A successful project is that which is completed on time and within budget. When this happens, the client is happy, and the contractor can expect referrals and repeat business. In the end, everybody wins. However, there are some instances where the project stalls.
Construction delays can be caused by several factors, one of them being the lack of adequate financing. According to a report compiled by Hubspot, 62% of all stalled construction projects in America were caused due to financing challenges.
Factors that cause construction projects to stall/fail
Another main reason that has caused construction projects to stall is inadequate planning. This is mostly experienced when the property developer tries to rush a project without factoring in externalities. A developer should consider risks that could affect the project, such as site logistics and lack of a management strategy.
Ignoring early warning signs
It is not uncommon for contractors to ignore early red flags, especially when the project is running smoothly. However, small issues can quickly snowball and cause big problems that can stall a project. Therefore, a project manager should have good decision-making skills and the ability to solve problems quickly.
Some of the early warning signs that a project manager should look out for are:
- Construction without proper cost control measures
- Poor quality control strategies
- Poor communication among involved parties
- Regular schedule delays
Poor communication strategies
Another reason construction projects fail is that there is poor communication between
stakeholders working on the project. Poor communication can cause costly rework, accidents on the site, and unhappy clients. Project managers should have a comprehensive communication plan that ensures accountability for all involved parties.
Several factors can cause productivity challenges, from natural disasters to a lack of skilled labor. Contractors will fall back on force majeure clauses to protect themselves if a natural disaster causes a delay.
To avoid productivity challenges, contractors and project managers must always vet their employees. This way, they can identify skill gaps before affecting the construction schedule.
How to create a construction project recovery plan
What do you do when your construction project stalls? You come up with a construction project recovery plan. To do this, you must understand what went wrong to correct it. The best way to do this is to use an AI-powered construction platform explicitly designed for project recovery.
An AI-powered construction platform is important because you can determine the best strategy to recover your project. Depending on the platform, it should be able to create a customized recovery strategy based on inputs. ALICE Technologies is an example of an AI platform used for construction project recovery. How do you create a recovery plan?
1. Identify the problem
The first thing you need to do when coming up with a recovery plan is to identify the root causes of the failure. Senior management must be involved from both the client and contractor sides. When you call for the meeting, both parties should be honest about what happened and ask questions until there’s no further clarification required.
A good example is when the project stalled due to a manufacturing delay in supplying a piece of vital equipment. Instead of saying the vendor caused the delay, you need to ask why the vendor delayed supplying the equipment. This way, you can identify the root cause.
Maybe the delay was a result of specifications that could not be met? Always ask “why” as many times as possible until the root cause of the problem is identified.
2. Assess the project
Once you identify the problems affecting the project, you must assess the entire project to identify the progress made, what is required, and how many months you are behind schedule. Some of the questions that you need to ask are?
- Are stakeholders willing to adjust the budget, completion date, and work scope?
- What is the percentage completion rate of the project?
- Have we identified all problems that affected the project?
- Are all project documents ready?
3. List all delayed activities
This is a straightforward process as you only need to identify what is behind schedule. Once you have identified projects behind schedule, prioritize them based on their importance. The only tasks that you can avoid are those that will not affect the project completion date.
4. Prepare your recovery team
The next step is to assemble a proper recovery team. Replace team members if you believe they will not add value to the recovery team. When assembling a recovery team, consider the following:
- Roles and responsibilities of each team member
- Accountability mechanism
- The capabilities of your team
5. Develop a recovery plan
If you have identified the problem and set up a recovery team, it is now time to create a recovery plan. The plan should include:
- A new work schedule
- New project planning documents
- A changed scope of work
- Revised work activities
- A risk management plan
When developing the plan, ensure that you have stakeholder support for it. Remember, the project can only be successful if all key players agree to the recovery plans. The plans should solve the problems you presented to them in steps 1 and 2.
6. Execute and monitor the new plan
You already have the green light to start implementing your new plan at this stage. To avoid failure, ensure that you constantly measure the plan’s performance. You can do this by tracking the performance every week and reporting to stakeholders as often as possible. You should also ensure that identified risks are promptly handled.
Lastly, adjust your processes based on the circumstances on the ground. Look for an AI-powered construction platform that will make it easy to identify risks and save on costs. The platform should make it easy for key players to collaborate, audit changes, and show progress.