Construction is one of the most capital- and resource-intensive domains to work in. Projects face many potential pitfalls, which are often challenging for managers to handle. A McKinsey study reveals that 98% of projects run over budgets, while 77% extend beyond timelines. Apart from dealing with these aspects, managers also have to struggle with a lot more.
Even as each project may encounter unique challenges, some are common to the industry. It makes sense to be aware of these potential issues so that you have a plan to address them even before they happen. A proactive approach gives your business a head start and enables managers to deal with small issues before becoming big enough to delay projects or topple their budgets.
Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue as most of the concerns can be resolved by implementing construction task management software for projects. Additionally, managers can stick with some best practices to get better with their job. Here are the challenges and proactive tactics to curb them effectively.
Challenge #1: Poorly defined goals
Perhaps the most daunting challenge for the industry is poorly defined goals. At times, stakeholders go ahead with the project without clarity, while lack of consensus may also be the reason for the absence of well-defined objectives. Without them, the project manager is unable to define a road map or complete the project on time. Good communication with clients and stakeholders right from the start resolves this concern and enables managers to deliver the expectations.
Challenge #2: Budget constraints
Small and large construction projects usually have to struggle with budgets because cost overruns happen more often than not. Lack of proper oversight, poor judgment, and even simple miscalculations can get things out of control and sometimes lead to the collapse of the project. It is best to implement cost control software for project management to keep a close track of costs and ensure that managers can curb wastage. Realistic cost estimates are vital, as they help them to plan for contingencies. A cost control application can help with it, as well.
Challenge #3: Time management
Like budget constraints, time constraints are also a pressing concern for project managers. Missed deadlines and scheduling conflicts are hard to deal with because they lead to defective designs, accidents on the site, and eventually loss of revenues. There is also a risk of contractual penalties and reputational damage to the business. Fortunately, construction task management software can help with proper time management and employee scheduling so that the project never falls behind the timelines.
Challenge #4: Scope creep
On digging deeper to find the reasons for budget overruns and missed deadlines, scope creep emerges as a common culprit in construction projects. They happen when there is continuous or uncontrolled growth in the scope of the project. Typically, projects that have undefined goals suffer from scope creep. Lack of communication with clients and stakeholders could be another reason. Clear goals and written specifications right from the start address the challenge. Managers should also stay in touch with the clients and share regular reports on project status to get regular feedback.
Challenge #5: Inadequate risk management
Even as project managers implement safeguards to cover the long-term risk for projects, they end up overlooking short-term issues like labor shortage, scheduling conflicts, fluctuating material prices, and more. These seemingly small issues can snowball quickly to have a massive impact on the project’s bottom line. A contingency plan to manage these risks can be of great help to address these small risks. For example, creating wiggle room into schedules with construction task management software can prevent scheduling conflicts. Similarly, safety training cuts down the risk of on-site accidents and hazards.
Challenge #6: Unrealistic expectations
Unreasonable requests and impossible deadlines exert immense pressure on the managers and the workforce, and they end up losing out on their productivity and morale. When managers are made to follow unachievable rather than logical requirements, projects tend to go haywire. The best thing they can do to handle this challenge is convincing the clients and stakeholders to tone down the unrealistic expectations and bring the project back on track.
Even though these challenges seem daunting, the right approach can help managers to steer things in the right direction. Technology can do its bit for those who embrace construction management software because it enables a business to do more with less. Eventually, it can serve as a smart and sustainable investment for the business.
The construction segment struggles with numerous challenges, regardless of the size of the projects. However, managers can address them with the right approach, no matter how daunting they appear. Implementation of construction project management software can also help in resolving them to a significant extent.
The author is a project manager with a rich industry experience that spans a decade and a large number of megaprojects. He is also an avid writer and often contributes to niche-leading blogs.