Construction project management is a resource-intensive and complex process that involves coordinating different teams and disciplines to achieve a common goal.
In addition, the construction industry is constantly evolving, so project managers must be adaptable and proactive to deliver projects successfully.
However, even the most experienced and skilled construction project managers can face challenges during a project.
Fortunately, construction project management software like Bridgit can help managers streamline employee management and performance.
However, it’s still critical to be familiar with the problems troubling the construction project management sector.
Here are seven of them.
- 1 7 Main Problems Construction Project Managers Face:
- 2 How Can Construction Managers Avoid Common Project Management Problems?
- 3 Conclusion
7 Main Problems Construction Project Managers Face:
Every construction site has unique challenges, but some problems in construction project management are more common than others.
1. Undefined or poorly defined goals
Every construction project should have specific and achievable goals to all team members. Without clear objectives, it isn’t easy to measure progress and ensure that everyone is working towards the same vision.
A common problem in construction project management is that goals are either undefined or poorly defined. It can lead to confusion and frustration among team members.
In a recent survey, 52% of the respondents were dissatisfied with the project management maturity at their organization.
It’s a wake-up call for project managers to step up their game regarding goal development. Plus, it’s challenging to track progress without defined goals. As a result, the project may go over budget or take longer than expected.
2. Inaccurate estimates
When creating a construction project budget, miscalculating the cost of materials or underestimating the time to complete a task can lead to big problems eventually.
It’s essential to be as accurate as possible when estimating the costs of a project. Suppose you’re managing the construction of a new office building. You’ve estimated that the project will cost $5 million and take 18 months to complete.
However, after six months, you realize that the project is only 50% complete and that the final cost will be closer to $8 million. It can cause problems for your construction project since you’ll need to find additional funding to complete the project.
3. Employee turnover
Employee turnover means that workers regularly leave and are replaced on a project. It can lead to a loss in productivity as new employees need time to get up to speed.
High turnover rates can also lead to a shortage of skilled labor, which can impact the quality of work. On top of that, it disrupts the flow of communication and collaboration between team members.
To deal with employee turnover, construction project managers should build a strong team culture. They should also create opportunities for employee development and provide competitive compensation packages.
4. Scope creep
Scope creep occurs when the scope of a project starts to change or expands beyond the original scope. It can be caused by several factors, such as changes in the budget, unrealistic deadlines, or a lack of clear project objectives.
Scope creep can significantly impact the budget, timeline, and quality of work. Therefore, construction project managers must understand the project objectives from the start.
Here are some ways to tackle scope creep:
- Make sure everyone involved in the project understands the objectives.
- Keep track of any changes made to the scope.
- Work with the client to get approval for scope changes.
- Communicate with the team regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page.
5. Inadequate risk management
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has strict guidelines for the safety of construction workers. If these guidelines are not followed, it can result in injuries, accidents, and even fatalities.
Construction project managers must identify and assess risks before they start working on a project. They should also develop a safety plan and ensure all workers are trained to stay safe.
Inadequate risk management leads to the following problems:
- Injuries and fatalities: Workers can get injured or killed if risks are not managed properly. It can also result in legal problems and a loss of productivity.
- Property damage: Construction sites are often located near homes and businesses. If risks are not managed properly, they can damage the property.
- Loss of money: In case of an accident, construction companies must pay for medical expenses and property damage.
6. Poor communication
Many construction projects are complex and require coordination between different teams. A lack of communication can result in errors.
Some of these problems include:
- Lack of coordination: Poor communication translates to a lack of coordination. It can result in construction crews working on each other, leading to delays and errors.
- Delayed completion: A communication breakdown can cause a project to fall behind schedule, resulting in cost overruns and dissatisfied customers.
- Poor quality: If there is a lack of communication, it can be difficult to resolve issues. For instance, if a contractor does not communicate with the architect, the quality of the work may suffer.
7. Lack of technology
The absence of technology from a construction site is a concerning matter that needs immediate attention. A construction company must have the latest technology to stay competitive and efficient.
Technology has transformed the construction industry in recent years. In fact, the CAGR for the project management software industry is forecasted to be up to 10.67% by 2025. It has made it easier to communicate and coordinate between different teams.
However, not all construction companies have embraced technology. Some companies still use outdated methods, resulting in errors and delays.
How Can Construction Managers Avoid Common Project Management Problems?
The key to avoiding common project management problems is effective communication. By staying in close contact with all team members, construction managers can stay up-to-date on potential issues and prevent them before they cause significant problems.
Additionally, effective communication can help keep projects on schedule and within budget.
Besides communication, construction project managers must also use technology to their advantage. This way, they can keep better track of deadlines, progress reports, and costs.
Finally, construction managers need to have a good handle on the budget and schedule. They should be able to anticipate potential problems and take steps to avoid them.
As established, some common problems for construction project managers include lack of communication, ineffective budget handling, employee turnover, and unrealistic deadlines.
While some of these can be out of your control, you can take steps to mitigate most of them. For example, creating a communication plan, being proactive about your budget, and being realistic about deadlines will help make your construction project more successful.