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Having clarity on what was (actually) agreed

03 December, 2023

Construction projects can be pretty messy - both literally and metaphorically speaking - and project managers are often struggling to stay on top of everything taking place a construction site.

Often, a project manager manages multiple construction sites simultaneously, each with its own building crew and with its own logistical challenges and priorities.

During normal circumstances, specialist craftsmen follow the project plan they are given meticulously. However, there are situations when there is a need to deviate from the plan. These deviations may be the result of unexpected circumstances, but it’s equally common that the reason for these deviations is the customer.


Customer requests, opening Pandora's Box

Change requests by the customer is a common occurrence on a construction site. These change requests can vary from minor changes, such as changing the planned material, to changing the placement of fittings, electrical appliances or general building design changes.

At first glance, these changes may seem trivial. However, the one thing that is making these change requests challenging, is that they are sometimes only agreed upon verbally between the customer and the specialist craftsman (and not the project manager). Herein lies a major challenge.


Understanding the cost implications

The customer is rarely an expert in construction related topics and is unlikely to fully appreciate the scope and consequences of their request. The outcome of these types of change requests is often an increase in cost, project delays and a difference in understanding of what was actually agreed. This can have a negative knock-on effect on the entire construction project.

Unless these change requests are documented, and explicitly(!) agreed upon, the customer is often not willing to cover any additional cost that these changes may result in. Understandably, this is a common source for conflict and customer dissatisfaction.



Relax, there is a solution

Fortunately, this can easily be fixed. Using Buildbite’s chat and approval workflow capabilities, builders and customers alike can discuss specific tasks, ask questions and share information such as photos and videos related to the change request at hand.

Requests by the customer can be converted into new tasks - including time and cost estimates. that the customer will need to approve prior to work starting.

The Project Manager has the additional ability to use the built-in strong authentication feature, leaving no room for misinterpretations between the project manager and the customer.

Start your free trial with Buildbite today.