Top 4 Causes Of Delays In Construction

October 21, 2021
Avoid rail project delays. Use Raildiary's digital tools to estimate accurately, track progress, communicate changes, and stay on schedule.

In the rail construction industry, delays in delivering projects can be detrimental to your business. Projects can often be of high-value and closely scrutinized by both stakeholders and the general public. The impact of delays can be felt across your income, your reputation and your procurement of future works.

To avoid expensive claims and drawn out schemes, you need to be prepared. We’ve compiled a list of the most common causes of delays in construction to help you avoid them in the future.

Inaccurate Estimation

Running out of money or resources as a result of poor planning can bring any project to a grinding halt, and it isn’t an easy thing to fix. Some schemes have been held up for years, even cancelled altogether, due to insufficient funding and changes in the political landscape.

Accurate estimating ensures that there’s enough money, labour and resource to see the project through to the end. No matter how much experience you have, by using data from previous projects you can make more informed plans and build a database of useful information for future works.

Beyond your initial estimation it’s also crucial to keep track of your actual usage as the project progresses. By monitoring job progress against cost and resource allocation in real time, you can spot potential overruns before they become a problem and make changes accordingly. The best way to gather and analyze this information is with an integrated software solution catered specifically to recording and analyzing rail construction projects. Traditional reporting methods such as paper site diaries cause a delay in the transfer of information, so analysis and project management is being based on data that is days or weeks out of date.

Subcontractor Schedules

From aligning schedules to compliance documentation and collaboration between teams, managing subcontractors can expose you to the risk of serious delays if not done effectively. Your subcontractors are all crucial cogs in the overarching system and the key to keeping them in line is good communication.

An effective communication platform that all of your subcontractors can access means that you can easily update them on changes to the project scope and they can inform you of any problems on site. You should also use their shift reports to make sure their workforce isn’t spread too thin, and is working in compliance with your shift regulations. By providing them with one universal, secure method of communication you make sure that you keep control of when and how they can access confidential information.

Failure To Communicate Change

Unexpected changes are inevitable. It could be a surprise discovery on site that means the works have to change, or a client request to amend the project scope. You can’t prevent the added time and resource that’s needed for a change, but you can streamline the process by communicating changes quickly and thoroughly. Make sure your workforce knows exactly what needs to be done, when, and with what resources.

An integrated communications platform with real-time notifications and the option to attach project plans and forms will ensure that everyone is working to the most up to date spec. There’s no lag in the transfer of information and it can easily be referred back to throughout a shift.

Check out our blog post on how to improve field and office communication here – A Guide To Improving Field & Office Communications

Poor Weather

The most unpredictable element on the list, adverse weather conditions can hinder your project significantly – and there’s no way of knowing how long it will last.

You may not be able to control the weather, but you can make sure that any delays are clearly explained for the client. A software solution that automatically takes note of the conditions during a shift can remove the hassle of remembering what the weather was doing days, even weeks later. It may seem like an easy or obvious thing to remember, but in the event of a claim dispute you might be looking back months after the project to try and figure out what put you so far behind.

If you’ve struggled with any of the above obstacles, Raildiary can help. From explaining delays to preventing them altogether, our digital project management tools give you the information you need to deliver projects on time and encourage clear communication between the site, the office and the client.

Book your product demonstration today for more information.

Top 4 Causes Of Delays In Construction

Will Doyle


I am an experienced RICS chartered Quantity Surveyor​ with first-hand experience of how the consistent capture and analysis of data can transform global project delivery.

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