Perhaps the most common problem within the construction industry is delays. No matter the planning and preparation that goes into a construction project, there are inevitably surprises during the process. As Central Minnesota’s premier contractor, the team at BCI has plenty of experience managing and preventing project delays. In this post, we want to take a moment to recognize the most common project delays and to prevent or combat them.

Common Causes for Project Delays

Perhaps the best way to keep your construction project on time is to understand and get ahead of potential issues. Some of the most common causes of delays include: 

  • Ineffective communication
  • Missing or backordered resources
  • Changes in a project’s scope
  • Unrealistic timeline
  • Late deliverables form vendors
  • Unpredictable weather or natural disasters

It’s good practice to watch for potential problems, but some project delays aren’t preventable. You can only react and address the issue after the fact. Follow these four tips: 

Ensure Adequate Planning

The number one cause of construction delays is improper planning. Even alterations that seem insignificant can change the scope or duration of the project’s timeline–not to mention the cost. This is why thorough planning is important. No matter the size of the project, having a clear pathway will reduce setbacks. 

Before the project begins, work with your builder to create a clear timeline, finalize blueprints, and set up a standard of communication. It’s also a good plan to leave some wiggle room, or float, in your project schedules for unforeseen delays. 

Remember, materials matter. Plan for their lead time and acquisition. Many materials are generated overseas and/or in unique time frames. Understand what you are designing and what it takes to get it.  

It is also important to understand “who” is responsible for delivering certain information. This includes the deliverables and action items for the owner, the architect, and the contractor. It is important to identify key stakeholders and decision-makers.  

Set Clear Expectations 

No matter the project, a construction team is made up of various experts. Clear management of your construction team is important. Establishing roles and responsibilities is an important step. This includes and contractors, subcontractors, project managers, designers, and anyone else working on the project. 

During the first phase of construction, take the time to get to know each facet of the process and get to know the construction team, how they manage expectations, and how each role interacts with one another. Secondly, when you are being asked, be honest about your abilities, available time, and support capabilities.  

Establish Communications 

Along with clear expectations, communication is key. Small issues can easily turn into bigger problems without proper communication. Resolving an issue quickly and with the best solution involves timely communication between the construction team, managers, and any key stakeholder in the project. 

Set a standard of communication early on. This should include who and how you are going to communicate. We are big advocates for Procore, a project-based software. However, many clients prefer to utilize e-mail, phones, text messages, and many other forms of communication. 

As a group, we need to share communication with everyone to achieve closure and actionable steps. When feedback is clear, providing updates and strategizing with one another greatly reduces delays. 

Hire the Right Team

Hiring the right team is key to the process. We are not here to say other contractors are bad at delivery, but at BCI, we are constantly working on bettering ourselves and our processes. We work to ensure your projects get delivered on time, on budget, and with the quality our community has come to expect with our brand. We break our construction processes down into many steps along the way. Each phase is specific in the range of tasks we perform and risks we strive to address and prevent. 

Are you ready to get started on your next construction project? Contact the experts at BCI Construction