Don’t Let Your Construction Project Go Through All These Stages
Construction project managers often go through a number of phases as their project progresses.
Optimism– this is often the stage soon after winning the project. “This is going to be a great project! Everything will go well. We are going to make millions!”
Excitement – often we cannot wait to get the project started, start excavating and pouring concrete. Some may also experience excitement during the project when they find a reason for a variation claim.
Euphoria– when things are going well. Unfortunately, some don’t experience this feeling as their projects hit trouble soon after starting. We may also experience euphoria when the client pays us, or when we settle a variation claim with the client.
Anxiety– when things start going wrong. Sleepless nights. Nerves before client progress meetings. Anxious looks at the weather forecast. Stress when management visits the project. Checking budgets.
Denial– it’s not going to get worse. The figures can’t be correct. Massaging construction schedules. “Everything will work out fine. We’ll make up the lost time. We will make up the lost money.”
Fear – it is getting worse. How bad is it going to get? “I don’t want to tell the client/boss the bad news.” Rechecking budgets and construction schedule for mistakes and possible opportunities to escape the inevitable.
Anger and panic– who can we blame for the problems. Everyone needs to work longer and harder. “Why does this always happen on my project?”
Desperation – let’s throw everything at the problem and hope to solve it. Searching for excuses/variation claims (no matter how improbable) to justify the delays and losses.
Capitulation – nothing we do can improve the situation. We don’t care. The project will finish late and it’s going to lose money. It doesn’t matter what the client says or what management does. It was a bad project and the Construction Gods were stacked against us.
Depression – I hate construction. “Everything is always against us – the weather, clients, subcontractors, suppliers, management, the team, even the gods! Let’s get this project finished.”
Relief– finally the project is finished.
Hope– that the next project will go better. Contractors are the eternal optimists with short memories.
What stage is your project in?
Of course with proper planning, good project management, appropriate project controls and the correct project pricing, there should only be four stages to your construction project – optimism and excitement before starting the project, contentment as the project reaches important milestones and KPI’s, and euphoria when the project is completed successfully.