Construction project managers face their fair share of challenges, including safety concerns, labor shortages, budget overruns, delays, design changes, and quality control issues. Dealing with these challenges can be overwhelming and often time-consuming, but it has to be done.
Check this site to learn more about construction project management and its related challenges. The list is pretty long, with each factor playing a major role in making or breaking a construction project. That’s why it’s important to overcome these obstacles before, during, and after the project completion.
So whether you’re a beginner or an expert, read the guide below to learn helpful ways to deal with construction project management challenges.
6 construction project management challenges and how to overcome them
Here are some ways to overcome common construction project management challenges.
Set clear objectives
In a project management survey, 29% of the professionals said that the lack of a goal or vision is the reason for project failure. This is quite true in construction project management, where the absence of adequate objectives results in poor stakeholder management and resource allocation by not utilizing Volvo dump trucks on the trader sites.
The best way to overcome these challenges is to set CLEAR or SMART goals.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Specific – Your goals should be specific so that everyone clearly understands what they will ultimately work toward. For example, the goal could be to set the foundation of the building.
- Measurable – The goal must also be measurable, so you should have a way to determine whether your goal has been reached. In this case, the presence of a foundation itself will determine goal completion.
- Achievable – Your goals should be realistic and achievable within the timeframe. Laying the foundation is an achievable goal since it is the basis of all construction projects.
- Relevant – The goal must be relevant to the desired outcome. Since the desired result is to build a house or building, laying the foundation is a relevant goal.
- Time-Bound – Every objective you set for your project must be time-bound to prevent delays. If you want to lay the foundation in two weeks, you should set a deadline of two weeks to complete this task.
Clear means Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, and Refinable.
- Collaborative – The goal must be collaborative so that everyone in the team can play their part.
- Limited – It should be limited to the scope of the project and should not create any extra burden or confusion.
- Emotional – Every goal should be backed by a strong emotional connection so that everyone in the team can be motivated to achieve it.
- Appreciable – The reward for achieving the goal must be appreciated by everyone. For example, a bonus for the team uponcompleting the goal on time.
- Refinable – It should be refined as needed. Thus, you should adjust the goal if necessary so that it is achievable and within the timeframe.
Establish clear communication
Many project management challenges, such as communication breakdowns and risk management difficulties, are due to poor collaboration and communication. You can overcome this by:
- Establishing a communication plan outlining people who will be responsible for communication
- Indicating which information needs to be communicated and when are where to communicate it
- Choosing the right tools, such as video conferencing and project management software
- Holding regular meetings to discuss changes, progress, and issues
- Listening actively to project teams, clients, laborers, and other stakeholders
- Being transparent in your communication
- Using visual aids like graphs and charts to convey complex information
- Documenting everything from changes and decisions to everyday communication
Prevent budget overruns
Budget overruns are a common challenge in the construction industry, with 98% of projects experiencing cost overruns or delays. There are many ways construction project managers can overcome this issue.
- Use accurate cost estimates – A common mistake many project managers make is using outdated or incorrect cost estimates. Refrain from relying on outdated data or guesswork, resulting in incorrect budget estimations.
- Use value engineering – Project managers should use value engineering to look for ways to reduce costs without compromising on quality.
- Manage change orders – Be careful about managing change orders, and only approve them if they are within the project scope.
- Perform post-project analysis – It helps to conduct a post-project analysis to identify the lessons you have learned from the current project. Use these insights to prevent similar problems in subsequent projects.
Conduct a skills audit
Skills gaps are a common problem on construction sites that construction managers can overcome by conducting a skills audit before the project begins.
An audit helps project managers identify gaps in knowledge, expertise, and team skills. They can then use this information to recruit new team members or develop training programs for the existing workforce.
Implement safety and compliance measures
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported 992 construction fatalities in 2019. Most of these are due to electrocution, struck-by incidents, and falls.
Construction managers can overcome safety challenges by developing a comprehensive safety plan. It should include the following:
- Risk management
- Hazard assessment
- Hazard identification
- Emergency response
- Training requirements
- Reporting procedures
Managers should also provide regular safety training sessions that cover important topics like personal protective equipment, emergency response, and safe work practices. It’s also important to inspect and maintain equipment on the construction site regularly.
Set realistic deadlines
Part of the reason many construction projects face delays is that managers set unrealistic deadlines. Construction managers should use the SMART or CLEAR goal-setting principles to ensure they choose the right deadlines for the whole project and its subsequent phases.
When using the Critical Path Method, construction managers can ensure this by adjusting the timelines for each task and activity to align with the overall timelines. Meanwhile, Agile management can take input from all stakeholders during the planning phase to prevent scope creep and delays later.
Some construction management challenges, such as harsh weather and emergency crisis, are inevitable. But you can avoid – or at least lower the impact of – many challenges, like cost overruns, skills gaps, delays, and safety concerns.
The key is to take your time in the planning phase, rely on data-based insights, get input from stakeholders, and foster a culture of collaboration and safety to keep things running smoothly on the construction site.