Stop blaming workers for construction project delays

It is a never ending blame game when it comes to construction project delays. Investors blame the general contractor for delays; the general contractor blames subcontractors, and subcontractors blame workers. It seems that workers made all this mess? No! If we dig deeper, we will find out that it all comes down to management. 

Poor and lackluster management is the main driver behind delayed construction schedules. Let’s see how poor management affects overall project performance and schedule. 

Lack of document management

Long gone are the days when we used paper blueprints. We live in an era where everything is digital. Sadly, many companies don’t invest in document management systems, and as a result, employees and workers can’t keep up with document revision controls. Often, workers are working according to outdated blueprints. And when management realizes this, it is way too late. Such mistakes come with project delays and redos. 

Cash flow issues

Costs in construction are high while margins are low. Sometimes, in order to start the project, contractors need to invest 50–70% of the project costs in materials. If the contractor lacks this cash, he is then left with no choice but to reschedule the whole plan for all of the ongoing projects. This, as a result, will affect all of the running projects in the company. 

Lack of training

There are so many specialties in construction that it can become nearly impossible to find the perfect candidate for every position in the company. When hiring new workers, it is important that the company have its own method for training and improving workers’ skills. Often, companies, before hiring, give tasks to potential employees just to see whether they are the right fit. 

Not using the right tools for the project schedule

Construction projects are becoming more complex, and we need them to be built quicker than yesterday. Unfortunately, many managers are still stuck in the 20th century by planning their projects on Gantt charts. Gantt charts must be updated manually, but as the work on sites happens so fast, it is nearly impossible to follow all the changes and make changes to these Gantt charts. As a result, Gantt charts are not showing actual information. 

Instead, companies have to use construction software that reschedules site work for them. There are even tools that now use AI. What do you think will be more precise, a human made Gantt chart or an AI schedule that reschedules thousands of different scenarios based on changes and gives you immediate output? AI is more capable when it comes to math and algorithms. 

How should companies work in these times when everything changes so fast? 

Stop blaming workers; instead, companies have to change and offer the right tools. Everything happens so fast that we must start using the tools that instantly inform every person in the company or reschedule different scenarios. 

As for document management systems, there are many software programs that keep employees on top of up-to-date information. 

For project scheduling and budgeting, PlanUpPro can be used, and if you are a general contractor, you can switch to Procore. While PlanUpPro is designed for subcontractors, Procore is mostly meant for large scale construction companies. 

Author – Emil Berzins. Follow me on