True Impact of Late Deliverables at the Construction Site

RT-300 Topic Summary
RT 300


Late deliverables to the site continue to be a major impediment to project success. Project teams tend to become reactive when dealing with late deliverable events. In order to understand the far-reaching impacts of late deliverables at the construction site, this research team investigated how various types of late deliverables affect the five project pillars: cost, schedule, quality, safety, and organizational capacity. RT-300 was specifically charged with identifying the most common types of late deliverables and their full range of impacts on projects. The research team developed two main research thrusts: 1) understand and document the full range of potential late deliverables and the impacts and risks asociated with them, and 2) examine how the construction industry currently perceives and manages late deliverables.

The primary benefit of this research is the increased awareness it can provide of the full range of potential impacts and risk arising from the late deliverables. With this deeper understanding, project teams can deploy the suggested prevention techniques to improve project delivery, productivity, and predictability, as well as enhanced safety, quality, and organizational and individual achievement.

The best solution is avoiding late deliverables. In IR300-2 and RS300-1, this team has provided an outline for both recognizing the potential for and actively preventing late deliverables.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Categories  

The team found that every significant late deliverable it identified would fit into one of 10 categories which benefited further analysis and tool development. Furthermore, RT-300 found that the impacts of late deliverables were even more numerous and diverse than the deliverables themselves. The team identified 24 project impact categories. (RS300-1, p. 13)
Reference: (RS300-1)

2 : Project Pillars Affected by Late Deliverables

Of the five project pillars, cost, schedule, and organizational capacity are those most affected by late deliverables. The latter makes it clear the importance that industry professionals recognize the ways late deliverables affect individuals and groups. (RS300-1, p. 16)

Although the data may suggest that safety outcomes of a project may not be as affected by a late deliverable, additional resources must be added to maintain an acceptable level of performance and meet the required objectives. The same can be said for the quality pillar. 

Reference: (RS300-1)

3 : Severity vs. Commonality of Late Deliverables

RT-300 sees a major cause of concern for the construction industry. That is, the results show that industry professionals perceive the most common late deliverables as the most severe. Recognizing this trend, understanding the ripple effects late deliverables have on a project, and identifying the potential impacts before they occur could help make the more severe impacts occur much less frequently. (RS300-1, p. 21)

Reference: (RS300-1)

4 : Improvements through Focus on Deliverables

Greater awareness of the impact of late deliverables will foster greater focus on deliverables, thus ensuring the following improvements:

  • All functions understanding the importance their on-schedue performance has on project success
  • Regular monitoring of delivery dates
  • Early mitigation actions
  • Improved alignment between owners, contractors, project team members, and project sponsors
(RS300-1, p. 23)
Reference: (RS300-1)

5 : Implementation Tool #1

IR300-2, Late Deliverable Risk Catalog (LDRC)

Volume I helps project practitioners apply the Late Deliverable Risk Catalog (LDRC), a Microsoft Access database, and understand the research that populated it with late deliverables and their impacts. Also it presents a set of lessons learned about late deliverables, along with several recommendations for preventing the most common types of late deliverables, and suggestions for incorporating the LDRC into company processes. Finally, Volume I summarizes the expected benefits associated with a greater understanding of the true impacts of late deliverables to the construction site.

Volume II presents nine case studies of late deliverables on jobsites. It covers instances of late deliverables on a range of project types and sizes. For each case study, Volume II provides an executive summary, company profile, project overview, description of late deliverable and its impact, and lessons learned.

The Microsoft Access relational database that supports the LDRC contains all the categories, definitions, examples, and case studies compiled by the team, along with the hundreds of individual late deliverable impact descriptions it developed. These components are inter-related within the database, and the LDRC interface provides a means for navigating, filtering, and displaying the most useful knowledge on one page.

Reference: (IR300-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Reduced/improved risk

Research Publications

The True Impacts of Late Deliverables at the Construction Site - RR300-11

Publication Date: 02/2016 Type: Research Report Pages: 160 Status: Reference

Late Deliverable Risk Catalog, Version 2.0 - IR300-2

Publication Date: 12/2015 Type: Implementation Resource Pages: 80 Status: Tool

The True Impacts of Late Deliverables at the Construction Site - RS300-1

Publication Date: 09/2014 Type: Research Summary Pages: 25 Status: Supporting Product

Presentations from CII Events

Session - The True Impacts of Late Deliverables to Construction

Publication Date: 03/2015 Presenter: Number of Slides: 11 Event Code: PIW315

Session - The True Impacts of Late Deliverables

Publication Date: 03/2015 Presenter: Number of Slides: 48 Event Code: PIW315

Plenary Session - The True Impacts of Late Deliverables to Construction

Publication Date: 08/2014 Presenter: Number of Slides: 19 Event Code: AC14

Implementation Session - The True Impacts of Late Deliverables to Construction

Publication Date: 08/2014 Presenter: Number of Slides: 45 Event Code: AC14