How to Avoid Construction Delays

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Project management is a challenge. The majority of construction projects experience schedule delays, which end up resulting in budget overruns. Like a skilled juggler, the project manager (PM) has to constantly watch all the moving parts of a job simultaneously. It’s a lot of pressure and responsibility, and keeping the project on schedule is one of the greatest tests a PM faces. Using a product like Autodesk Build on the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform can help with the following suggestions to avoid construction delays:

split frame picture men wearing masks, hardhats and safety vests on indoor construction site with mobile device woman standing at desk in office wearing glasses safety vest working on laptop computer
Image: Autodesk Digital Builder

Planning

Advance planning is critical. The PM is responsible for planning the project and organizing the schedule, possibly months in advance. The more detailed the project plan is, the better issues can be anticipated and avoided. The project plan needs to be adaptable and provide a clear overview of progress. Build helps PMs use their plan to identify and avoid problem areas that slow the project down.

Priorities

Naturally there are tasks that need to be completed in advance of other things, and it’s the PM’s responsibility to recognize and set those priorities. The sequential nature of tasks on a construction job makes scheduling around the priorities critical, including:

  • permits
  • materials deliveries
  • inspections
  • equipment staging

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Even when things are properly planned for and scheduled, delays may still be caused by unforeseeable factors. Weather, late subcontractors and illnesses are just a few examples. In addition, there are the preventable things that can slow down progress, like requests for information and rework. Build connects construction teams to communicate up-to-date information, and Autodesk Docs enables a single source of truth for teams to keep the project on track.

Management

This may be hard to believe, but not all PMs are good at management. One primary task is to clarify what’s expected of subcontractors and when, guiding teams so they can perform their part of the project in a timely manner. When things slip through the cracks, it ends up causing delays. From submittals to reviews and approvals, Build provides PMs and teams the visibility and information they need to avoid those inadvertent mistakes.

Office to field communication; image: Autodesk Digital Builder

Communication

Communicating the workers’ roles on the job helps get and maintain their buy-in for the project plan. Keeping everyone in the loop about assignments and achievements curtails misunderstandings that can slow progress. Effective communication, facilitated by a tool like Meetings in Build provides each person on the job with delineated responsibilities, progress tracking and accountability.

Accountability

When you combine time constraints with multiple moving parts/teams, assigning clear roles and responsibilities is important. Using Build for project coordination helps keep staff, contractors and subcontractors accountable to finish their part of the job on time.

Technology

The right project management software provides momentum on a project. The tools in Build can help keep everyone on the same page in real-time. They can communicate better, be more accountable and resolve issues faster.

PMs play a complicated, critical role in keeping a project on schedule and within budget. Whether planning, setting priorities, keeping teams on track, communicating, or keeping everyone accountable, the products on Autodesk Construction Cloud help PMs be champions for using technology to help keep projects within budget and avoid construction delays.