In our circles, we are driven by one goal. How do we ensure construction projects are completed on time and within the set budget. Its not an easy task as project delays are as a result of various issues. We are however not satisfied with a vague summary so as all detectives , we set out to find what are the main causes of project delays on the continent and tips on how do deal with them . Understanding this truth does not only assist us as we carry out our own projects the right way but also you as you strive to hit your own project goals.
Construction happens out in the open and one of the top reasons for delays is bad weather. Weather predictions are getting better and better these days and project managers should consider using tools that factor weather forecasts during project planning.
Bad Time Estimates
Time estimating is one of the most critical elements of project planning. Sometimes, inexperienced project managers produce unrealistic and overly optimistic time schedules. Consider involving all key players(Owner, architects, consultants, subcontractors etc) . Experienced people in the project planning phase help to reduce the risk of delays due to bad project schedules.
Lack Of Finances
Inability to pay contractors on time or to purchase the material needed for the job can significantly impact the project schedule. Make sure that you involve the people who will perform the work, in the estimation process, take advantage of tools that monitor the work progress and budget and secure funding needed for the smooth project delivery.
Failure to define the scope clearly and set unreasonable expectations can start the project on the wrong foot and derail it as time goes by. It is very important to have a clear vision for the project. Not only that, the project goals and objectives should be clearly communicated with all key players.
Lack Of Information
Getting the right information at the right time, at the right place is as important as producing that information. Building from outdated drawings is a widely known problem. Put appropriate processes and use efficient tools in place to organize, manage and distribute project information.
Inadequate communication can derail a project very easily. Every week/month, all the key players should receive a status report explaining what is happening on the project. If the project is behind schedule, everyone should get together and find out the reasons and corrective measures taken.
Inadequate Project Tracking
Projects that are not tracked daily, can fall behind very quickly. Project performance should be tracked in real time and important costs and time KPIs should be monitored carefully. All the key players should get together every week to compare the performance with the expectations and take corrective actions.
Lack Of Collaboration
Not involving the key stakeholders early on and not collaborating with them throughout the project life cycle , can cause real problems.
The scope change and rework due to lack of collaboration can easily derail the project. Set up the right culture, systems and processes for successful collaboration.