SWOT most important causes identified for delay of


Abstract: Delay in construction projects being a very common problem
that affects the construction industry and economical growth of the country has
various factors. Through past studies, one of the important identified factors
among them is delay due to improper construction equipment management. In the
current scenario machines compete with men and show a huge difference in the
progress of the work. But every technological development also has a negative
impact. Hence a SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat) Analysis is
conducted on trending of construction equipment through brainstorming sessions
from 25 experts of construction industries. The SWOT factors are prioritized
and most significant factor affecting construction industry and reasons of
construction delay due to construction equipment that affects the progress of
the work is identified. Possible recommendations for the identified reasons are
given and proposed for further research to solve those identified threats.

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Keywords: construction delay, construction
equipments, equipment maintenance, SWOT analysis


today’s highly competitive economic environment, the need for completing
construction projects within the stipulated cost, time frame, and expected
performance expectations is becoming increasingly important 17. Delivering project on-time or not has much to do with earning or
losing a profit and/or a return on investment for parties 22. The most
important causes identified for delay of construction projects were delay in
payment by the head office, frequent change of staffs, poor site management,
improper management by the engineers, delay in supply of material, equipment
related issues and lack of manpower 23. Although there have been many efforts
to increase the productivity of construction and infrastructure projects in
recent years, the industry is still suffering from low productivity growth. The
dynamics involved in most projects as they enter the construction phase, makes
it necessary to revise initial project plans and decisions, which may in turn
result in potential delays and rework 8.

Due to the technological advancements and in the need
for faster completion of works construction equipments are chosen instead of
manual labours. Though these equipments are chosen for its high capacity to
work on time and to obtain large productivity, there are times when these
trusted equipments bring failure to the construction projects. In order to get
profited by the use of advanced technologies, the project managers must ensure
the availability of the required equipment that can meet the deadline of the construction
project completion 10.

A SWOT i.e. Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat
analysis on trending of construction equipments explores both the positive as
well as the negative impact of the advanced technological development in the
construction industry.


To conduct SWOT survey through
brainstorming from construction industry experts on trending of construction

To prioritize the SWOT analysis factors
and identify the reasons for delay from the negative impacts caused due to
trending of construction equipment.

To identify the gap for future research
required to overcome delay issues.


Delay reasons due to trending of construction equipment
are identified through SWOT analysis by brainstorming from experts and
considered as future scope to proceed with the research. This further
development of research in this area will result in the development of the
construction industry to overcome delay related issues.

Literature Survey

The data to be collected is categorized as “best
practices” which includes procedures related to security, acceptance of
work and control of quality and “adverse information” which includes
conflicts with other participants in the investment process, accidents on
construction site or construction delays. It is more difficult to get the so
called “adverse information” since it requires confidentiality,
because they can greatly harm the image of the company 1.

Inaccurate estimation may result in delay and cost
overrun. In most cases delay factors are inter-related. Also inaccurate
schedule update will result in inaccurate forecast which may significantly
impact resource levelling and manpower estimate 4. Important delay factors
are resources, participants of the project and a group of unpredictable
factors. Delays are classified as justified and unjustified causes. Justified
causes are fault of investor and may be subject to compensation and justified
but not subject to compensation such as whether condition. Unjustified causes
are the fault of contractor 3. The top five delay causes for construction projects
were ‘shortage of adequate equipment,’ ‘poor communication among contracting
parties,’ ‘problems with subcontractors,’ ‘inadequate experience of the design
team’ and ‘frequent change orders by clients.’ 27. Examples of delay factors include corruption of government
officials, issues clearing imported material and equipment from customs, poor
labour productivity, security threats to construction sites, and theft of
equipment, owner cash flow problems, change orders, and unexpected adverse
weather conditions 19. The most influential factor for time is unsettled or
lack of project funding 18. While some of the delay causes are dependent on
national economic policies, others may be overcome by measures to be taken by
public agencies and contractors. 24

The delays themselves are
not always fixed in when they might have their effects and it is felt to be important
that this be recognized 25. Delays can be avoided or minimized when their
causes are clearly identified 12. Delay analysis methods which are already in
practice in construction industries are not appropriate 15. Hence a proper
delay analysis methodology is required to be framed to have a clear delay
liability allocation and disputes can be diminished 11. Delay results in disputes.
Better understanding methods to be developed to reduce disputes during delay
claims. 16

modern conditions of the construction companies operation in terms of the
modern crisis and competition, the construction works mechanization becomes
actual and it plays an important role in the production efficiency increase
7. Modern and advanced projects which uses heavy equipment must perform
equipment scheduling and productivity analyses by simulation methods and not
just by past record analyses or direct site observation reports in order to
reduce significant errors in estimation and avoid delay 9.
Heavy equipment refers hold an important role in
executing construction projects and production operations 26. The most common construction equipment related delay causes are: Shortage
in equipment/insufficient numbers; Lack of skilled operators for specialized
equipment; Equipment productivity (efficiency); 
Equipment failure (breakdown); Slow delivery (mobilization) of
equipment; Lack of high-technology mechanical equipment; Equipment allocation
problems; Tool availability; Improper equipment; Inadequate modern equipment
14. “Shortage of equipment” factor is the most important factor causing
delay in construction projects in Egypt at this category, with a Relative
Importance Index equals to 84.256% 13.

