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When planning for a project, one of the things you need to focus on is the timeframe within which it should be executed and completed. However, very few projects are completed on time. Most of them experience delays, which end up affecting the set timeline. Delays can be frustrating for the people hired to implement the project, as well as for the owner, more so because, they almost always lead to financial losses. Simply put, a project that runs past the proposed timeline will cost more money than was budgeted.

Types of Delays

Different factors cause schedule delays. These factors can be grouped to make them easier to identify and categorize. There are the excusable and non-excusable delays. Excusable delays are those that are unforeseeable and are not caused by any mistake made by the parties involved. Non-excusable delays, on the other hand, are those caused by errors made by the hired contractors. The second grouping is compensable and non-compensable delays. If a delay is compensable, it means that the person who is affected by the delay is owed money. For non-compensable delays, the vice versa applies.

Delay Analysis Methods

Several methods are used to analyze delays, and some will only be relevant to specific fields for example construction. The methods that cut across the board are; as planned VS as built analysis, Time impact analysis, impacted as –planned, as built but for.

As Planned VS as Built Analysis

Here an expert will be called in to compare the plans with what happened. It the most basic method used and is considered a retrospective and observatory analysis. It is straightforward and does not require the assessing of many details. However, this method is not regarded as suitable for studying concurrent delays. Additionally, it does not affect the current state.

As Built but for Analysis

This method is also referred to as the collapse as built analysis and is also a retrospective approach. Here, the expert will focus on the facts and make a reconstruction of the as-built phase. It is considered complex, but it is one of the preferred methods used for conflict resolution between parties. Additionally, it can be applied when dealing with concurrent delays.

Time Impact Analysis

This method is considered prospective but can also be used in retrospect. It focuses on facts and relies heavily on details from the as-built angle of the project. Due to the complexity of this process, it is typically done in stages and only by experts. However, the results show the cause of the delay and its effect, thereby making it another process highly preferred by forensic experts.

Impacted as Planned

This method of analysis is considered simple, prospective, but also highly theoretical. The analyst will take a baseline and then put in the various delays that may occur to show how they affect the set time frame. However, while the scope of work is analyzed this process does not look at the actual progress. This makes it easy to overlook concurrent delays. It is not considered a suitable method if the project in question was complicated, or if the findings are needed for conflict resolution.

Application of Delay Analysis Methods

Delay analysis involves a lot of theoretical studies. However, the processes used and the findings generated can be applied in real life. One of the ways these processes are applied is for dispute resolution. It was earlier stated that delays cause financial losses. In most cases, the party losing money will want some form of compensation. To resolve the arising disputes the analysis methods will need to be used to see which party was at fault and therefore who should receive compensation. Additionally, the results generated by these methods can be used by contractors and project planners to prevent the occurrence of some of these delays in future.

Within a dynamic and complex work environment, some delays are inevitable, but most of them can be avoided. The use of even the simplest of the delay analysis techniques can allow you to plan better, thereby reducing the possibility of your project timeline and being derailed, and your budget subsequently inflated.

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