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5 Tips for keeping your construction project on track

Friday , March 24, 2023
6 minutes read
5 Tips for keeping your construction project on track

Ensuring the timely completion of construction projects can be a daunting challenge. Unfavorable weather conditions, expensive rework, unavailability of resources, and subcontractor non-performance are some of the factors that can derail your timeline. Failure to meet your deadline can result in financial losses and damage your construction company's reputation.

To assist you in keeping your construction projects on schedule and within budget, here are five helpful tips:

What happens if the project doesn't go according to plan?

If a construction project does not go according to schedule, it can have several negative consequences, such as:

  • Increased Costs: Delays can increase project costs due to additional labor, equipment rentals, and extended contracts with suppliers and subcontractors.

When a construction project experiences delays it can increase costs in several ways. Firstly, additional labor may be required to complete the project on time. If a project is delayed, workers may need to work overtime, which incurs additional costs in wages and benefits. This can also impact the overall productivity of the workforce, as they may become tired and less efficient due to working longer hours.

Secondly, equipment rentals may need to be extended to complete the project. If equipment is rented by the hour, day, or week, the costs can quickly add up if the project falls behind schedule. In addition, if equipment rental companies are in high demand, it may be challenging to extend rental periods, leading to further delays and costs.

On the other hand, if the construction project doesn't go according to plan, it can lead to extended contracts with suppliers and subcontractors. This can result in additional fees and costs for keeping the project going for an extended period.

  • Reduced Quality: When construction schedules are delayed, quality can suffer. The pressure to catch up on lost time may result in corner-cutting and shoddy quality.

The pressure to catch up on lost time can result in shortcuts being taken and a decrease in quality standards. In addition, the workers and contractors involved in the project may feel rushed and under pressure to complete the work as quickly as possible, which can result in errors and oversights in the construction process.

Furthermore, if a construction project is delayed, it may cause delays in the delivery of necessary building materials. This, in turn, can cause contractors to use substandard materials or work with materials that are not suitable for the job. This can compromise the quality of the construction and lead to future problems and additional expenses.

  • Frustrated Stakeholders: Delays can cause frustration and anxiety among clients, investors, and regulatory bodies, leading to disputes and legal action.

Construction delays can cause frustration and anxiety among stakeholders, including clients, investors, and regulatory bodies. This is because delays can impact the project's overall timeline, leading to a delay in expected revenue streams and the credibility and reputation of the stakeholders involved.

Furthermore, delays can also impact regulatory bodies, as they may need to delay approvals or inspections, further hindering the project's progress. This can cause additional frustration and anxiety among stakeholders, as they may feel like bureaucratic processes and delays are holding them up. In addition, delays in a construction project can lead to disputes and legal action among stakeholders.

  • Delayed Revenue Streams: If a project is intended to generate revenue, any delay can mean lost revenue streams, which can be significant for large projects.

Delay revenue streams, which can be significant for large projects. This is particularly true for projects that are intended to generate revenue, such as commercial real estate, hotels, and other large-scale developments.

Moreover, the delay in revenue streams can impact the overall financial viability of the project. If the delay is significant, additional financing or capital injections may be required to keep the project going, leading to further costs and delays. This can create a domino effect, causing other delays and financial difficulties, leading to a situation where the project is no longer financially viable.

  • Reputation Damage: A delayed construction project can damage the reputation of the contractor or the construction company, leading to a loss of future business opportunities.

Delays in construction projects can harm the reputation of the contractor or construction company, as it can be perceived as a failure to meet expectations and deliver on promises. This loss of confidence in their ability to complete projects on time and within budget can cause clients and stakeholders to view them unfavorably.

Reputation damage can impact the ability of a contractor or construction company to attract and retain top talent. If a contractor or company has a reputation for delayed projects, it may be less attractive to employees who are looking for stable and reliable employment opportunities. This can impact the quality of work and the ability of the contractor or company to complete projects on time and within budget, leading to further reputation damage and loss of business opportunities.

Some tips for keeping your construction project on track

Review Plans, Specs, & Project Documents

To keep your construction project on schedule, you must go over every detail of the scope of work. Carefully review and understand the construction drawings, spec book, and other documents. Knowing the project documents like the back of your hand will allow you to craft a better project schedule.

