Construction projects require meticulous planning, precise execution and tight adherence to timelines. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter unexpected changes or additions to the project that were not initially accounted for in its original scope and schedule, collectively referred to as scope creep.
While these changes may seem minor at first, they can have far-reaching consequences, often leading to significant delays. Here’s how scope creep contributes to construction project delays and what you can do to protect your interests.
It can lead to an increased workload
Additional tasks or changes introduced during a construction project can increase the workload of the construction team. This means more materials, labor and time required to complete the project. As a result, the project timeline must be extended to accommodate these unforeseen additions.
There may be legal or regulatory implications
You may need additional regulatory permits or approvals to accommodate the changes, which can be time-consuming and may halt the project until these requirements are met. Depending on the nature of scope changes, you may be staring at a considerably extended timeline.
You may have to go back to the drawing board
Changes in project scope often require design modifications. This includes revising architectural plans, engineering drawings and other technical documents. Revisiting and altering these documents can be time-consuming, further delaying the project.
It may mean reallocating resources
You may have to reallocate resources initially planned for other aspects of the project. This can lead to a shortage of resources in critical areas, causing delays as teams scramble to adapt to the new demands.
Establishing a robust change management process to mitigate scope creep and its impact on project delays is crucial. This process should include clear documentation, thorough impact assessments and a systematic approval procedure for any scope changes. It is also prudent to seek qualified guidance to understand your legal options when facing construction project delays due to scope creep.