August 25, 2022

Challenges in Meeting Construction Deadlines

Every construction manager understands the consequences of missing project deadlines. It irritates investors and prevents them from moving forward with the next project. But unfortunately, few construction companies complete their projects on time. This article examines the most common difficulties associated with meeting construction deadlines.

Poor Communication

Each project will involve a complex network of contractors and subcontractors who must be on the same page to achieve fundamental construction goals and milestones. Many construction projects, however, come to a halt as workers wait for essential documents and approvals to begin work. Among the pitfalls of poor communication are: 

  • Rework – not only is removing completed work expensive, but it is also time-consuming. Per experience, the average construction worker will spend four hours per week correcting mistakes and undoing unnecessary tasks. When multiplied by the number of workers on a project over the course of the project, this will result in hundreds, if not thousands, of lost work hours, undermining a team’s ability to meet deadlines. 
  • Inefficient resource capabilities – When communication is poor, scheduling and staffing become inefficient. Workers, for example, may be unaware of when and where critical tools and machinery are available, and areas of the project that is ahead of schedule may fail to send workers to tasks that are behind schedule. 
  • Limited owner insights – most construction project stakeholders are surprisingly kept in the dark about the progress of many projects, relying on periodic updates from construction managers to keep them up to date on the job status. This can lead to frustration when projects fall behind schedule, with owners setting unrealistic expectations to get the project back on track.  

That’s why we’ve decided to implement user-friendly cloud-based software for our project management. It lets our clients have a live view of the tendering status, costs, tasks, and work


Material and Supply Issues

Meeting deadlines requires delivering suitable materials in the right quantities to the construction site. Moreover, in an era when supply chains are becoming increasingly complex in response to increased demand for delivery services, this is easier said than done. Nevertheless, material delivery changes are responsible for a significant portion of all incomplete construction tasks.

Late deliveries, incorrect products or quantities, deliveries to the wrong location of a construction site, or deliveries that do not arrive are examples of delivery deviations.   While material and supply delivery delays can cause projects to miss the deadlines on their own, they also have the potential to create catastrophic construction blockers that can completely disrupt the construction schedule. Therefore, you should always collaborate with reliable companies and ensure that the project has the capacity for operational infrastructure in place for on-demand delivery material.

In addition, clear rules and penalties concerning deadlines for completion of the works should be inserted into the contract. If you want to know more about contracts and their contents, check out this blog post.

Labor Shortages

While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted millions of people’s jobs and career paths, they have been surprisingly slow to return to work as restrictions ease in different parts of the country. This is felt most acutely in construction, where the number of skilled labor job openings is increasing faster than companies can find qualified candidates to fill them.

As a result, plumbers, electricians, and construction workers are in particularly short supply. Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine how shortages can cause construction projects to fall behind schedule. As a result, jobs will take longer than anticipated with fewer workers, and they may be required to work outside of their field of competence, resulting in delay-causing errors; or even the job will remain unfinished, creating devastating jammers. 

Offer more competitive compensation packages as a solution. If funds are limited, consider offering free training, lifestyle benefits, and flexible work hours to motivate employees. 

Inadequate Risk Management

Too many project managers fail to plan adequately for the numerous risks that could delay a construction project. An overview of construction projects are

failing to meet deadlines, mainly due to poor risk management. Some common examples of construction risks include:            

  • Projects start within small budgets but proliferate as they unfold 
  • Construction errors 
  • Changing expectations all the time, demands, and requirements of stakeholders 
  • Labour shortages 
  • Unexpected events such as war or pandemics 
  • Bad weather conditions during construction 
  • The state of the building 
  • Contamination of the plot 
  • Inadequate contracts 

How we minimize risks:

  1. Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.
  2. Build a buffer period into the schedule to account for unforeseen events.
  3. Calculate realistic costs and check up on the architects and contractor.

Finally, we learn from each project and collect those lessons from our extensive project management manuals and checkbooks.  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to take your construction projects to the next level.