Successful construction projects finish on time, on budget, with a happy client and sufficient profit for the contractors. These factors are all linked to a well-managed project. Poorly planned and managed projects devour budgets and time. It can also affect intangibles like brand value and staff engagement.
Some may argue that safety measures delay projects, however there is no data to support this argument. On the contrary, many construction delay research does not identify safety processes or management to be delay and profit-loss factors. In fact, one study found project delays in the Australian construction industry are mainly the result of ‘skill shortages, interference in execution, and poor coordination and communication between the project stakeholders’*.
Planning for success
We all know the mantra “failing to plan is planning to fail”, and never could it be more true than in the construction industry. Good planning starts with:
- the project plans
- the site
- the schedule of materials and equipment
- job safety
- Executing risk assessments
- Establishing safety plans and contingency plans
- Establishing the construction schedule
- Planning logistics
- Setting client expectations
Remember that the plans are dynamic and need constant reviews and updates.
Communication is vital for project success due to the need for the correct dissemination of information and its team bonding value, risk reduction and relationship management value. Poor communication increases delays, injuries and damages, loss of profits and relationship losses.
- Minutes of meetings
- Daily risk reports
- Information requests
- Payment schedules
- Change orders
All correspondence should be documented quickly, even if it is initially verbal, and should be as succinct as possible. Aim to keep reports for teams to two pages or less.
Changes and scope creep
Scope creep is very common in the construction industry and can be an admin headache with far-reaching knock-on effects. Scope creep does not always originate from the client as it can be due to insufficient original scope definition or communication. The same goes for change orders.
All scope creep and changes need to be in writing and signed off and must go through the full planning referred to above.
Absenteeism, injuries and disengaged team members will affect work performance rates significantly. Profits decrease if you need to increase headcount or pay late penalties. It is important to allocate work in line with worker capabilities and maintain team spirit. The latter is mostly ignored yet has a crucial impact on productivity. Training, displaying concern for employee welfare and good communication are big factors in team spirit.
Avoiding the above top delay causes will boost your profits and brand value. Start today by getting your Job Safety Analysis Templates from Builder Assist.
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