To paraphrase the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, change is the only constant in construction projects.
Changes in scope occur as projects progress from design through practical completion. In fact, initial site works can be in motion long before all necessary planning permits have been obtained, designs have been finalized and construction contracts have been negotiated.
Design and construction teams follow a number of interdependent processes to communicate changes and variations in project scope. Many of these processes have been standardized throughout the industry as commonly accepted tools for raising, clarifying and resolving issues. Examples include construction change orders, requests for information (RFIs), instructions, and variation requests.
In a previous post, we offered pragmatic tips on the RFI management process to improve efficiency and reduce risk. Now we’ll focus on best practices in managing scope-of-work changes and variations to ensure successful project delivery.
Image: CNN/Ahora Noticias
This blog has covered ill-fated construction projects ranging from a TV commercial on the pyramids of ancient Egypt to a real-life high-rise apartment building in Benidorm, Spain. We’ve also covered bridge construction projects and the human significance of the resulting infrastructure.
Now, in our next installment of “Why You Need Construction Project Management Software,” we find the two topics crossing in the lesson of the Cau Cau River Drawbridge in Valdivia, Chile. The opening of Chile’s first drawbridge has been delayed because one of the traffic decks was installed upside down.
Once again, we’re reminded that capital projects delivering built assets are fraught with risk. The risk increases with project complexity and the number of different organizations working on the project. Every design clash, unanswered RFI, miscommunication, outdated document, workflow disruption, or other issue has the potential to derail the project or deliver a flawed asset.