There are few industries in the world that have more inherent risks than the construction industry. Whether it is a custom home or a new skyscraper in a major metropolitan city, there is always a chance of some catastrophic injury or mistake.
Many governments have considerable legislation in place to protect companies and individuals from accidents and errors in the construction phase. In the U.S. for example, homes and buildings cannot move forward with overall construction until a full inspection from a certified professional inspector is performed. Failing to do so can delay or in serious cases, completely halt the construction project. This is both frustrating and expensive for all parties involved.
Here is a perfect scenario of what could happen if an organization or company fails to have a full project management system in place.
A local community is in need of a new school. Plans are drawn up, correct building permits acquired and the pre-construction phases begin in earnest. The school will be designed to hold over 2,000 students, so it will be a fairly massive undertaking.
As the internal structures begin to go up, there is a major change in building codes and construction laws. The specific law is not as important as the possible ramifications.
The company in charge of the overall construction does not have a formal project management plan in place, so they do not assess the risks and hence miss taking the new law into account during the second phase of construction, when the electricians are working.
Inspectors arrive, armed with the new legislation and understanding of the same. Immediately, they call for a full shut down of all construction activity for an indeterminate amount of time until the project is reworked to meet the new requirements.
For the construction workers, this means time without work. For the community, it means a longer time without a much needed school, and for the construction company, it means a massive headache because to meet the new law requirements, they have to stop, break down approximately one-third of the complete work and start anew.
Meanwhile, the community is also feeling a pinch because of the mistake. The construction company is pushing itself over budget, and the overages will be paid from local tax coffers from the same community.
Thus begins the snowball effect that will eventually cost twice as much, take twice as long and become the blight on the face of the company that will go out of business because of a small, single oversight.
This whole situation could have easily been avoided if the construction company could have implemented a formal project management system at the beginning of the construction phase. A system that would have been able to include the effects of the changed laws, and a management system that would have made adjustments in the project that could have saved time, labor and most importantly, precious money.
This may seem extreme, but since laws can change during construction phases, it is vital to have a full project management system in place in the beginning to protect everyone involved. Visit www.ipmglobal.net to see how a formal project management system can help manage costly risks.