How to Smoothly Resume Delayed Construction Projects

How to Smoothly Resume Delayed Construction Projects

O'Neal's James Guffey recently authored "How to Move Forward on Delayed Projects" in Construction Executive Magazine.

It would be nice if every construction project not only got off to an orderly start, but also proceeded in a steady fashion all the way through to completion. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When it comes to manufacturing facilities or other system-intensive building projects, circumstances can change—and change quickly—because the business case for capital expenditures can shift drastically in a short amount of time. It’s not uncommon for work in progress to come to a complete stop.

In the past decade, the U.S. economy has experienced severe boom/bust cycles in housing and building products, automotive, oil and other commodities. Fundamental changes, such as cheap natural gas from hydraulic fracturing, economical and incentivized solar power, stationary electrical energy storage, and environmental awareness, have created opportunities for manufacturers to seize developing marketing segments.

The initial enthusiasm for opportunity may drive a business case for a major investment with an aggressive target for hitting the “window of opportunity” in the marketplace. However, even when an opportunity is compelling, the upstream or downstream channels usually need time to develop, and the result can be a delayed project. Generally, this delay will come in the planning or engineering execution phases of the project, because after this phase has passed, the sunk costs would typically propel a project to completion.

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