Beacon News

Early Detection of Construction Project Troubles: Warning Signs Beacon Looks for When Evaluating Projects

Beacon Consulting Group provides a wide variety of pre-construction consulting services, including Bid Reviews and Document & Cost Review (DCR) services. Beacon's team can help clients to determine if a project plan is sound or if there are any "early warning signs" that a project may be headed for trouble because of an insufficient budget, lack of a clear plan, or a wide variety of other factors. Beacon always looks for such early warning signs when providing bid reviews or project monitoring services to Surety clients. Bid reviews can be particularly important when the winning bidder selected for a construction project comes in with a bid price that is substantially lower than the next lowest bidder.

Examples of “warning signs” that Beacon looks for when conducting an evaluation (or when monitoring a project):

  • GC’s Initial project schedule is lacking in detail
  • Schedule updates are not provided in a regular, timely manner
  • Missing or incomplete project documentation
  • Lack of a good project management system (or "under-use" of project management system)
  • Clear lack of organization (e.g. When specific project documents are requested, the most recent versions of the documents are not received)
  • One or more of the major subcontractors have provided extremely low-cost bids
  • One or more of the subcontractors is not starting their work on schedule for a variety of reasons
  • Insufficient project staff (lack of support staff, such as experienced project engineers, etc.

What Beacon looks for related to well-managed projects (examples of types of documents, systems, and signs that project is going smoothly):

  • Detailed project plan available, with clear weekly or monthly milestones and well-planned schedules for all subcontractors
  • Project documentation / project plan is clearly well organized, with quick response when documents requested
  • Good project management system in place (e.g. see this recent Beacon News article)
  • All of the following documents are readily available when requested: Project contracts (including primary & subcontractor agreements), project scope & specification documents, baseline schedule & schedule updates, submittals, project drawings, payment applications, change order logs, field & daily reports, RFIs, etc)
  • GC’s project team has regularly scheduled project meetings with clear communications with managers at all subcontractors involved

Please contact Beacon if you have a feeling that a construction project you are involved with is heading for trouble! Our team has the experience and expertise to dig into the facts, review plans (and the site), evaluate all project documentation and get to the root source of possible problems.