Publish November 9, 2023
Why Almost All Projects Go Over Budget
dining room

Why Almost All Projects Go Over Budget

In the ideal world of project management, one would meticulously plan a budget, and all selected components would fit perfectly within that designated amount. Yet, this often remains a distant dream for many professionals. A large percentage of projects go over budget. Why does this happen so frequently? Let’s dive deeper to understand.

Design is Dynamic

The inception of a project is marked by a vision, an idea. At the beginning, you might be very certain about your choices and priorities. However, as you delve deeper into the intricacies of design, it’s common to discover that the initial vision undergoes transformations.

New Discoveries Influence Choices

With the progress of a project, you encounter a plethora of finishes, materials, and technologies. These new discoveries can inspire alterations in the original plan. Moreover, as you get closer to understanding the spatial requirements, the design might need refinements to cater to these specific needs.

The Unknown Unknowns

Especially in renovation projects, there is a cloud of unpredictability. It’s the classic problem of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Until you peel back the layers of a structure, you’re largely working based on assumptions.

Renovations Bring Surprises

Working on renovations is like opening Pandora’s box. You can never be entirely sure of what lies beneath. Original drawings might be outdated or incorrect. What was once thought to be a simple drywall could turn out to be solid concrete. Each of these discoveries, while seemingly minor, can have a cascading effect on the budget.

Budget After Designing

If precision in budgeting is the goal, then the wisest approach is to establish a budget after the design phase. Once every item has been thoroughly designed and chosen, only then can one get a clearer picture of the costs. By doing this, you’re ensuring that the budget reflects the current design reality, rather than an idealized vision.

Understanding the fluid nature of design and being prepared for unforeseen challenges can guide professionals in creating more realistic budgets. Recognizing that designs evolve and that renovations come with their set of uncertainties will help set more accurate expectations from the get-go.

 

Go listen to my podcast on my website at https://pamela-durkin.com/podcast/ or on iTunes here and keep up with my other blog posts.

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