Beginning a new construction job presents all the typical hoops that project managers have to jump through. While some conflicts will inevitably come up, other challenges can be avoided.
Every project manager wants their project finished without any delays. Maximized annual revenue figures from successful sites result in impressed clients, so every delay affects a construction company’s future.
Read on to review some of the most common construction challenges you can avoid during your next project. With the right planning and knowledge, you’ll know exactly what to do if these delays were to occur.
Outdoor projects may be well planned out, but they’re really at the mercy of the weather. The weather forecast can change long after you’ve set out to work for the day, which impacts any construction schedule.
Schedule changes result in profit margin deficits, which is why it’s smart to work in some extra time for your future projects. Allowing for a little extra time may make the project more costly for your client, but it’ll save the site when concrete pours have to be rescheduled due to rain.
You can also combat bad weather by keeping things like water pumps and bags of rock salt nearby. If the site were to flood or freeze over, you’ll be glad you have the means to fight back without delaying any work.
Depending on where your site is, your crew may not be able to return to work until time has passed after a major weather event. If that may be the case for you, figure out how the project can prep for upcoming work so everyone stays busy while you wait. This will also make easier future work will have already been prepped.
Miscommunication is an issue that plagues every different industry, no matter where you work. The environment that leaves room for is created the fastest when there’s physical distance between the people relaying messages.
There are a few ways to prevent miscommunication from occurring regularly. The first is to send out regular updates to your crew. Determine a daily or weekly schedule, depending on how often they have to be updated with new information.
You can also sit the crew down before a site starts and provide them with radios, so they can instantly receive information while on the site if you’re there and need to let them know something. A big benefit to using radios is that the crew members will hear what you have to say, without worrying about putting down what they’re working on to answer a call.
Text messages are also a good way to alert crew members, although keep in mind that they may not always be able to pull out their phone and answer.
Talk with your team to get their opinions on how you can reach them better. Communication is a collaborative effort, so taking the time to speak with everyone to come up with a better plan will be more efficient for everyone involved.
When business is booming, it’s easy to take on too many projects at once. Even if you know the schedule for each project, it’s different when your crews need to go out to sites and work long hours with no end in sight.
Crews get overbooked all the time, which leads to team exhaustion. The most dedicated crews may still meet the site’s schedule, but company morale will weaken and future delays will be nearly guaranteed.
This is where another advantage of project management software comes in. As you enter in the information regarding how many people are working and what’s being done every day, it’ll track the productivity of your crews and project where you are on your schedule.
Having the ability to see where your team is at and where the project is heading in the weeks to come may reveal future complications you can avoid right away. Use a software to keep up with your crews, along with communicating with them regularly about site conditions and progress.
Ever Tightening Budgets
After the budget is set at the beginning of a project, you know the financial parameters you have to work within. As every project manager knows, that budget doesn’t always work out as planned.
During the middle of a project, funds can run out, costing the company money from your own pocket. Clients would have already paid what they owed.
Keeping up with costly utilities and your company’s financial help is a lot to handle when you’re trying to piece together a real-time project. That’s why budget issues can be avoided with the right technology.
Job costing software will keep up with your budget for you whenever you enter updated information. It can estimate future costs and provide potential profit margins, even if you add in a loan from a bank.
Look into software programs you can use to track your budget, so you’ll know where your money is going no matter what happens on a site.
Unreliable Subcontract Workers
When a project leaves you no choice but to hire subcontractors, that isn’t necessarily an indication that the project will be difficult. What makes it difficult is when those subcontractors are unreliable.
Unfortunately, many project managers have run into subcontracting crews that habitually waste time while they’re on site. Some people may also not have had the training or experience that your current site requires.
It all adds up to more time on the site and more money spent, which is why project managers should consider investing in full-time employees. It may cost more up front, but you can provide the training necessary for the job that needs to get done. Production will increase and lead to more success, instead of rolling the dice on new subcontractors with different projects.
Consider Past Projects
How have things gone wrong on past projects? Is there anything you’d do differently if you could go back in time? Learning from those moments is what’s really going to prevent them in the future, along with reviewing the most common construction delays.
Preparing your budget, adjusting your time frame and communicating with your team are all great ways to keep a project on track for success and avoid construction challenges.