Project management is one of the most overwhelming jobs. It can get as complex as it can. Unanticipated challenges can stir up trouble in getting the work done on time.
Meeting project deadlines is one of the biggest challenges in project management. Not everything goes as planned. And most of the projects end up finishing late causing expenses to pile up. Thus, resulting in overbudgeting.
However, in determining the factors affecting project delays, you have to consider both internal and external factors. Weigh things out and see how each factor impact progress. For example, there are instances where projects get delayed due to a third-party factor. Or mostly, due to unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances. But in some cases, delays are triggered by internal factors. Let's talk about each in detail...
2 Major Factors Causing Project Delays
1. Internal Factors
Due to high project demands, especially if they are working on multiple projects at the same time, overlapping schedules might be the biggest challenge a project manager will encounter. For example, in most cases, if the electrical finish is still ongoing in the areas where the drywallers have to work on, they have to pause for a while and give way to the electrician or vice versa. Well, it can happen to anyone working on the project.
Lack of communication with your team members can indeed result to project delays. If one misunderstood the task/s assigned to him, most probably he will communicate wrong information to the other team members. And a lot of things can happen in just one swift action of dispensing incorrect information. It will either make or break the business in a snap.
2. External Factors
Most projects onboard third-party individuals who play a significant role in project management. Some property owners opt to outsource project managers, architects, subcontractors, and admins to run the projects. The reality of it is we can't always expect to meet the deadlines. In most cases, what causes the project to slow down starts with not getting the plans done on time, fueled by delayed bids, unaccomplished paperwork for furthering the process, etc. If any of these overlook the project milestone, expect a project setback.
What's the biggest challenge anyone cannot be in control of? Weather disruptions or natural disasters. Most probably, these factors would highly impact project progress in a way other factors can't. Adding to the list are some political and non-political contexts, investment climate, etc.
Apart from the abovementioned factors, other common reasons may cause project delays. Such as the following:
1. Inaccurate Project Requirement Estimates
Lack of knowledge on the documents needed to accomplish beforehand will slow down the process. Therefore, getting a checklist will save you not just money but time and energy as you move forward.
2. Unexpected Changes in Scope of Work
The scope of work serves as the foundation of good planning and execution. If you fail to create a realistic and timely scope of work, you will surely fail to meet deadlines. Changes in deliverables will reflect the budget.
3. Fluctuating Materials' Cost
During the process, the cost of materials may go lower or higher than expected. The unpredictable prices will determine your budget's flexibility. However, most projects go over the set budget and fall behind. And sometimes, managing the budget is way more complex than meeting the deadlines. Obviously, you can't move forward without sufficient funds to support the project. Thus, resulting to project delay.
The bottom line is, there are several factors that will impact project progress. Regardless of whether you have a good plan or not, you can't be so sure that the projects will meet the deadline. There will be instances where projects can be delayed by a day, a week, a month, or so. However, what matters is how you will manage to save the plans, the budget, and the project itself despite all the uncertainties.
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