Unfortunately many construction projects are completed late. Invariably this negatively impacts the contractor’s reputation and costs both the contractor and their customer money. Often the contractor has to pay penalties for finishing late and they incur additional costs to remain longer on the project. The customer receives access to their facility late and usually faces additional costs for supervising the project for a longer period.
A well prepared schedule which is regularly updated allows us to detect early when a project is running late. When we fall behind, the normal course of action is for the contractor to place more resources on the project or work extended hours in the hope of catching the lost time up. Unfortunately this doesn’t always help as the true cause of the slippage hasn’t been uncovered. In fact adding more people or resources to the project may even add to congestion making the problem worse – especially if they aren’t the right resources.
Usually the longer the problem persists the worse the schedule slippage becomes and the less time remains to catch-up the lost time.
When schedule slippage is detected it’s important to uncover the real reasons and then take action to rectify the problems. Sometimes the cause may be a minor bottleneck which could be fixed with small adjustments to the running of the project.
Reasons for construction projects falling behind schedule
There are many reasons for a project finishing late. In this article I’ll only focus on reasons caused by the contractor. These include:
We will all at some stage fall behind schedule on our projects. It’s important we detect this slippage early. Then, don’t take the obvious choice and add more people to the project, but rather analyse the reasons for the slippage and then take the necessary action to rectify these issues. Spend some time in the field and watch what the team is doing. Where are the bottlenecks? How could we do things better? Make sure your team understands the key dates on their section of work and how it impacts the project as a whole.
Of course, construction projects aren’t only finished late because of the contractor’s failings, it’s often caused by the customer or their team. My next article will deal with how customers can cause projects to finish late. It’s important to consider and address all the causes for a project running late so you can ensure slippage is caught up and the project is completed on time.
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Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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