Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Factors Causing Delay In Construction Projects: A Case Study Of Commercial Construction Project In Ho Chi Minh City

When Vietnam got the WTO membership in July, 2006, it has gained greater opportunities than ever before for investment from international company and global integration, FDI has continued to rise since 1997 and it increased sharply in 2008. The development of economic always brings about the development of construction industry. In fact, the rate of construction project is increasing quickly in recent years. So, how to manage them effectively and efficiently is not only the owner’s essential requirement but also the responsibility of construction industry, this demands special knowledge and experience from project managers. However, according to recent survey, a numbers of commercial building which had the delay problems are very significant.

In commercial construction building, factors of time and quality are prioritized. Investors would have significant financial damage if their project had problems on quality and delays. The time, cost, quality and scopes of work are core factors contributing to a project success. Managing well these factors is project manager’s top priority task. There are many documents and studies of project management which have been conducted, so project managers have a lot of chances to access huge knowledge and experiences and apply them to their job. However, depending on the type of construction works, the actual circumstances and the knowledge and experiences are utilized differently. Mr. Phan Hong Hoan made a study which main purposes were to: (1) develop framework to investigate delay problems affecting on schedule in commercial building construction; (2) investigate the delay problems so that the critical delay problems can be identified; (3) propose solutions to prevent the critical delay problems from occurring during construction execution stage.


Delay problem is the thorny question in construction industry not only in Viet Nam but also all over the world. The cause of delay in construction stage arises from countless factors. The problem cannot be solved thoroughly, if these factors are not identified and restricted or eliminated. However, the restriction of time and finance doesn’t allow project manager to solve all influencing factors, so it is necessary to identify the critical factors.

This study developed the framework which is very practical to find out the critical factors causing the serious delay problems in construction building stage. The impact level of these factors on construction duration can be different from this project to another project, but the method to evaluate them is similar. So this approach can be applied to almost construction building.

Case study is analyzed to illustrate the systematic method to investigate and identify the delay problems and their causes in SECC, a project concerned with international contractors, consultant.

The investigation result of delay problems in SECC showed that there were many factors leading to the delay of the SECC. The severities of these elements are arranged in order of priority. Below is the table of top critical factors:

Basically, the results of the investigation showed that most fundamental source of the top critical factors was derived from the following basic elements:

- The Government’s legal regulation in importing has been inefficient and not clear.

- PM in SECC has shortcomings and weaknesses especially in risk evaluation or project planning and human management.

- Contractor’s construction organization is not really efficient and effective.

- The shortage of engineers and workers having experience and highly professional, is contractors’ inextricable questions, especially the contractors for the project which has scale and high technology specification such as SECC.

- Legal regulation in construction industry is not really strict, so the collusion among parties likely to be existent, it makes contractor collection process unfair. So some contractors having financial competence were chosen.

- Collaboration between investors and designers in the design phase plays an important role in reducing the design changes during construction.

Recommendation for project management improvement

Based on the conclusion above, human factors is one of the original delay problems. There are many potential solutions for fore-mentioned problems; however, the really effective solution depends significantly on specific situations of each construction building. The following texts relies on individual perception, these propositions need to be analyzed and studied deeper in another research or need to be verified before these assumptions become official statements.

- Build an ideology for project manager, engineers, architects etc so that they can recognize delay problems which will lead to large losses as well as the project completion on time. Simultaneously, top management should establish a fair reward and punishment policy which has to be strictly applied.

- Wage policy should meet the minimum standard of living. This will reduce the pressure of economic and help managers focus on their work fully and integrally.

- It is necessary to build up the relationship between benefits from the project
completed on schedule and the benefits of project manager and participants. This will be a motivation for them to have positive outlook to work actively.

- Each individual responsibilities and rights must be clearly defined; this will limit the avoidance of responsibility, the dodge of work and bureaucracy to a minimum.

- The working conditions should be improved gradually aiming at building proper working atmosphere; this will help work done more effectively.

- The human resource training towards professionalism in the management and professional ethic improvement need to be set out and prioritized.

