Influential factors of life cycle management in education PFI projects

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Purpose It has been claimed that the private finance initiative (PFI) provides value for money in the overall life of the project through the lifecycle costing (LCC) process under the umbrella of lifecycle management (LCM). The available literature points to the fact that LCC is very important in getting value for money from PFI projects. However, there is no literature available on the effect of the use of LCM in PFI projects in the UK. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that influence the success of LCM in educational PFI projects. Design/methodology/approach The paper adopts a post-positivist approach to literature review. Purposive sampling is utilised with a mixed methodological approach. 6 qualitative inductive interviews offer key themes, which are further investigated using quantitative deductive questionnaires, of which 35 were issued and 26 were returned. Findings The paper provides empirical insights about the key success factors of LCM in the education sector. The results highlight the necessity of quality standardized data collection in a big data form. It highlights the need for a cultural shift from short- to long-term profit maximisation and service provision by the use of LCM in the PFI education sector. Research limitations/implications A purposive sample was used to maximise the validity of data collection. Although this method has garnered concise and clear results, it is understood that this study is limited into a niche sector and a set of subsequently niche professionals. It is recommended that a larger sample be utilised and the spectrum of PFI sectors be opened up to further explore the topic. Practical implications Further investigations across different sectors of PFI project may be viewed as a good comparison, sectors such as health, accommodation and prisons. Gathering responses across all sector types could have resulted in a greater number of responses received and offer greater validity to this study. Social implications While key success factors are clearly identified, fragmentation is seen as a barrier to the wholesale collection of such data. The responsibility, obligation to collect data for the benefit of future projects is not a priority for SMEs with little or no incentive to consider the progression of the sector. Albeit, there is evidence of one particular successful constructor/SPV, which is consolidating their business and are experiencing greater and sustained success. Originality/value This paper identifies previously unknown key influencing factors of success for educational PFI projects in relation to LCM.