Construction projects are rife with conflicts within or among the parties bound by the contract. Construction work has so many dimensions that the probability of problems is always high. So when the project is in its beginning and planning phase, the project owner needs to take some steps which can help reduce the chances of conflicts that seem inevitable to arise. But let’s first see what conflict avoidance means in general.
What is conflict avoidance?
It is a method of responding to an event where two or more parties have a point of contention. Avoidance may refer to delaying the matter that is causing conflict or dealing with the situation in such a way that the conflict no longer exists. In the construction industry, good management and though planning can help avoid conflicts to the maximum extent.
This article aims to introduce you to the steps you can take as a project owner in order to avoid conflicts during the construction process.
Five steps to reduce conflicts in construction projects
Conflicts are highly probable in construction projects if you do not manage and plan them adequately. When you ensure comprehensiveness in contractual terms and cater to the concerns of each party involved in the project, you may be able to avoid a plethora of conflicts during the construction process.
Key steps to follow for avoiding conflicts in construction projects are as follows:
1. Clear contract documentation
The contract of any project is the binding agreement, which is enforceable on all parties of the project. The terms and clauses of the project define all the details of the project in specific and concrete language. If the terms do not clearly define the what, why, when, and who related to the conflicts that may arise, the project manager can fall in trouble.
Avoid ambiguities by spending time on the specification and articulation of contractual terms with the help of construction experts so as to avoid the conflicts to the maximum extent.
2. Foster team spirit
Construction projects are not only complex because of the nature of the work, but also because of the parties they involve and the amount of time they take. When multiple parties are working together, and their work depends on each other, and you realize that the collaboration is required for an extended period of time, help them become a team.
You need to foster team spirit among the parties. With increased cooperation, conflicts will not arise as much because the parties will be able to understand the perspective of the other party before claiming their grievance.
3. Plan time and money related risks ahead
Time and money are two invaluable resources managing, which is an integral part of the construction project process. Because of the long tenures of construction projects, the circumstances change. Due to change in circumstances, the schedules face delays. Secondly, the material prices hike beyond the anticipated limits. Thus both these resources require proactive planning. When delays occur, and the cost escalates beyond the contractual terms, you need to seek the expertise of Quantum experts to mitigate the impacts. The experts will save your project from the impending conflict.
4. Pay attention to concerns of the constructor
Constructors involved in your project have their own concerns and grievances. Never ignore their problems. If these problems pile up, it may hurt the project progress in the longer run. Laborers may become less motivated to work, and the productivity may take a hit.
An objective and positive approach towards the concerns of the constructor is very crucial to the success of your construction project.
5. Keep records of all matters
Record keeping is often a forgotten practice when it comes to construction project management. But your project manager must keep a record of all affairs of your construction project. When there is a record of every activity and every purchase, the project manager can go back to the records and thus solve the issues with transparency.
What if the conflicts arise in your construction project?
Your first priority as a construction project owner should be to avoid the conflicts and go to length to ensure that. You can do so by Good client management and hiring an experienced project manager. The prudence of a project manager can be very helpful for your project. Then comes the role of clarity of contractual terms. No matter how well experienced the project manager is, if the terms do not support the manager, the matters may go south, and conflicts will arise.
Partnering and enabling alliances within the team by fostering team spirit and cooperation can help pay dividends in times of turmoil. Similarly, good design team management and objective flow of information can help ease the manager in avoidance of conflicts.
But when thorough planning and all of the good management tactics fail to help your project manager avoid conflicts, you need to seek the expertise of delay and quantum experts because you will need to resolve disputes resulting from the conflicts.
Choose only the most reputable experts when it comes down to it!