5 Ways to Avoid Failure on Construction Projects

by 

July 7, 2021 | All, Construction

When a construction project fails, the root causes are usually issues that were not addressed early on or were not managed appropriately during the project, resulting in delaying the schedule and busting the budget. Liquidated damages from not meeting contract targets and deadlines serve as icing on the cake of a failing project.

Every project has issues. It’s the way you manage those issues that determines whether your project will end successfully or limp across the finish line and be remembered as a flop.

1. Plan Ahead

Appropriate planning involves working with the architect, subcontractors, owner, and suppliers to establish workable schedules and project objectives. A platform like Autodesk Construction Cloud has all the tools you need to review and understand the owner expectations and details of a project – plans, specifications, scope of work, schedule, material takeoffs, risk, and safety.

When the time comes to create the building and manage the project, Autodesk Build enables you to minimize risk by managing all cost-related construction activities, including effective change orders, in a single software tool. You can also plan jobsite logistics and contingencies.

The more time and effort you put into planning, the more smoothly work on the job will proceed.

2. Communicate

Good communication affects the flow of the project and involves keeping all stakeholders updated on changes to tasks, work products and schedule. When a project proceeds in a collaborative environment, it can flow from the design team to fabrication to construction and finally to the owner. Conversely, when communication isn’t handled properly, the results can be delays, rework, accidents, and dissatisfied owners.

Management of project documents can be done with a tool like Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro. Features include: cloud-hosted common data environment; document management for designers, engineers, contractors, and owners; issue tracking; co-authoring in any AutoCAD product; coordination and reviews; package review and distribution; automated clash detection.

The most effective setup for job communication is to channel it through a main contact, document it, then share it out to appropriate stakeholders. With a fully mobile-enabled tool like Project Management in Autodesk Build, you can create the workflow that meets your needs, from issues to requests for information (RFIs), correspondence, submittals, daily reports, meeting minutes, and RFI resolution.

3. Manage Changes

Change orders involve changes to project plans outside of the original scope of work (SOW), including additions and deletions initiated by the owner, GC or subs. On a project that’s been properly planned, with a well-defined SOW and complete plans and specifications (i.e. methods, materials and finishes), changes are minimized.

No changes should begin until a written change order has been executed and authorized by the client per the procedures listed in the construction contract for requests and documentation. Costs, schedule extensions and ramifications for subs should be discussed and agreed upon.

4. Thwart Delays

You know there will be delays on your project, whether they are weather-related or human-created. Since schedules are based on productivity, any interruption to work will throw the schedule off – accidents, materials delays, labor shortages, on-the-job training. Again, planning will help you avoid these delays by ensuring your subs are capable, assigning roles and responsibilities, and scheduling availability of the right tools and equipment at the right times.

5. Don’t Procrastinate

Everyone on the job should be on the lookout for problems, large or small. And while it’s human nature to set minor issues aside while dealing with bigger problems, the small things can quickly morph into major problems if ignored. All problems should be tracked with a tool like BIM Collaborate Pro, put into priority order and handled expediently. Procrastination is an enemy on your project.  

When you dodge the root causes of failure on a project through planning, communication, effective change management, sidestepping delays, and avoiding procrastination, you have a much greater opportunity to finish your projects successfully.


Planning for your next profitable project should include your tools as well. Contact Applied Software to investigate the construction technology that’s right for your company.