Oftentimes change equals a challenge in the commercial development world.
But a change in your schedule doesn’t have to become a crippling delay if you’re prepared for it.
Unrealistic expectations of the permit review process, slowdowns in shop drawings, and lack of planning for long-lead items are just a handful of situations that can cause a holdup in your project if not addressed appropriately.
Here are a few tricks to best acknowledge and avoid some common delays to keep your project on track and within budget.
1. Thorough Planning
Your project plan should be exhaustive with every detail required for completion while accounting for delay-causing variables in the execution process. Partnering with a developer that utilizes an innovative project management software, such as DealforceCRE, as a tool to provide real-time updates is strongly recommended so you can be more accurate in scheduling tasks.
Then, by illustrating a detailed scope of work in the preconstruction phase, you can defend against “scope creep” and have a bird’s eye view of the project that enables managers to diagnose potential challenges and solve problems early.
2. Schedule Items in Advance
On a related note, dodge the non-excusable delays by knowing the availabilities of your team members ahead of time and then incorporating it into the timeline. For example, it could take over a month to get an architect onto your site, municipalities can be back-logged in that jurisdiction, or contractors may need more time to prepare bids as well. So, plan accordingly for when you need them to come into play and don’t forget about the lead time of at least three to four months for ordering and bidding on the construction material needed.
Not all development processes are linear, so by having an experienced development company that knows how to overcome time obstacles and challenges ahead concurrently, it creates significant time savings for the delivery.
Also, it’s important to recognize a regular delay from a “blocker.” The substantial difference is that blockers refer to tasks whose completion is required before any other tasks can commence. So, careful planning is a mandatory step, along with knowing how to identify blockers that could present an obstacle.
3. Productive Communication
You’ve heard “communication is key,” and the construction realm is no exception. Effective communication prevents pauses to progress because it enables you to start adjustments before an issue snowballs. From the start of entitlement to plan design, this practice is critical in avoiding unpredicted rent increases, change orders, incorrect design, and slowed plan reviews from municipalities.
Also, keeping up-to-date records of communication documents such as change order receipts, time increments between responses, and their resolutions is a beneficial practice in the construction performance evaluation when zeroing in on any issues regarding change orders, contingency plans, etc.
Tip: The risk of cost overruns due to change orders, redesigns, fluctuating material and labor costs can be possessed by a preferred developer should you elect to go that route.
4. Value Engineering & Substitution of Materials
To prevent going past deadline and over-budget, value engineering can be utilized to detect and eliminate unwanted expenses, which can lead to rent increases. By having engineers, architects and developers spend more time focusing on either reducing costs or substituting more cost-effective materials, it will actually reduce the chance of time being eaten up later on.
Value engineering provides a well-rounded option for quality assurance, but be mindful that it does affect timing and delivery, so it should be accounted for when setting the schedule.
The main takeaways for decreasing your chance of schedule delays are that it would be a major mistake to not form a comprehensive plan in the beginning that features a clear timeline with items scheduled in advance, value engineering, and that having clear communication with your development team is a must.