Project Management

Dealing With Delays in EPC Projects

Mujahid is a mechanical engineer with more than 16 years of experience in project planning and control in handling multi-million dollar projects.

Being part of the project management community, most of us have a chance to manage engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects either as contractors, clients or as part of a consultant’s team.

Regardless of your role, you may have noticed that most EPC projects experience delays with respect to the contractual project completion date. Project delays almost feel inevitable. However, they can be avoided if we understand and identify their causes before the start of the project—and try to mitigate the gaps during the project lifecycle.

An effective PM manages all aspects of an EPC project as it develops in order to identify and mitigate the causes of delays. When the project manager knows that there are problems, he or she must understand what the causes of these problems are while bringing the project back on track. When project performance information shows deviations from your baseline, you must first find creative ways to reduce or eliminate the variance.

Then, explore the options for bringing changes to commitments in the baseline. After approval, revise the baseline accordingly. As a result of these changes, there will be extensions of time (EOT) required that will further impact project budget and cost overrun depending on who caused the delay (e.g. contractor or client).

There are several causes for EPC project delays, and every delayed…

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"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

- Winston Churchill