Many projects are completed late. The reasons for this can be complex and depend on many factors. Often it’s the fault of the contractor and their poor project management. Late completion is costly to both the contractor and the customer. It also damages the contractor’s reputation.
Planning the project properly before work starts and managing the project during construction is essential and goes a long way to avoiding delays. Equally important is to have a well prepared schedule which considers the construction methodology and the known constraints. This schedule needs to be regularly updated and the results assessed to ensure the project is on-track to be completed on time. With this knowledge the project team can take timely action to rectify schedule slippage. If slippage isn’t corrected as soon as possible it invariably becomes worse, and the time remaining to catch-up the lost time becomes less, making it harder to make up the delay. It will eventually become impossible to catch up and finish on the due date. Unfortunately many contractors don’t investigate why their project is falling behind and simply add more resources in an effort to catch-up. This is expensive and doesn’t always help. By the time they find out that more resources aren’t working, more time has slipped by and there’s less chance of catching up.
In a previous post I discussed some reasons why contractors cause themselves to fall behind schedule. (Read: 10 Reasons why your project is behind schedule.) Many of these reasons can be easily rectified. However, in some case it’s not the contractor’s fault, rather the customer or their team that’s causing delays to the construction. In some cases these delays should have been allowed for in the contract schedule as they were spelled out clearly in the contract document. However, it’s often the case that the customer is causing delays which weren’t foreseen in the contract document. Why should the contractor then be responsible for these delays? It’s important for the contractor to highlight these delays to the customer and the team so they can take steps to rectify the situation. Also, the contractor needs to submit an extension of time claim for these delays so that they aren’t penalised for finishing the project late when it’s not their fault. They also must recoup costs they have incurred due to the delays.
Is your customer, or their team, delaying your project?
There are many reasons to consider when analysing why the project is falling behind schedule. We previously discussed reasons due to the contractor. Now let’s discuss the reasons customers delay the project:
By being aware of the customer’s obligations in the contract document and the project schedule contractors can take active steps to ensure their customer fulfils them. Customers are quick to blame the contractor for delays to the project and fail to understand how their own actions are damaging progress.
Don’t allow your customer to delay your project. Ensure you have an agreed project schedule which specifies information and access required dates. Regularly monitor construction progress and understand where and why delays are occurring and then take swift action to correct slippage. If it's your customers fault notify them and advise them of the consequences so they can rectify their problems. Contractors often require to manage their clients and customers to ensure 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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