When the timely completion of a construction project or a project stage is at risk or has failed, the result is disruption or chaos, and this has been the subject of many lawsuits for many years. Delay and Disruption disputes are often centred on time issues. The CIOB has reported its findings that projects that suffer from disputes about delay also suffer from poor time control. So it would seem that good project time management would be an essential element of any construction programme.Project Time Management is too often neglectedThis is not often the case. Of the issues that commonly determine project success, cost, quality and time, time is the least understood and least often managed with the support of formal models, benchmarks or tools. Managing project timings seems to sit in the shadows of successful project management. Where, for example, Quantity Surveying is a specific and recognised discipline, with professional bodies that govern performance and advise on techniques, there are no such bodies for the time-related aspects. Time management is often viewed as simply a feature of the project management software. But if we don’t lend greater priority to managing time, then time-related issues, such as delays, will have a disproportionate impact when they go wrong.Put a strategy in place for managing time on projectsHaving a strategy in place for training and tools that improve project time management will bring immediate and long-term rewards; good time management in construction project management is key to minimising the risk of a delay and disruption claim. Managing time using tailored and developed time management software is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of any construction company’s best practices. It is a discipline that brings with it a trail of evidence and auditable records that can be used to stand up in any law case and minimises the risk of even getting that far in first place by encouraging best practice and mitigating risk.Pick the tool with Project Time Management capabilitiesThe effects of poor time management relate to every size of project, but the more complex a project the more disproportionate are the effects and impacts of time. So having the backup of strong project management information systems that can show how plans may have adapted throughout the course of a project to cope with deviations provides a strong defensive tool for when things go awry.Choosing the right project management solution is essential. The time management tools embedded in software for managing construction projects, regardless of complexity, are much more capable than the simplistic time management models which are designed to improve personal productivity. They are fundamental to the contractor’s productivity and the effective management of its entire supply chain. They are also necessary for the building of a strong reputation for good project time management, which is essential within an industry long suffering from delay and disruption issues, and will create a distinct competitive edge for the contractor.
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