Avoid the unexpected in construction

Avoid the unexpected in constructionProject Managers and contractors in general must be some of the most optimistic people on earth. It won’t rain during the project, materials will arrive on time, equipment won’t break down, our teams will produce the production expected of them for the full duration of their shift, drawings will arrive timeously, subcontractors will produce their part of the project on time, and so it goes on. Indeed I think only farmers could be a more optimistic bunch, depending almost entirely on the vagaries of the weather and believing it will rain at the right time, never too little or too much.

Certainly whenever a project goes wrong the blame is often put to bad luck. If only we hadn’t had that storm just then, if only the subcontractor had delivered what they promised, if only the client had been more accommodating, why did the workers have to walk off the project, with just a little luck we could have finished on time and made the millions we thought we would.

Yet some of these problems could have been foreseen, and either avoided or mitigated. So how can we take control of our projects, leaving less to luck and chance, and engineer our project’s successful destiny?

The more we plan the luckier we get

A good golfer said the more he practiced the luckier he got. Well in construction the more we plan the luckier we get. Thinking through our method of construction, allowing for access, selecting the best subcontractors, preparing a suitable construction schedule, arranging the appropriate resources and timeously ordering the correct construction materials will all help prevent crises later in the project.

How many projects are disrupted by the weather, yet, some of the problems could have been foreseen and avoided by completing weather dependent tasks ahead of the rainy, windy or cold seasons? Good planning can, and will help you avoid many problems, making you lucky.

Are you a firefighter or a fire prevention officer?

I have worked with Project Managers who could literally