a) Inefficient management

The construction knowledge we have today enables us to conduct proper management for construction projects to ensure the delivery of the desired quality within the required time and on cost. Without this management, the above-mentioned requirements cannot be achieved. On the contrary, a more severe outcome might wait just around the corner if your construction management process wasn’t up to speed.

b) Construction implementation failure

Executing a construction project requires the full knowledge of the method statements made for each construction item/element; that’s why it’s essential for any contractor to submit these method statements before the start of the project to ensure they are approved and that they will enable the engineers to execute the construction works properly to meet the required quality and specifications.

However, not taking this matter seriously can cause a lot of unexpected failures even in the simplest construction activities.

Thus, one of the common causes of construction project delays is the contractor’s failure to execute certain items properly which results in re-doing the whole process again after discovering what went wrong in the execution.
Each item must be studied accurately to reach the specific construction method by which it can be constructed.

c) Environmental catastrophes/Unavoidable events

Each construction project that lasts more than a year will definitely be exposed to some unavoidable environmental events due to the change of seasons throughout the year.

For example, during the wet season there are some heavy rainy days that make it absolutely impossible for workers to execute any construction activity (especially concrete).

When such circumstances take place, all the safety measures can do is protect the workers’ lives. Nevertheless, safety cannot enable them to overpass these conditions and continue the execution phase.

d) Design issues

Each construction project can be summed up in 4 phases that represent all the activities required to finish the project from inception to completion and facility management of the project. In short, these phases are:

  1. Planning
  2. Design
  3. Construction
  4. Post-construction and facility management

Here we will talk mainly about the second stage (Design). This stage can be a real threat to the timeline of the project as its problems mostly get discovered in the execution phase. No matter how well the design is revised or reviewed, the execution phase shows you exactly what’s wrong with the design. It might actually be discovered in a very harsh way where you, for example, construct a concrete element and then see it collapse or deform within days from its construction.

e) Scope increase

As we all know, any project’s main parties are:

  1. The owner (client)
  2. The design team (Architect, Quantity Surveyor and Engineer)
  3. The contractor

Of course, there can be more parties but these are the most important of them.

However, the owners usually start the projects without knowing the full details of what or how they want it to be in the future. For instance, the owner decides that the project is going to consist of 4 buildings, 3 of them are designed but the 4th one is yet to be determined/designed. So they start the project until they decide what to do with the rest of the project that the contractor is not aware of, in this case, the owner tells the contractor that there is going to be an increase in their scope, which by default means an increase in the project duration.

This increase can be in the form of a small item added to the Bill of Quantities. or it can be a whole new Bill of Quantities.
Eventually, every owner is advised to be fully aware of the project scope before it’s assigned to a contractor, and that is to avoid any unnecessary delays in the project’s duration.

f) Economical changes

We all know that construction is after all an industry that gets affected by the economic conditions of the country just like any other industry.

Thus, if any country was subjected to an economic collapse or its currency value has changed, all the construction projects will be affected in so many ways, one of them is “delay”.

Due to the surprising change in the price of everything, the project cash flow becomes dull and no longer represents the true valued/budgeted cost per time. This immediately drops a massive effect on the project’s timeline making it double or triple the original duration (maybe put the project on hold or even exterminate it) unless both the contractor and the owner can find/afford a financial solution to the catastrophe.

g) Failure in coordination between time schedule and execution

One of the common mistakes made by contracting companies is neglecting the importance of a time schedule for the project. A proper time schedule enables the project to be executed smoothly and according to the required time frame.

Moreover, it helps in restoring the track of the project if by any means the project deviated from its original plan. It also alarms the project team of any upcoming obstacles and provides solutions to overcome them.