6 Project Management Challenges and Solutions in the Construction industry
When it comes to handling construction projects, there are several potential pitfalls that project managers are always on the lookout for. Surprises are hardly pleasant, so construction managers like to be prepared for worse case scenarios. Budgeting issues and project delays implementations are common problems many tend to grapple with while executing a project.
In light of these expectations, here are 6 challenges in the construction business and how managers can deal with them by providing adequate solutions.
#1. Challenge 1- Poor Risk Management
Most managers put measures in place to protect workers at work. In most cases, these measures are long term in nature that fails to address short term issues. Short term issues have the capacity to snowball into major issues that can impact the quality or even the success of work.
Solution: Always have contingency plans in place. Create a list of possible probable complications and make safety training a priority at all levels of the organization. To avoid a supply problem, work on creating an effective supply chain that taps from different sources and departments. To avoid funding problems, have a separate investment in place that’s different from your main investment fund source.
#2. Challenge 2- Lack of Structure
Without a clear and definitive goal, a construction project may encounter budgeting problems or suffer a time lag. Furthermore, without a proper structure in place, it will be difficult to hold erring team members to account for failure to execute their duties adequately. People within the organization may feel confused as to who makes decisions or who takes responsibility.
Solution: To hold everyone involved in the project accountable, break down larger workloads into smaller tasks, and apportion these tasks to individuals to accomplish within set timeframes. If an individual fails to complete a task, add the remnant to tasks approved to him or her for the next phase. This way, work will continue smoothly and expectations will be set properly. Ensure the organizational structure is clearly defined and documented processes are readily available.
#3. Challenge 3- Poor Communication
Communication is an all-important resource in any work environment, or organization, including in construction management. Without a clear communication chain, approved tasks may slip through undone, thereby compounding future responsibilities. Failure to establish an effective form of communication will lead to different kinds of problems.
Solution: Establish an efficient and accessible form of communication that informs all parties of tasks, revision, and progress on a daily basis. If one on one meetings are impossible, leverage the power of software and technology to communicate. The affordability of the communication pipeline is also important to prevent project costs from skyrocketing.
#4. Challenge 4- Bad Forecasting
Taking unnecessary risks is never a good idea. Accelerating schedules on a limited budget may lead to disaster. Approving so many tasks with limited hands-on-deck will lead to incomplete work progress. Making plans without the requisite resources to pull them off leads to workers exhaustion, delays and project abandonment, and financial losses.
Solution: Focus on long terms goals. After listing out the goals, break them down into shorter goals or objectives that are achievable within a short time. Creating an aggressive but achievable objective within a set timeline will stimulate your team. Most importantly, back up goals with the required resources to complete them.
#5. Challenge 5- Delayed Cash Flow
Cashflow is a challenge for almost every construction project. This is because project cost tends to spill over the approved budget. In such scenarios, revisions have to be made, and extra funds approved. This leads to delays and even skyrocketing project costs that may be unaffordable.
Solution: Have two funds in place. The actual funds for the project and a contingency fund which may be between 5-15% of the project cost. You may have no need for the contingency fund in the end bit should there be a need for it, and you can use it without endangering the progress of the project.
#6. Challenge 6- Skills limitations
It takes different skills, all in use, to complete a construction project. A limited supply of skilled workers may jeopardize the fortunes of your project.
Solution: Identify the required skill and the number of workers needed for each skill. Keep contact with second-choice skilled workers who were not hired. In the case of absenteeism, accident, or professional disputes, you can call for a ready-made replacement on time.
The solution to industry challenges is to identify what the challenges may be before they become a problem. Then formulating a contingency plan to address them even before the project commences.
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