Unfortunately many construction projects are completed late. We discussed many of the reasons for this in our article Will your construction project be completed on schedule? Read this. One of the reasons mentioned in the article is that some construction schedules or programmes are simply not feasible.
Why are some construction schedules not feasible. Well it's sometimes because there is faulty logic in the schedule, or there are mistakes in the construction schedule and we discussed many of these problems in our articles Mistakes that impact construction schedules/programmes and Mistakes that impact schedules/programmes part 2.
But often construction schedules or construction programmes (programs) are faulty simply because the contractor was overly optimistic and expected to complete construction tasks quicker than it was practical or possible with the allocated resources because the productivities of people and machines was lower than the contractor expected or allowed.
"Many contractors make their construction schedule fit the client's requirements, even when these are unachievable. This is suicide."
Unfortunately many contractors also make the construction schedule fit the duration the client wants - even when the clients expectations are unachievable. They somehow hope that it will all work out and by some miracle they'll get the project completed. Perhaps even that there will be changes and delays which they can claim which will let them off the hook. Regrettably this usually isn't the case and the project is completed late.
#constructionschedule #constructionprogramme #constructionprogram
Problems with construction schedules which are unachievable
Contractors often fit construction schedules to their Client’s dates even when these can’t be met.
Project Managers are reluctant to say no to their Client, and Client’s do not want to hear that their project cannot be delivered when they want it.
"Clients are surprised, disappointed, and incur additional costs"
This results in:
The Client being surprised when the project is completed late. Consequently:
The Contractor finishes late
The construction team takes shortcuts which jeopardize quality and safety.
A demoralized construction team.
A poor outcome for everyone. Perhaps an outcome which should have been avoided if the contractor had been honest and upfront with the client and explained to the client that the project duration was unachievable.
"Some clients don't like hearing their project date is unachievable, but then they must find another contractor and both can suffer the consequences."
Of course some clients don't like hearing that their project end date is unachievable. It may be reason for another contractor to be given the project and you lose out. But, are you really losing? You will lose more by committing to completion dates which are unachievable. There's the cost to your reputation. Additional costs of penalties. Plus the stress to you and your team. Good luck to the other contractor, because their win will be their loss, and your loss is probably your win.
Working with the client to deliver their construction project
Rather than promise the client something you cannot deliver it may be possible to work around the Client’s requirements.
"A good client will appreciate your honesty. Who wants to work for an unreasonable client?"
If this is not possible you have to explain why their end date is unachievable. Explain everything you've considered to try and complete the project on time. A good client will appreciate your honesty. Who wants to work for an unreasonable client?
Shortening the construction schedule
Sometimes with innovation and extra effort it is possible to shorten the project construction duration. But this often comes with additional costs and risks. We discuss this topic in our next article.
The important thing is do not promise something you cannot deliver – there will be disappointment, and there will be consequences.
#constructionmanagement #constructionprojectmanagement #constructiondelays
Other useful articles
labour productivity on construction sites
Why is there poor productivity on your construction project?
planning your construction project
© 2021 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
Do you want to learn how to manage construction projects successfully
"I have what I consider some of the best books on construction management." Reader Amazon
Paul Netscher has written several easy to read books for owners, contractors, construction managers, construction supervisors and foremen. They cover all aspects of construction management and are filled with tips and insights.
Visit to read more.
The books are available in paper and ebook from most online stores including Amazon.
construction management construction project management
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
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.
"I have what I consider some of the best books on construction management."
Books are available from:
Other retail stores
Available in paperback or on Kindle
"28 YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE, DEVELOPING SUCCESSFUL CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGERS AND BUILDING SUCCESSFUL CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES"