Jun 06, 2018

In May, Veronica and her team worked very hard on the first practical phase of the project – the Codification of the Blockchain Prototype for the CAT/Perkins’ Supply Chain.

Project Update - OMMS: the Wireless Micro-Factory that will Treat People with Cancer

Jun 06, 2018

The OMMS micro-factory project lead by Dr Veronica Martinez made a great progress this month.

June 2018 Newsletter

Jun 04, 2018

Find out what the Cambridge Service Alliance have been doing and how you can get involved.

Rare-events classification: An approach based on Genetic Algorithm and Voronoi Tessellation

May 31, 2018

by Abdul Rauf Khan, Mohamed Zaki, Henrik Schiøler, and Murat Kulahci. The paper was accepted at 'The 22nd Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD)', a leading international conference in the areas of knowledge discovery and data mining (KDD). In this paper, Mohamed and co-authors propose a novel strategy for data mining based on partitioning of the feature space through Voronoi tessellation and Genetic Algorithm, where the latter is applied to solve a combinatorial optimization problem.

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