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5 Tips to Ensure Project Success
By Keith Strachan:
Whether you’re an experienced hand or undertaking a refurbishment or fit-out project for the first time, the desire from the start is to deliver a successful project.
Success means the project being delivered safely, on time, on budget and to a high standard of finish.
There are several factors that might contribute to these objectives not being achieved, I am going to explain 5 key elements that we believe make a significant impact to delivering a project successfully.
Time is often one of the single most important influencing factors to any project. If there is not enough of it at the beginning then safety, quality and cost are usually impacted.
Preparing a delivery programme with as much detail as you can at an early stage is a simple way to begin to allocate time and understand where any problems may lie, always remember to factor in some time for the unknown. Programmes should be kept up to date during the project and if any slippage occurs, don’t wait until the last few weeks to try and make it up.
Keeping on programme is important so that all parties can plan and allocate resources when required onsite. Having to carry out works out of sequence is, in most cases, avoidable.
Detailed designs should be completed that factor in manufacture and delivery timescales for the specified products. On receipt of construction drawings a contractors should always review materials specified to highlight any risks to the programme and place orders for long lead time items as early as possible (making sure delivery dates are given). Never assume a supplier will carry stocks.
3. Sub-Contractors Selection
Delivering a project is a team effort so it is essential that time is spent selecting who is going to help you to deliver it.
When selecting sub-contractors costs are an important part of the selection process, but shouldn’t be the only factor. Good sub-contractors can come at a premium but tend to work safely, follow programmes and only need to do the job once. As the main contractor they are your reputation.
4. Limit the number of changes
Where possible spend as much time as you can at the design stage to get the scope of works agreed. This will limit the number of changes that are made during the construction period.
Contractors often get bad press for failing to complete projects on time, which is sometimes warranted, but sometimes this is due to works going out of sequence because of changes having a knock on effect on the completion dates. Take time to understand the full implication of a change when it’s made and accept some changes will affect the completion date.
5. Snagging/ Defects
The impression that a client has of a project and your performance as a contractor can be affected by any defects that are left at the completion of the works. It’s a common complaint that they can never get a contractor back once they have left site.
Works should be inspected and signed off all the way through the project and defects picked up and rectified as they happen. Make sure any defects are recorded and issued to sub-contractors giving sufficient time to carry out the works, prior to handing