- The procedures of legal regulation in imports and some other areas have remained very limited and inadequate. To be the member of WTO is a challenge which forces Viet Nam to improve this legal procedure. This legal process not only in import-export but also in the other fields must be clear and transparent. This will help project planners to have the basis to plan for their projects accurately. If this procedure is not improved soon, Viet Nam will be left behind, compared to other countries in the region and we, ourselves, will be faced with great damages.

- Consultant’s managerial skill is weak; it is not be able to satisfy the size and the demand of project. It is not only necessary to promote professionalism in the work of quantity estimates and design, but also very strict in choosing the consultant, designer and the basic of collecting consultant must rely on their capacity. Simultaneously, the responsibility must be assigned to definite individual.

- Project management has been a new concept in construction section in Viet Nam. So almost project managers were not professionally educated, instead engineers or architects who used to work many years in construction field are usually assigned as a project manager.

- The project management training should be paid more attention in the future. It should be the main goal in Construction University. It is not only reduces delay problem but also enhances the success probability of construction project. Not only project manager must be educated professionally, but also their capacity has to comply with the assigned duty.

- The collusion between supervisor, stakeholder and contractor can be existent. This intricate question not only happens in Viet Nam but also in developing countries. To restrict this problem to a minimum, the wage policy should satisfy actual living standard, and award and punish policy should be impartial.

His thesis abstract is copied and posted.


In construction industry, a project is known to be successful when it meets three fundamental criteria such as finishing on time within the budget, the prescribed quality requirements such as satisfying customer’s demand and adapt safety in operation stage. Unfortunately, many commercial construction projects in Ho Chi Minh City have problems of project management leading to their delay. Investigating these problems has become project manager’s indispensable demand.

In general, the problems involved with project delays are solvable. In making effort to solve these problems, the critical factors influencing negatively on construction duration need to be discovered. Hence, it is very important to establish a systematical approach that will be used as a tool for the investigation.

This report will assess and analyze key factors causing the delay problems in construction project in Ho Chi Minh city. The qualitative method, basically is based on the principle of assessing the risk level of factors impacting negatively on the progress of the project, and it is conducted to fulfill the objective of the study. Case study is brought out to discus about delay problems in the Exhibition and convention Center Project (SECC).

Finally, some solutions dealing with project delay problems in construction executing stages are proposed.


Nathaniel @ project manager training said...

Impressive post. You made us realize that delaying problem will greatly affect the project, causing it to be a failure.

Thanks a lot for sharing this very significant information. Good job!

Commercial Construction Columbus Ohio said...

Well all these delay factors are absolutely right, but if you choose the right contractor he'll must help you in resolving all these problems quickly!

infinitrac.com said...

The infinitrac® Platform is the latest evolution in proven and affordable custom document and project management solutions. We specialize in tailoring our software to mold around your processes and normalizing your data to provide reliable revision control, secure traceability, establish meaningful metrics, improve quality, streamline workflow, and reduce risk. This leads to better decision-making power and greater success!

Commercial Building Construction Columbus said...

Commercial construction is not an easy task; it involves visualizing a concept and translating into reality.

Anonymous said...

Make a plan..If u have plan everything must be in place!

Errol Wall said...

Nice post about Commercial Construction which I am finding since long time .I have found same helpful info from commercial builders gold coast blog that's really nice .Please keep it up .

Geoff Symons said...

thanks for sharing this post. I really like your post. Mintconstruct Pty Ltd is also a best construction company in Gold Coast.

Alfaj Ripon said...

In the landscape industry, green was simply what we called our industry. Twenty years later, green is the one of the hottest growing trends in the world.
see more details : sewer tie in Massachusetts

Anastasios said...

Thanks for the very useful post.Construction is a quite challenging field and many problems may arise during the conduction of a project. But there are also cures many times. We have created as a matter of fact an article about cures and causes for stalled construction projects. You can have a look here


Pradeep Singh said...

Nice and more reachable blog. Kindly update about some Modular Kitchen Designs In Chennai & Modular Kitchen in Chennai Company

Pabitha Pabi said...

This is great one to see your blog last time I see same design to my friend constraction building in chennai. Majorly used Aluminium scaffolding equipment used for glass room design. Really very gud looking.