How do you avoid claims for delay?

Many projects face events that prevent the timely delivery of a project and then face delay claims. How do you prevent or mitigate delay claims? And if it does happen, what steps do you take?

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Vijverberg is often called in as a “planning expert” at the completion of the project to identify what caused the delay. The lack of recorded information and knowledge of those involved (who are often already working on a new project) makes it more difficult to reconstruct exactly what happened.

The discussion between parties afterwards often covers whether an event actually took place, when exactly it did, whether the consequences are correct and whether the impact was applicable to the claimed activities. These are all points that are better discussed during execution, especially since the client and contractor can then still make choices to avoid or limit delays. Vijverberg therefore works with an ‘event register’.

Event Register

The occurrence of events during construction projects that may affect project execution is something that every project faces. During the construction meeting, the occurrence of an event (with a potential impact on time) might be mentioned, but people most commonly wait until there turns out to be an actual impact. This in itself is not surprising as some of these events have no, or very little, impact afterwards.

‘Recording events in a register is very valuable.’

Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to start recording events as soon as an event occurs. To do this properly, Vijverberg developed an “event register”. This event register records:

  1. when the event first occurred,
  2. on which activities the event had an impact,
  3. which contractual articles apply,
  4. what impact the event has on costs,
  5. when, with whom, and in what form correspondence took place regarding the event,
  6. when the event was resolved.
    1. Include events in the planning

      Besides keeping events in the event register, events are also included in the project planning. By making the events part of the project planning, each progress report indicates which events are taking place and which activities influence these events. This makes clear to the entire project organisation (internal and external) what is going on in the project and what the impact is up to that point. This increases the pressure to address the events and limit their impact.

      Use of event register prevents claims for delay

      Using an event register prevents discussions afterwards and reduces the likelihood of lengthy delay claims. And if a delay claim does arise, the necessary information is available, collated in one register.

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