Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Construction Science and Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Ehsan Mousavi

Committee Member

Shima Clarke

Committee Member

Joseph Burgett

Committee Member

Matthew Powers


Project Scoping Process (PSP) is one of the significant steps that starts at the very beginning of the project life cycle. During project initiation phase, project scoping is kicked off which includes documenting a list of project-specific goals, deliverables, tasks, costs, and deadlines. The scoping phase duration depends on the project complexity and involves various stakeholders, establishing team, confirming the project purpose and need, initiating the environmental revie process, determining the level of environmental documentation and permit requirements, conducting survey, identifying project risks and tools to mitigate them, and evaluating public involvement strategies. A well-defined PSP is therefore essential for a state Department of Transportation (DOT) to effectively meet the infrastructure needs of the state. Based on the recent study conducted by the SCDOT, 43% of the scope deficiencies were directly related to alterations in the design elements of the projects. This could potentially be linked to the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in developing the project scope during the project scoping phase.

The project scope or Scope of Services (SOS) is a document that contains tasks, deliverables, major milestones, quantities of materials and resources necessary in a particular task, responsibilities, standards and specifications, and schedule. The South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT’s) current SOS development process utilizes past completed project scopes as a baseline on similar nature of projects. Even though this might seem like a standard approach by the DOT employees, it comes with many challenges that only surface in the later phases of the project. These challenges are present in the form of scope modification, changes in design, change in delivery plan, improper environmental impact considerations, lack of resources, organization structure, lack of seasoned staff, etc. The ultimate effect of these practices result in time and cost overruns affecting the budget of the agency. To address this overarching problem, this dissertation is focusing on a Mixed Methods Research Design that are primarily divided into three (3) phases: understanding the SCDOT SOS, identifying SCDOT comparable state DOTs, and developing a standard SOS process and template.

Author ORCID Identifier



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