• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

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A project manager’s guide to delivering construction projects on time

How to deliver construction projects on time

Construction companies have a reputation for running behind schedule. We’re sure you’ve experienced delays and, as a result, faced complaints from unhappy clients.

Projects typically fall behind schedule because they have many moving parts. One delayed task or unexpected event can cause a domino effect and delay your entire project.

Delays may be the norm in the industry, but they don’t have to be the norm for your business. With the right approach, you can keep your projects on track and show customers you can always get the job done on time.

Why construction projects fall behind schedule
Common causes of construction project delays include the following:

Poor planning: Insufficient planning or unrealistic project schedules can lead to delays from the start.

Unforeseen site conditions: Unexpected issues discovered during construction, such as poor soil conditions or hidden obstacles, can lead to delays.

Poor weather: Bad weather conditions like heavy rain, extreme temperatures, or storms may require you to pause projects.

Equipment breakdowns: Mechanical failures or construction equipment breakdowns can delay work until you can repair or replace hardware.

On-site accidents: Accidents can halt work temporarily or lead to time-consuming legal action.

Logistical challenges: If suppliers deliver materials or equipment late, you won’t be able to start projects until they’re delivered.

Contractual disputes: Conflicts or legal disputes with subcontractors or suppliers can cause delays.

Some of these causes are out of your control. But others can be avoided or managed to prevent delays.

Let’s consider the ones you can manage and what you can do to keep projects on schedule.

How to deliver construction projects on time: 7 steps

1. Improve project planning

Develop a plan that outlines all the tasks that need to be done. Then, create a timeline for all tasks to ensure they’re done in the correct order. Sequences can prevent delays by ensuring each activity is done in time for the next task to be started or finished. Use a platform like Task Management Software to assign tasks with deadlines to technicians so they can prioritise their work.

2. Set realistic deadlines

When setting deadlines, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Empty promises may satisfy clients initially, but they’ll be unhappy once they realise you can’t fulfil them. Instead, set a date based on accurate estimations. Consider potential risks and develop contingency plans to help you stay on schedule when unexpected events occur.

3. Communicate with workers and clients

Connect with your workers and customers to ensure everyone is on the same page. Get progress updates from your team and share them with your clients. Regular updates allow you to measure progress and address issues before they escalate. Check-ins with clients give you a chance to ensure the project aligns with their expectations.

4. Work on relationships with subcontractors

Solid relationships with subcontractors help avoid conflict that can delay projects. When you’re on good terms with them, they’ll be flexible when negotiating contract terms and willing to go the extra mile. If there’s an issue, they’ll come to you to discuss it and resolve it calmly because they have a relationship with you.

5. Pay suppliers on time

Timely payments help ensure materials and equipment arrive at construction sites as scheduled. Besides ensuring delivery, they show suppliers you’re reliable, helping you build trust with them. Trust can lead to better terms, priority in fulfilling orders, and potential discounts in the future.

6. Priortitise preventative maintenance

Not all breakdowns can be prevented, but regular maintenance can prevent most cases. Automating job scheduling is the best way to implement preventative maintenance. Digital platforms like Asset Management Software let you set up recurring maintenance jobs to save time and ensure upkeep is always done.

7. Build safer construction sites

Create a safe workplace to prevent accidents and avoid legal consequences. Ensure all workers have the correct safety gear, provide training on the safe operation of machinery, and inspect and maintain equipment. Reducing accidents can protect you against legal action, which can be time-consuming and further delay work.

Final thoughts
Delivering projects on time is a surefire way to get ahead of your competitors. Follow these strategies to meet deadlines and show existing and potential clients you can finish projects on time. We guarantee you’ll be on your way to establishing your business as the go-to for construction work.