When it comes to managing construction, delayed schedules and completions are probably a general contractor’s or a project manager’s worst nightmare. It is stressful and can significantly impact your project’s bottom line. When project goals are not met on time, it can cost money and makes workers feel bad. Knowing how to keep building from taking too long is essential so you do not have to rush.
But delays can happen for many reasons, such as bad weather, broken tools, a lack of workers, missing or wrong data, mistakes on the project, and fights. Some things, like the weather, cannot be helped, but most delays in building projects can be avoided.
With today’s modern solutions, working a construction scheduling software can keep everyone on your team on the same page by offering valuable insights and information on your inventory and workers and the project’s progress, efficiency, and schedule, all in real-time. This helps building companies finish their projects on time and price.
In this section, let us look at the top reasons why projects are delayed and what you can do to avoid them.
Why Do Construction Projects Get Delayed?
As a project manager, you need to know how delays happen so you can plan for them and prevent them. When projects are late, they cause many problems, some of which need to be more evident at first. Even a one-day delay adds costs that should have been planned for. Project delays hurt a lot more than they seem to at first glance. This section looks at the common cause of construction project delays.
Inaccurate budget estimates can cause much trouble as you risk not completing your project since you cannot cover those cost overruns. Some jobs are stopped for a few weeks, a few months, or even for good. Accurate estimates ensure enough money for supplies, pay, and other things. You need to estimate your budget accurately, and software makes bids, figures, and planning for a project’s finances easier and makes the process less likely to go wrong.
Low Productivity and Lack of Skilled Works
Construction projects take so long today because of low productivity and the labor shortage. Your construction crew is your most important resource; without them, you cannot finish any task. The trend in recent years has shown that new people joining the workforce are becoming less and less likely to want to work in buildings. Using construction technology that offers an efficient crew schedule management system makes this easy to fix by making it easier to schedule and track workers’ time in the field and helping project managers figure out which teams are best for which tasks.
Bottlenecks In The Approval Process
Everyone has had to play the awful waiting game at some point. It could be waiting for someone, somewhere, to make a choice that is holding up the whole project. As a project manager, you have to make decisions that keep things going on projects. Coordinating activities and clearing things quickly can keep building projects on schedule and under budget.
Modern, cloud-based construction software can help you make sound decisions for the project more efficiently. You and your team can access the correct information at the right time. This way, you will always have a clear idea of what is happening with your project, whether at the office or in the field.
Scheduling Conflicts with Trade Partners
Regarding construction projects, general contractors often work with several companies on each job. From subcontractors, suppliers, and other trade partners, you must communicate and collaborate closely and build solid relationships. Communicating expectations ahead of time, encouraging collaboration, looping them into any project updates, and simplifying their processes with technology and automation all help improve efficiency and production. The success of a project depends on how well they are managed, including their plans and schedules, legal paperwork, and how well they work with other companies.
Lack Of Communication and Collaboration
Even something as small as not updating your teammates about your meeting with a subcontractor can result in jobs being delayed or done wrong. Everyone should know when new information is available, like change orders, redesigns, job progress, or job costs. This is true whether the data comes from the owner, the client, the field, or the office.
Bad Weather and Force Majeure
Weather is something that we cannot control, but we can create plans to be ready for any situation. If it is hot and humid or cold and snowy, plan for a slower pace and make sure crews know how to stay safe. When it’s raining, a work team can keep things going by giving them waterproof tools and tasks that can be done in the rain. The safety of your workers should be prioritized.
Various Change Orders
Even with the most meticulous pre-construction planning, you may still encounter some change orders to adapt to current conditions. When these things change without warning, a project has to be looked at, replanned, and generally started over, and the work that has already been done is no longer helpful. Changing a project’s scope can affect its quality, goals, cost, and plan. This means more resources will be needed than planned and set aside initially.
Some team members’ procrastination is one of the main reasons they need to do a better job, leading to project delays. Some people take longer than expected to finish tasks, which slows down the following functions that depend on them. People put things off for many reasons, like not wanting to do the job, stress at work, worry, laziness, and feeling too busy. You should find out who constantly misses deadlines so they do not put things off and cause project delays. Talk to your crew to see what the problem is and see if you can offer some assistance to help them finish the task at hand.
Not Enough Planning
Projects can be delayed if they are not planned and scheduled well. It would help if you started a job the right way to expect it to continue correctly. Poor planning means not setting up a clear timeline and not dividing resources well enough when managing projects. These things need to be clear, as these will serve as the baselines for your project.
Using Outdated Technologies
Using old, complex technology is one of the main things that cause projects to be late. Traditional methods, like handwriting records, charts, and long email threads, must be fixed for companies, especially when handling multiple jobs and remote teams simultaneously.
Many construction technologies are available today to make the processes much more accessible. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to construction crew dispatch software, try to do your research and evaluate your current operations to see which features you need.
Essential Tips on How to Prevent Project Delays in Construction
The previous section discussed the causes of project delays in construction. The next question is how to prevent them and ensure each project is delivered within the committed timelines and budgets. This may seem intimidating initially, but you can do so by changing a few innovative changes to handling projects.
Pay Close Attention To The Planning Stage
Most project teams get it right or wrong during the planning stage. This is where project managers need to get their act together to keep things from going wrong in the future. A well-thought-out project plan with clearly defined stages, a clear timeline, and a list of resources reduces the risk and need for clarity.
Provide Correct and Accurate Estimates
Budget mistakes always end up costing you. You can only buy the things you need or pay your crew with enough money. Do your study when taking on a job to determine how much it will cost. This will help you avoid delays caused by money issues.
Utilize an Efficient Inventory Management System
For a job site to be productive, it is essential to have appropriate resources in the right place at the right time. Each job site is different, so before you start work, think about where traffic might get backed up. Suppose you are handling many subcontractors across many projects simultaneously. In that case, you can use subcontractor scheduling software to keep track of their scheduled activities and what resources they may need to finish the task.
Prioritize Constant Communication
Construction projects comprise a million moving parts and involve many people. It will be easy if there is good contact between the field, the office, and the customer. Try utilizing construction software instead of depending on unexpected ways to talk to each other. Not only does it automate your workflow, but it also provides updated, real-time information about what is going on with the projects. This way, every stakeholder can access the correct details at the office or in the field.
Be Ready For Any Weather
Some delays are out of everyone’s hands. When it rains, work on a building can slow down or even stop. Make your plan more flexible so that things that depend on the weather, like putting concrete, do not control the job. You can also keep water tanks, rain gear, and other safety measures around the job site to return to work faster after bad weather.
Utilize the Right Tools and Technologies
It is hard to say enough about gathering the right tools. At first, it may seem intimidating to think about investing in a new technology or construction software. You need to weigh out the pros and cons of the latest technology and see if it is something your organization needs.