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The Top 6 Challenges in Project Management in Construction

Construction project software

Studies indicate that about 42% of companies underestimate the role of robust project management despite it being a precursor to the success of projects. The disregard for addressing the business’s challenge might hinder the enterprise’s growth consistency. After all, effective project management in construction can accrue various benefits, such as:

  • Enhanced business growth
  • Improved efficiency
  • Better teamwork and collaboration
  • Increased productivity
  • A stronger relationship with stakeholders
  • Optimized customer experience

However, such benefits can be achieved only after detecting the issues and difficulties facing construction project management. It is crucial to be aware of some of the biggest problems faced in the process.

So, here are the top 6 challenges faced in construction project management that you need to learn about.

1. Inconsistent Cash Flow

Most construction projects usually follow an invoicing system of payments. Raising the invoice often causes a delay in payment and hence either obstructs or leads to an inconsistency in cash flow during the project. Since payments in construction projects are usually made on an installment basis, not receiving the payment on time might stall the construction process itself. This pushes the deadline for project delivery.

The drying up of funds or having an inconsistent cash flow in the company, especially with an ongoing project, might lead to several unforeseen problems. Some issues might require tending on short notice. An obstructed cash flow could prevent that from happening.

2. Lack of Clear Goals and Objectives

One of the challenges that construction project management can face is the lack of a clear structure with regard to what the goal, aim, or objective of the project is supposed to be. At times, stakeholders involved in the project don’t give a solid idea of what direction they want the project to take. In such a scenario, the construction project managers might not have a concrete goal to pursue.

This can, in turn, derail the course of the project and deviate it from the stakeholders’ requirements or expectations. It could further lead to consequences like misled supervision, frequent cost overruns, lack of environmental considerations, and regular labor shortages. The most severe outcome of this could be infrastructure collapse.

3. Lack of Proper Structure

This challenge is faced in close relation to the lack of a clear set of goals and objectives. Not having a proper structure is synonymous with the project managers not being able to figure out a fixed set of responsibilities and tasks they need to assign. All in all, the absence of a proper structure can hinder the efficiency of the project.

For instance, there can be major cost overruns and project delays if the management has no decided deadline, budget, or target in sight. The disrupted supply chain and last-moment obstructions are also inevitable if a project runs without a solid framework.

Contrarily, categorizing short-term and long-term goals and deciding which tasks need to be performed on priority can help enhance the performance of everyone involved in the project.

4. Insufficient Risk Management

It is up to the project managers to identify and predict the possible issues and risks that might arise during the course of the construction. These risks can include compromise of safety, theft of equipment and construction materials, or even delays due to natural causes like the weather.

Further, project managers must also have adequate solutions for these problems and be equipped to eliminate any such risks that might arise. There are chances of the project getting delayed, exceeding the budget, and not meeting the required target if project managers are not prepared and equipped for proper risk management.

5. Impractical Deadlines

Often, due to strained communication between project managers and stakeholders, the deadline set for the completion of a particular task makes the task impossible to complete within the defined timeline. Not meeting the given deadlines not only slows down the entire construction process but also creates a bad impression on the stakeholder and impacts the customer experience.

Hence, project managers should be wary of when employees need to complete their tasks. Struggling to meet impractical deadlines might lead them to rush work, leading to an increased rate of on-site accidents, defective designs and build, and poor time management in general. Thus, the safety of the project may get compromised when the deadlines for each phase of the project are set without taking into consideration some of the basic factors that construction workers have to navigate.

6. Increased Labor Shortages

The unprecedented rise in the demand for construction workers and their lack thereof has created a sort of vacuum in the construction industry. There seems to be an acute shortage of labor force in construction companies, which has not only slowed down the process of construction but also increased the pressure on existing construction workers. One of the reasons for such a shortage could be existing workers growing old and retiring, with no new influx of fresh workers.

The impending danger that workers generally associate with this line of work is also a major contributing factor. It becomes extremely difficult for project managers to find skilled labor, and even if they do, they might have to increase their expenditure on the skilled labor force by a significant amount. This increases the chance of cost overruns.

Apart from these, project managers also have to constantly look out for any possible safety hazards on the work site and the lack of active ways to deal with them — which can otherwise prove to be fatal for the workers. All these challenges can be alleviated through the use of a robust project management solution. Book a demo today to learn more.