Project managers and risk consultants agree that the biggest threats to a construction project are the small issues that accumulate on a daily basis. We have more unexpected issues pop up than serious problems, which can be a really good thing. Serious issues usually involve someone being carried off in a stretcher to visit the local emergency room. We prefer dealing with the small issues that we can internalize and take care of on our own. Let’s take a look at 10 unexpected issues that can pup up unexpectedly; we’ll start with the first five here:
Problems with Scheduling: Organization is the key to creating a successful schedule. Contractor experience is the most critical factor when developing a project schedule. Gaps in experience can materialize in large oversights. Even minor missed steps can compound cost and schedule impacts in the future. Experienced construction managers and contractors know the pitfalls, can better anticipate problems, and project progress more accurately. They will be able to categorize and prioritize information as needed in order to create a structured approach for the project.
Problems with Budgeting: Budgeting can be the bane of the project manager’s existence. The budget dictates numerous aspects of the schedule. The project manager may find that they have to request a faster turnaround time on certain trades due to budget constraints. A tight schedule already puts the project at risk. An equally tight budget only puts more stress on the project manager.
Design Variation Requests: Change orders, or design variation requests, are mid-stream requests for changes to the project design, scope, or schedule parameters after the project is already under contract. The client may request a change to an area that has already been planned based on certain budget and schedule criteria or which is even partially completed. The change can be implemented, but it almost always impacts the project. Mid-stream changes must be carefully documented, monitored, and executed.
Quality and Delivery Expectations: Discuss certain deliverable tasks with your client. Ask them how they would like to see those milestones delivered. The more you understand what your client expects from you the better your relationship with them will be. Clients who have a good experience working with you will be back time and time again.
Poor Project Management: The best advice we can give you is to hire an experienced and successful project manager. Poor project management can literally be the end of a construction project. Consider purchasing project management software that works with multiple platforms so that everyone is on the same page whether they’re using a computer, smart phone, or tablet.
Those are our first five of 10 problematic practices that put your construction project objectives at risk. We’ll share the second set in our next post.