How asset management can help avoid scope creep

Scope creep in construction

Scope creep is the tendency of a project to grow in scale and complexity due to unexpected reasons. There is a common misconception that scope creep tends to cover only the direct changes made to a project - whether that is because of the client’s change of mind or because of a costly design error.

However, scope creep can also refer to any uncontrolled indirect challenges that would have an impact on the successful completion of the project, such as unexpected downtime due to equipment failure or non-compliance, increase in the schedule of accommodation required or the duration of the project.

Scope creep is one of the biggest challenges within the construction sector and recent industry statistics, looking into the success rate of construction projects, reveal worrying results:

  • Only 64% of construction projects meet their goals
  • Organisation lose £77 million for every £70 billion investment they make
  • The average cost overrun is 59%
  • The average time overrun is 74%

We look at the causes of scope creep within the construction sector and give practical examples on how adequate asset management can help you minimise the indirect impact that last minute problems could have on your ability to deliver projects on time and on budget.

What causes scope creep in construction?

Changes to the scope of projects - whether official or unofficial, documented or undocumented - are more than regular occurrence within the construction sector. The reasons are countless, but the damage to construction firms could be exponential: increased liability, decreased profitability and damaged reputations standing at the forefront.  

While the causes of scope creep could be numerous, we put together a list of the four most commonly found challenges by our customers:

Lack of ability to meet goals

The two main goals that every project needs to achieve to be deemed successful are being delivered on time and within budget. However, this is rarely the case and construction companies across the world often tend to fall in the trap of going beyond the initially established project plan. 

While unexpected project changes will certainly set you back, any other internal hiccups can be equally destructive towards your smooth operations. Lack of proper communication between your teams and costly administrative errors can ruin a project as easily as a last-minute scope change.

When combined with technology, asset management can provide your administrators with a single platform giving them an easy way to communicate with each part of the organisation and have full visibility and flexibility to keep operations and logistics running smoothly.

Loss of money

Losing money and going over budget wouldn’t be an unfamiliar issue for most professionals within the construction sector. The reasons are limitless and often it’s the hidden costs that slowly add up until they spiral out of control.

Having an adequate asset management solution in place can help you ensure that all your equipment and tools are logged and accounted for. ON!Track gives you complete clarity into what equipment you have, where it is, who is using it, and when it needs maintenance.

This will decrease the level of theft on your site, minimise downtime spent looking for a specific tool and will allow you and your staff to meet compliance regulations by tracking certificates and maintenance dates. As a result, you will not overspend on already existing assets that are not being utilised nor you will ever be out of resource.

High project cost and time overruns

Stolen equipment, time wasted looking for assets that might have gone lost or missing, lacking visibility of inspection, maintenance schedules and staff certification due dates can all add up to and contribute to high project costs and time overruns.

Health and safety is one of the biggest challenges for the construction sector and while it’s often overlooked on construction sites, it can be the contributor to major overspend due to failed equipment, unexpected downtime, or non-compliance penalties and legal action taken against you.

Asset management software can help fight both overtime and over budget tasks through in-depth data management and actionable insights. You can analyse reports on asset utilisation and maintenance, keep track of work orders, as well as maintenance and inspection regimes, ensuring that your equipment is always up to date with regulatory requirements, safe to use and in operation.

Effective communication streamlines workflows and makes work a lot more efficient on a construction site. With an asset management system, you’ll be able to minimise the impact that lost or stolen equipment and administrative errors have on your projects, and will be able to both reduce costs and proactively manage projects, always delivering them on time.