Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Alfred E. Thal, Jr., PhD


Change orders are used by project managers of construction projects to account for unexpected changes in construction projects after the contract has been finalized. This can include everything from weather events to last minute changes requested by the user. This effort analyzed data from the U.S. Air Force Military Construction (MILCON) program to find the major causes of change orders in the hopes that the associated costs may be minimized and that the insight gained may improve project management efforts. The data was analyzed using means comparison testing through the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test; the results were then ranked using the Dunn-Bonferroni method. The results show that pre-construction activities (unforeseen site conditions, unforeseen environmental site conditions, user changes, and design deficiencies) are the most common causes of change orders for MILCON projects, which agrees with other construction research reported in the literature. Although the information contained in the military database was insufficient to determine a conclusive statistical ranking, there is evidence that suggests Air Force Material Command may have higher median change order cost and Air Combat Command has lower median change order costs. When considering the construction agent, the Air Force seems to have higher median change order costs than both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities Command. However, no specific reasons can be attributed to these observations. Furthermore, given the accuracy and completeness of the data, these results remain questionable and require further research to validate.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number