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Problems and Challenges In Construction Project Management

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

a project manager holds his head in his hands as he thinks about problems with his construction project

What Are The Key Challenges In Construction Project Management?

While every construction project is unique in terms of its scope, scale and deliverables, many projects share a number of key challenges and problems. In this article we explore the key challenges faced by construction project managers.

Construction project management is fraught with challenges and problems by its very nature. Every day, project managers are responsible for anticipating, preventing, and overcoming challenges to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget and to the agreed quality.

As challenges are commonplace across all building projects, the success of each project is often defined by the way in which construction project managers respond.

Poorly Defined Objectives

Poorly defined objectives are a significant challenge for many project managers. If a project starts with unclear objectives, it can be set to fail from the start.

Projects with well defined objectives are significantly more likely to result in a successful outcome for all project stakeholders, including the end client.

Time Management

Time has always been of the essence in construction projects. However, despite this, time management remains a critical challenge and one that causes far reaching implications in multiple areas of a project.

A significant number of stakeholders identify time constraints as a primary cause of defective designs, high rates of accidents and loss in revenue. Due to the serious nature of these implications, time management is a focus area for improvement for many projects.

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations are often the initial cause of a multitude of construction project management challenges, including time and budgetary constraints.

Stakeholders may impose unrealistic deadlines and unreasonable requests in the hope that the project team will respond to the challenge and deliver the desired outcomes. However, in most cases they result in lower morale and reduced productivity.

sometimes stakeholders can ask for the impossible. The project manager’s job is manage expectations

How Can A Lack Of Structure Be Addressed In A Project?

Addressing a lack of structure in a project requires strong leadership and project management with both areas working closely together. Adopting proven project management methodologies such as PRINCE2 can introduce much needed structure into a project.

What Does Effective Communication Look Like In A Construction Project?

Effective communication is vital to the successful completion of any construction project. Good communication in a construction project is clear, timely and proactively maintained between all the relevant parties for the issue in hand.

The impact of good communication on a project is clear and it is known to have a positive impact on teamwork while also improving project-wide collaboration.

On the other hand, poor communication has a notably negative impact on a construction project and results in misunderstandings, delays and issues further down the road. If these are unresolved, their impact and severity increase to the detriment of the project as a whole.

a telephone handset dangles by its wire. Nobody is listening.

For more information on how to manage a successful construction project, visit our resources and tips library or get in touch.

Or have a go at how to break a project!


Bart Ngoma

Assistant Project Manager

Bart has worked in the field of architecture for 2 years, with experience in working on multiple projects, ranging from student accommodation and mixed-use. Having studied his undergraduate at the University of Portsmouth, Bart is furthering his postgraduate studies with a Masters in Architecture at Kingston University.

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