The study presented in this article investigates the practice of validation, which is not supported by the current literature. In this study, data was collected from subject matter experts through phone interviews. A multiple case study method was leveraged to characterize validation through the analysis of empirical data from remarkable project validation efforts. Project validation aims at proving or disproving with limited or no design whether the team can deliver a project that satisfies the owner’s business case and scope within the owner’s allowable constraints of cost and schedule and with an acceptable level of risk. During validation, multidisciplinary innovation clusters within the team investigate, compare, and propose distinct options for major project components, and enable the team to collaboratively select an option for the conceptual estimate without committing to the design of such option. Exploring solutions with a multidisciplinary lens without committing to their design enables the team, later on during design, to make decisions on solutions that ensure the cumulative impact of such solutions and further increase value to the owner. Validation culminates in a go/no-go decision, is undertaken following the business case and precedes the contractual agreement, and must have a dedicated budget, schedule, and project team. This article characterizes what validation is, when it is performed, how it should be implemented, and its benefits. Lessons learned are also discussed. When properly implemented, subject matter experts express that validation virtually eliminates cost and schedule deviations.
Value, lean construction, collaboration