It’s the last thing a contractor wants to deal with when dealing with large construction projects. Mistakes in construction are inevitable but costly. While mistakes can happen at any time, they aren’t always easy to fix in the construction industry.
One small mistake can quickly degrade other aspects of a project. Occasionally, a project fails inspection or must be demolished for safety and health reasons. Additionally, construction errors can cascade the project’s electrical, plumbing, and finishing elements.
This article will discuss the importance of planning action if an error occurs. Furthermore, it will go over the tools and processes you will need to avoid making any mistakes during the construction process.
Here are some best practices to follow to ensure that your project stays on track.
You or one of your teammates made a mistake. While it is understandable to want to avoid blame and embarrassment, doing so will only serve to hinder your ability to move forward. Blaming others on the job site while each contractor and trade contractor points the finger at someone else only serves to waste valuable time that could be spent developing a more appropriate resolution.
If the problem is yours or your team’s fault, admit it as soon as possible and move on so that the construction team can get back to work and find a quick solution. Be professional and courteous in your admission.
Recognizing and accepting responsibility for mistakes is also crucial for establishing trust on the job site. According to the findings of a recent study, trust is essential for effective communication and collaboration.
In the case of some construction mistakes, multiple contractors, workers, and material suppliers may be responsible for the error. Identify who is contractually obligated to pay for the problem as soon as possible. Then, make sure that you pay the appropriate amounts on time if you are the responsible party.
Thoroughly Document Mistakes
It is just as essential to determining what caused the error to correct it. The first step in resolving a problem is identifying and understanding the source of the problem. For example, suppose the problem occurred due to the performance of one of your employees. In that case, you could address the employee’s performance to avoid a similar situation in the future.
However, suppose the issue is related to the materials that were used. In that case, you should immediately prevent the rest of the construction crew from using the same low-quality materials for the remainder of the project’s duration.
Include a description of the problem, including any materials that may have been involved, which employees made a mistake, and how they made it. It is possible that providing detailed descriptions of the error will prevent it from occurring again with another project. Suppose you made a mistake when ordering materials.
In that case, you could switch to a different supplier who offers higher-quality products and has the materials shipped out immediately to avoid any further downtime issues from occurring.
If possible, take photos of the mistake to serve as visual documentation of the error. While you can write a highly detailed description of the omission, only photographs can truly capture the magnitude of the omission’s impact. It is possible to embed photos directly into sheets using a field collaboration software program.
As a result, the entire team can read about and see the mistakes made, allowing them to make adjustments as needed.
Communicate With the Entire Project Team
Mistakes in construction should never be kept hidden from the public eye. The entire project team must be aware of when the problem occurred and the extent to which it can affect other aspects of the project.
Failure to communicate the error to other team members may result in them not mitigating the damage as quickly or effectively as they would otherwise. Make sure that you communicate not only with your team but also with other project stakeholders and subcontractors. Ascertain that everyone understands the error and can continue working with the least amount of interruption.
Create the Appropriate Repair Schedule
Unfortunately, not every construction error can be corrected immediately. It’s possible that you won’t have enough workers available to fix the problem right away, especially given the competitive nature of the skilled labor market. Furthermore, you may be required to coordinate with various contractors, plumbers, and electricians who will be necessary to resolve the problem. Attend a meeting with project teams to coordinate repair efforts and develop a schedule for when the workers will be available to address the issue.
Ensure that key stakeholders are held accountable for resolving the problem on time. Then document the types of actions that will be performed so that everyone is on the same page and issues that could affect other aspects of the construction project are prevented.
Last but not least, take a look at the overall construction timeline. Depending on how significant the mistake was during construction, adjusting the overall construction schedule for the entire project may be necessary. It is never ideal for pushing project deadlines back, but doing so as soon as possible will help your team reset project goals that they will achieve in a reasonable time frame.
Ensure that you coordinate with relevant parties to establish a new schedule and that you communicate this new schedule to teams as soon as possible.
Perform Project Risk Assessment
After the repairs have been completed, the problem does not cease to exist entirely. It would help if you took the time to reflect on all of the steps taken to correct the mistake you made. While it may not appear necessary for the process, project risk assessment is beneficial because it allows you to take every action required to remedy the situation most effectively.
You can also make recommendations on how to improve your best practices to make them more efficient in the future if similar mistakes occur again in the future.
Best Practices to Prevent Future Mistakes
Following the development of best practice policies to address construction blunders as they arise, you should consider developing policies to prevent future mistakes that could have a negative impact on projects. Here are a few of the best practices that you can implement to avoid making mistakes in the first place.
Human error is a natural occurrence. Put, the greater the number of people involved in a project, the greater the likelihood that mistakes will occur. The automation of specific tasks, such as data entry and redundant processes, can help to reduce the number of errors that occur. It is possible to transmit more accurate information to all teams and workers by reducing data entry errors, such as using automation tools that automate tasks such as submittal log generation, among other measures.
Use Enhanced Communication Tools
When there are gaps in the chain of communication, employees can become misdirected in their efforts to complete the tasks that they are assigned, increasing their likelihood of making mistakes. Furthermore, if employees fail to recognize errors that have already occurred, they may end up creating an even bigger mess than they were in, to begin with. Therefore, the use of technology in the workplace to improve communication between the office and the field is critical.
Field collaboration software, such as PlanGrid, enables teams to stay on top of changes and updates to the workflow in real-time by utilizing mobile devices to communicate with one another. These tools can also help improve design coordination at the beginning of a project, resulting in fewer change orders throughout the project’s construction phase.
Due Diligence With Construction Quality
Teams must exercise due diligence to prevent mistakes in the construction industry and concentrate on the quality of the product they provide. Standardization is one method of achieving greater quality control that can be implemented throughout all stages of the construction process. Construction templates, Construction Material Testing, standard workflows, and systemized communications with teams are just a few of the ways that the right digital tools can set your project up for success and consistency.
Because everyone will adhere to the established construction quality standards, all teams will remain up to date with construction building codes and other specifications, ensuring that each project stage passes inspection.
Construction errors can be expensive, dangerous, and have a negative impact on future project bids. Establishing a protocol for all employees and teams to follow to address current errors and developing policies to address future mistakes can help reduce project risks. Then you’ll be fully prepared to deal with any obstacle that comes your way and set up your project so that it runs smoothly from beginning to end.