Construction is one of the most complicated projects that can be undertaken, and is unique in the fact that almost all construction projects become more complex as time goes on, not less as might be imagined as a structure takes shape and the “punch list” of tasks needing attention gets shorter and shorter. But as construction proceeds, it almost invariably encounters unexpected variables which in turn cause change orders – and these changes have a “domino effect” on other aspects of the project, increasing the complexity steadily.
Claims against construction projects thus rise exponentially as the project proceeds, and effective construction claims management is the only viable strategy to pursue to avoid not only incredible expense, but also potential delays as claims are muddled through. An effective construction claims management system requires:
- A nimble and effective change tracking system that identifies changes as they are implemented and begins the process of preparing for them and disseminating information about them.
- A prompt system of alerting affected players of the changes, including their potential impact on schedules, budgets and other aspects of the project.
- A designated negotiation process for claims that has an empowered delegate who can effectively work with claimants to resolve the issues quickly without having to delay as proceedings are conveyed back and forth to decision-makers.
Active construction claims management can often see claims avoided altogether through effective communication or at least see claims resolved quickly without significant delays or added costs due to those delays. As a result, even the smallest construction projects must consider implementing a claims management system from the very beginning in order to save everyone money, time and stress as the complexity of the project invariably rises with time. Unavoidable in the modern age, construction claims management is quickly becoming a standard.