Due to
the increase in using equipment in various construction activities, planning
the maintenance of this equipment has become extremely important as this aids
meeting project deadlines 10. Machine maintenance in
such a way to enable just in time component replacement 6. It is also a common practice that maintenance does not
receive enough attention in the construction industry, especially in developing
countries. With poor maintenance, equipment breakdowns happen quite often. 20

SWOT Analysis through
brain storming   


Timely completion of work

Cost control

Better quality and output of work

Reduction in wastage of raw materials

Satisfy the demands of manual labour.

Material movement at faster mode.

Easy execution of bigger size works


Sudden breakdown of machines.

Limited workspace

Non-Availability of spare parts in local

Incompatible equipments within the

Expensive investment.

At times unsatisfactory finishing.

Equipment idleness in rainy season.

Subjected to wind load and lightening.


Demand for equipment manufacturing

Increased cost effective productivity

Innovative solutions to meet customer’s


Equipment maintenance constrains

Demand for well trained skilled

Massive accidents

Disappearance of Good craftsman

Collision due to overload

Prioritization of SWOT Analysis factors

In Table 1 and Table 2 the most
significant SWOT factor through advanced SWOT analysis method is identified. Highlighted
cells point to the most significant factors. Strengths and weaknesses are
evaluated on 3 categories: (a)
Importance: A
number from 0.01 (not important) to 1.0 (very important) should be assigned to
each strength and weakness. The sum of all weights should equal 1.0 (including
strengths and weaknesses). (b) Rating:
A score from 1 to 3 is given to each factor to indicate whether it is a major
(3) or a minor (1) strength or weakness. (c) Score:
Score is a result of importance multiplied by rating. It allows prioritizing
the strengths and weaknesses. Opportunities and threats are prioritized
slightly differently than strengths and weaknesses. Their evaluation includes: (a) Importance: It shows to what
extent the external factor might have an impact. Again, the numbers from 0.01
(no impact) to 1.0 (very high impact) should be assigned to each item. The sum
of all weights should equal 1.0 (including opportunities and threats). (b) Probability: Probability of occurrence is showing
how likely the opportunity or threat will have any impact. It should be rated
from 1 (low probability) to 3 (high probability). (c) Score: Importance
multiplied by probability will give a score by which you’ll be able to prioritize
opportunities and threats 21

Reasons for
construction delay due to construction equipment

From SWOT analysis and field survey, some of the
identified equipment related construction delays are due to:

Improper equipment allocation

Sudden equipment breakdowns

Improper equipment maintenance

Inadequate modern equipment

Low efficiency of equipment

Shortage of equipment

Slow mobilization of equipment

Demand in trained operators for
specialized equipments

Lack of advanced mechanical equipments

Non availability of spare parts in local


An overall survey and expert interview states that
improper maintenance is the key reason for all equipment related failures.
Hence an equipment team has to be employed which should track the functioning
of all the equipment and maintain record in its efficiency and an inspection to be
conducted during delay time i.e. the time when the equipment is in running
condition but with some defects to be rectified. Collision
control devices to be installed at place of multiple cranes at site. Awareness
to be created to get trained for heavy equipment operator jobs which will also
help to reduce unemployment. Avail financial support by the government to
import advanced equipments that are not available in India due to financial
crisis. Equipment to be purchased after confirming the availability of spare
parts within the country.


By conducting SWOT survey of trending of construction
equipment the Strength Weakness Opportunity and Threat faced by Indian
construction industries in completing the project within the scheduled date is
analysed. It is been summarised that most of the construction equipment related
problems are due to improper maintenance of equipment. Also maintenance of
equipment is uneconomical. There for a cost-effective maintenance planning is
required for the construction industry to overcome time overrun due to
construction equipment related issues.

Future scope

The findings of the study put down a way to further
continue the research in the following areas:

Improper construction equipment
maintenance and constrains in setting up of equipment maintanance management

Equipment wise maintenance requirements

Demand in equipment makes it important
to study the availability of construction equipment needed and to find a source
to fulfil the demands of both equipments and skilled operators.


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