24 March 2019
Read Time: 4 minutes

Going the distance in construction

train hardWithin any construction project there will be foreseeable and unforeseeable obstacles that need to be addressed and overcome.

Strategy plays a vital role in a construction project, and, in the instances when your strategy is challenged, you need to be able to think quickly and roll with the punches. Construction projects can sometimes be like a boxing match, allow me to explain….

Train Hard Fight Easy

When a boxer steps into the ring, the period of training beforehand can make all the difference to the end result, they will have worked on their fundamental skills and also perform different drills so that when a particular situation arises during a bout, they react automatically.

Equally, in a construction project, much of a project’s success rests upon the planning that is implemented at pre-commencement stage. You should carefully plan how the project will be run and consider any and all eventualities that may arise so you can be prepared to react and offer a solution.

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson once said “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.

Whilst it is important to have a plan going into a project, there will be occasions where your plan is not practical, possible or requires you to adapt to a situation. This is where your own fundamental skills come in.

Slipping the Jab

By undertaking a constraints analysis prior to the works commencing, you are able to see the small problems that could come at you and avoid them. This involves reviewing your estimate item by item and looking at what will be required to perform each task.

You should consider if

  • you have the relevant trades lined up for each stage of the project,
  • if there are any long lead in times for products that may need to be taken in to account, or
  • if your Client is yet to make a decision on an item, which you may need them to make before a certain time to ensure that there is not an impact to your programme of works.

You can then review this document throughout the project to make sure it flows smoothly and alter the document to take into account any additional measures required in the event of any an unforeseeable event or your Client would like to change the scope at all.


If something arises that may affect your programme, it is important not to spend too much time considering the different solutions as this will stall the project. Look at the options available to you and the possible outcomes of each but do this quickly and keep moving.

Your corner

A boxer knows that the team in their corner are there to offer support and bring a wealth of experience from lessons learned from previous fights.

Your corner is exactly the same.

It may be that you encounter something on a project that you have not experienced before but your team members may have and will be able to offer the best advise in this situation or a different perspective to find a way forward.


Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee

If faced with a hurdle on a particular element of your project that cannot be quickly resolved, there may be other elements of the project that you are able to get done whilst a solution is found, this is known as “float”. This will assist in keeping parts of the projects moving by bringing the time allocated forward, which can then be used to work on your decided course of action for the initial hurdle.

The Final Round

Coming to the end of your project, the final push, it is important that you dig deep and do not lose momentum. If you have prepared correctly and all has gone to plan or if you have adapted well to unforeseen circumstances by using your fundamental skills, then all that should be left to do is your final quality checks to ensure that installed systems are operating correctly, all finishes are to a high quality and you have all the necessary certificates in place for final sign off.

By Implementing a game plan at the start and adjusting to challenges means the difference of your clients handing you the championship belt or throwing in the towel.

arisa-chattasa-604772-unsplashA well thought out and managed project, as Bruce Lee said, really is “the art of fighting, without fighting.”

Prepare yourself well for your next project by reading how to reduce risks on a project.  A large part of the success in a construction project is not only preparation but the selection of a good builder or building contractor in London or any other part of the country.  Get the right builder in your corner and you have a good chance of winning!

Stephen Hunt

Written by Stephen Hunt

Quantity Surveyor for Kisiel Group, responsible for the tender process to a variety of clients and companies undertaking construction projects. He brings valuable experience and knowledge from other building sectors, enabling him to provide sound advice on a broad spectrum of construction topics to those enquiring about Kisiel services.

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