Ask the Expert is a CCi article series where our consultants provide insight into their industry expertise.
Yazeed Abdelhadi is a Chartered Professional Engineer with over 15 years of experience in civil engineering, cost engineering, project management, and leadership and management.
After spending the first 10 years of his career working throughout the Middle East, Yazeed is now a consultant and an independent expert witness on claims, delay analysis, project controls, and planning and scheduling matters based in Melbourne, Australia.
Why is having an in-depth understanding of multiple delay analysis methods so important?
Often, delay analysis disputes arises from difference in the way the delay analysis methods are applied rather than the selection of the right method.
The delay analyst is also usually required to demonstrate the reasons for selecting a certain method over the others. Therefore, having the in-depth knowledge would ensure adequate selection, justification, and application of the method.
What is one piece of advice you consistently find yourself telling clients?
Delay analysis is a dynamic process which starts on day 1 of the project. My constant advice to clients is that they should invest in performing delay analysis exercises as part of their regular progress reporting procedures (e.g. monthly progress reports) and maintain well organised set of substantial records for all potential delay events.
The key word here is “potential” not only the “critical” delay events as there is no certainty that what a project party thought was on the critical path at a certain time, was truly critical.
What lessons have been learned from Covid-19 delay claims?
The direct Covid-19 impacts in terms of shutdown periods and late deliveries are generally easy to demonstrate.
The hard part is demonstrating the effect of the lack of resources, reduced productivities due to social distancing, and lost time due to additional Covid-19 measures.In my experience, it is all about having adequate records to back up the case.
How can the construction and engineering industries reduce delay on projects?
Based on my experience of the common delay events in construction projects, I think it is really about ensuring the assumptions made are realistic in terms of:
- Design completeness and adequacy
- Scope including any design obligations
- Labour productivities
- Procurement periods
- Access to works
- Underground conditions (rocks, sediments, contamination etc)
- Weather events
- Provisional sums
- Extent of variations