Can large multi-discipline industrial type construction projects, of 2-3 years duration, be completed on schedule, or are overruns inevitable in most cases? Yes, they can indeed. 30 years ago I was involved in the construction of an oil refinery expansion project that was completed in month 29 of a 30 month schedule, without the aid of sophisticated computer software. The secrets of our success were (1) organizational discipline (2) the detailed monitoring and calculating of progress and (3) continuous analyses of man-hour trends and up-dating of manpower plans. We never lost sight of the fact that no matter what might cause a construction delay, be it late deliveries or bad weather, the manpower plan has to be revised upwards to compensate.
With today’s electronic tools at their disposal and supervisors who are increasingly computer literate, together with acceptance by all that good manpower planning is the key to success, construction managers need not become victims of the eternal ‘blame game’ that comes with late completions.