The construction industry has a dynamic and complex environment. The successful completion of a construction project depends on various factors. Accordingly, construction delay is observed to happen in construction projects. It is highly affecting the construction sector and the economy of the country too. Although previous research studies identified the causes, effects, and mitigation methods separately, this study adopts a linked approach and directs to identify the effective applicable mitigation methods and their practices on each significant cause of delay in construction projects. Moreover, contractors are noted as one of the main sources of construction delay from the previous studies. Hence, this research aims to develop a framework to determine the applicable mitigation strategies and the practices of each mitigation strategy for each significant cause of contractor’s delays in construction projects in Sri Lanka. A mixed research approach was adopted to generate the research process. A literature review was conducted on construction delays, organizational and project management factors, and professional competency, mitigation strategies in delay management. The significant causes of delays and effective mitigation strategies were ranked through a questionnaire survey using a Likert scale. Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors in the Sri Lankan construction industry were selected in the ratio of 1:3 respectively for the interview as they are mostly engaged with delay management. Also, the respondents were limited to 68 and the collected data were analysed through the Relative Important Index (RII) method, to rank the significant causes and mitigation strategies. Then techniques and possible mitigation strategies were found through interviews and content analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings indicated that most of the contractor’s delays can be mitigated through applying proper mitigation strategies as effective management approaches in the construction projects such as effective project planning and schedules of construction works, maintain positive financial stability and well qualified and experienced professionals and staff, effective strategic planning, risk analysis, and management, selection of suitable sub-contractor and management and effective site management and supervision. In addition to that, inaccurate planning and scheduling of the project, financial dishonesty, poor procurement of construction materials, ineffective time management of contractors, and incompetence of management professionals and staffs were identified as the most significant contractor’s causes of delays in construction management.
Keywords: Delays, Significant Causes, Mitigation, Construction Management, Construction Projects.