Back to blog

Tackling the Real Reasons Behind Delays in Construction

Another construction project, another missed deadline. It's a tale as old as time in our industry, and yet, it seems like we're always caught off guard. You ask a project manager how the project is going, and more often than not, the answer is a shrug followed by, “We're behind schedule, but we’ll be ok.” But here's the thing: they can't always pinpoint why, or if the situation is getting better or worse. We're jumping into action when a problem arises, but are we resolving the underlying issues? Or are we just playing a never-ending game of catch-up?

Digging Deep To The Root Cause

Let's dive into the reality of the situation. We're dealing with delayed projects and budget blowouts, but we're not getting to the root cause of why these delays keep happening. It's like we're treating a cough but ignoring the cold. We're focused on the immediate issues without understanding the bigger picture. 

The data backs this up. Reports by McKinsey and others show that large construction projects typically run 20 percent longer than scheduled and average 80 percent over budget. These are clear indicators of a systemic issue. An industry study by Buildots in 2023 showed how inefficiencies on job sites are directly tied to project delays.

Measuring What Really Matters

For starters, our compass to project health is often just the schedule. But a schedule only tells us where we've been, not where we're headed and what a future problem might look like. We miss the early signs of trouble and fail to be proactive. Instead, we wait for problems to surface and then scramble to address them. It’s this cycle of reactiveness that leaves us in a perpetual firefighting mode.

It's time to ask the tough questions. Are we tracking the right metrics? Do we truly understand the source of each delay? This isn't just about finding a quick fix. There isn’t one. It's about changing how we manage construction, looking beyond the schedule and budget, and digging deeper into the dynamics of our projects.

Performance Driven Construction Management - Download

Foresight Instead Of Firefighting

We must rethink our methodologies, team structure, relationships, and processes. We must break out of our comfort zones and explore innovative ways to track and manage projects. It's about building a culture that values foresight as much as it values firefighting skills.

We’ve taken a shot at defining one major change we believe the industry must go through in our whitepaper, Performance-Driven Construction Management (PDCM) illustrating a novel framework in which managers can effectively improve the performance of their projects.

Back to blog

Stay Connected, Start Connecting.