Tackling a fast track construction project

Gina Theron   |   November 15, 2015

Projects are time sensitive and various factors can influence their deadlines. Working within a time restriction can cause a project manager to rethink their approach and determine their ability to deliver when under pressure. A fast track project is not achievable for all businesses and when accepting a contract for a fast track project it's important to be prepared in order to ensure you have the capabilities and resources to get the job done.  Fast track projects can be as a result of a time-sensitive opportunity to good to pass up where the client is trying to get ahead of fast moving changes. On the other hand,  it could be a time-sensitive opportunity about to expire where the client is trying to catch up with fast moving changes. In both circumstances there are areas which must be address before commencing work. 

Manage the client 

Ensure your client is well aware of the risk of fast tracking a project and indicate the resources which will be stretched. Once the client is aware of these factors it is possible to start talking about options and changes to the time line. If the client chooses to go ahead with the fast track project, you've covered your bases by already outlining the risks involved. It's important to deliver on all promises made but keep an open flow of communication, ensuring the client is happy and aware of the project progression. 

Weigh up the risks

Winning work is great for business and keeps the doors open, however if you can't deliver on what's required you run the risk of losing future business. It's important to take the time to weight up the risks against the reward, if you have the capability and sufficient resources to complete the project within a short time frame then reap the reward, if not then decline the work to save your company's reputation. 

Get involved 

Once you've signed the documents and agreed to move forward with the project, be involved with the planning stages. With your industry experience, you have the ability to give a realistic perspective on what is possible within the allocated time frame. Even if you're not given the opportunity to voice your opinion during the planning stages, if you're present you'll at least be aware of what is expected and what needs to be completed prior to commencing the project.

Consider the dollar increase

Fast tracking a project can result in additional costs to the budget. It's important to consider these costs and total the final cumulative dollar increase in order to ensure this will be financially viable for your business. Before signing any contracts you must weigh up the financial outlay and ensure you're making a profit or breaking even and not taking a financial step backwards. 

Search for opportunities 

Due to all the constraints and added costs it's important to look for all available opportunities to maximise materials and equipment used. Take time to view all your current resources and all your upcoming projects, from this allocate the appropriate resources to the projects where they will be most efficient. It's vital to consider any strategy and actions which will save you more time and money. 

Use your best workers

Some workers operate better under pressure and have the ability to deliver high quality work within a short time frame. These should be the first workers assigned to any fast track projects in order to deliver on all requirements.

Managing tasks effectively will be a big influencing factor on the progression and success of your project. Fast track projects need an added degree of organisation and coordination when it comes to onsite activities, resources and workers. If these are managed effectively, you'll have an increased chance of a timely completion within budget. Improve you management technique by using this Gantt Chart template today! 

gantt chart template   

Gina Theron
Gina is a Marketing Coordinator at Felix. She is a business and engineering student, and relishes working for one of Australia's greatest mining and construction disrupters. Harsh critic of tomatoes and spiders that surprise her.

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