Optimize the job site layout by utilizing site drawings to determine the best placement for material laydown areas, equipment storage, job site trailer, break rooms, employee access points, and more. Collaborate with your building project manufacturers and material suppliers to confirm that they can supply the necessary quantities of all building materials. Use past project data to allocate appropriate time and resources for each activity and task.

Ensure that your subcontractors review relevant drawings and documents related to their trades. Then, before commencing work, provide them with clarification on any inconsistencies or ambiguities in the papers. This will enable your subcontractors to provide valuable feedback and insight as they collaborate with you to develop a master schedule.

Create & Coordinate a Master Schedule

To deliver your project on time, you must create a master schedule to guide your project through to completion. Then, break each project down into phases to manage your project. Phases can then be broken down into tasks that can be broken down further into individual activities.

Assign estimated start and completion dates for each task and activity as part of the scheduling process. Determine the time required to complete each task or activity and ensure you can allocate the necessary resources, labor, and equipment to meet them on schedule.

Sequencing tasks and trades during each phase of the project is essential. Consider which tasks must be completed sequentially and which can be done concurrently. This will enable you to optimize your timeline and complete the project efficiently.

Collaborate with your suppliers to ensure the necessary materials are available and delivered on time. Involve subcontractors to incorporate their schedules into the master schedule and provide a seamless workflow between all trades.

Create Contingency Plans

Various factors can cause a project to deviate from its planned schedule. Therefore, it is essential to review your master schedule meticulously and identify potential risks that could potentially disrupt it. In addition, developing contingency plans that can be implemented swiftly will help mitigate issues before they escalate.

In case of schedule delays, consider assigning overtime or bringing in additional labor and equipment to get the project back on track. Collaborate with the project team to brainstorm potential delays and create contingency plans for each scenario. While you may not need all of them, preparing them will enable you to react promptly when necessary.

During the construction phase, the aim is to maintain the project schedule as closely as possible. Typically, a project is thrown off course by several minor problems instead of one significant issue. Therefore, pay close attention to daily progress reports, carefully manage the budget and schedule, and evaluate risks with a keen eye for detail.

Communicate & Collaborate

Effective communication ensures that projects are completed successfully and on schedule. Create procedures and protocols for your subcontractors to notify you when they experience delays or fall behind. Communication allows you to adjust your schedule promptly before problems escalate and become unmanageable, leading to missed deadlines.

Determine the frequency and mode of communication required to keep everyone informed of project progress. Collaborate with your subcontractors to troubleshoot issues and resolve delays, enabling you to keep your project on schedule. Good communication fosters teamwork, enhances project collaboration, and increases job site productivity.

Project collaboration extends beyond meeting individual task deadlines. It involves building trust and respect with all stakeholders and working together to complete the project successfully. Cooperation and coordination are essential for maintaining your construction schedule.

Sharing ideas and expertise can aid in problem-solving and determine the logistics of your project. Collaboration goes hand in hand with good communication and keeping everyone on the same page. It requires trust in all parties and recognizing their input as vital team members.

Monitor & Document Progress

Keeping detailed daily reports is essential to monitor project progress and ensure adherence to the schedule. Red flags and potential issues can be identified by closely monitoring the reports and measuring the completion time against the master schedule.

Please take note of any discrepancies in areas completed earlier or later than scheduled and analyze the reasons behind them. This information can enhance future project planning and scheduling and compare the current project's performance to past similar projects.

Regularly reviewing daily reports enables you to identify areas where the project is behind schedule, and adjustments can be made to the master schedule accordingly to meet the deadline. In addition, notify subcontractors of any changes that may impact their work and keep them informed throughout the process.

In conclusion, keeping your construction project on track requires careful planning, good communication, and attention to detail. By creating a well-defined master schedule, monitoring progress with daily reports, and identifying potential risks early on, you can stay on track and avoid costly delays. Collaboration and teamwork with your subs and suppliers are also crucial to maintaining your construction schedule. By following these five tips, you can increase your chances of completing your project on time and within budget. Remember, staying on schedule isn't just about meeting deadlines; it's also about delivering a successful project that meets your client's expectations.

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