BuildBinder Blog

Dealing With Variance in Your Construction Project's Baseline

It can be your construction project's scope, schedule or costs. Having a great variance from your original project baseline can quickly bring the whole project to a halt. Read more about corrective measures that can help you deal with variance in your construction project. 

Realistic Baseline

First things first. Setting your project's baseline is quite a challenge. After looking at the project's requirements and scope, you should be sure to establish a realistic baseline based on the money and resources you have available. Being over optimistic can badly hurt your project. Even if the construction project manager knows this, but she is pushed by her sponsors to show a shorter time span or lower costs, she should warn her sponsors of the consequences of doing so. 

Corrective measures

Finishing up before your deadlines or you were able to cut some costs? Then great news, you're adding slack to your project that can later be used to accommodate any time or money constraints. However, if your variance seems to be out of control, then you should stop, regroup and take corrective measures. Some corrective measures may be the following:

  • Analyze the tasks that have made your project lose its way. If they have a common denominator, remove said factor.
  • Difficult interpersonal relationships that make it hard for team work to be effective. Try resolving the situation or reallocate resources.
  • Re-assess the remainder of the project. If you need more time, resources or money, talk to your sponsors about possible scenarios. 
  • Over time from existing resources.

Hitting the "Stop" button

The very last step you should use is to hit the "stop" button on your construction management project. Only extreme situations should push you to the limit. However, sometimes this is the only thing you can do if continuing means to incur in more costs when there is no budget left, or other resources have been exhausted. Avoid the "sunk costs fallacy", the feeling people get from thinking that if they have invested time, money and effort, they ought to keep going. However, sometimes that can be worse than stopping altogether. 

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