Project management Consultancy London

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Construction Consultancy London

Insightful Snagging

Snagging is simply the way of uncovering and recording problems as they occur throughout a construction project’s journey. The concept is to catch and flag the small problems as they occur so that they can be more easily and swiftly rectified. The ultimate outcome is that the finished project will more accurately meet the quality expectations set out in the project brief.

Understanding snagging in complex construction

The more complex the construction project, it is arguable that more comprehensive snagging approaches should be used. The snagging process is designed to identify and rectify faults so that they don’t become time-consuming and insurmountable obstacles which cause deadlines to be broken and budgets to be exceeded.

These faults or problems can occur in numerous ways.

  • Omissions: On complex construction projects it is not uncommon for smaller elements to be forgotten. A skilled and experienced Project Manager, especially when using tools such as Snag R, Autodesk BIM 360 or Fieldview (as well as others), can ensure nothing is left out.
  • Buried problems: Again, an issue compounded by the complexity of a project is that not all problems will be evident as they occur. Snagging should be a ‘catch all’ process which ensures that problems are rectified, even if the action or inaction which caused the problem happened at previous stages in the construction. This is especially relevant for issues which may no longer be visible behind closed wall, floor or ceiling voids.
  • Quality concerns: Snagging is also crucial for identifying poor quality work, often as a result of rushed work or the pressure of time constraints.
  • Design difficulties: A successful and robust snagging process is a key opportunity to highlight issues with the base design and report these back to the design team. This is especially relevant for recurring snags which can be recorded and analysed using mobile snagging software. Use of the wrong materials, or incorrect use of materials, should be flagged through snagging. This is important to ensure conformity, consistency and quality.

Details matter

It is evident that details matter when it comes to snagging. At HUSH we coordinate the team’s approach to snagging to ensure the client achieves best value throughout this crucial project state. The previously mentioned tools and software enable successful delivery of these services. For example, with time lapse data and imagery available, or digitally accessible mapping, the Project Manager can use snagging to keep a project within the parameters of success.

Communication is vital

The role of the Project Manager is to take the lines of communication from the client team to the Main Contractor ensuring that any issues which arise through snagging are communicated to those who need to take action. They should be able to include all of the relevant information and imagery so that information is clear and actionable steps are evident.

The Project Manager also has the benefit of being able to determine who is responsible for the issue highlighted and follow-up on progress as it is made. This keeps all members of the project team informed on the timeline and how issues highlighted through snagging affect other elements of the project. In this way the ‘knock-on’ effect of issues is limited. The use of software also allows items to be raised and communicated down and then directly back up the supply chain within a central portal, improving efficiencies of communication throughout the team.

Central to this is a snagging list – a list of every possible element of the complex construction project which needs to be checked along the way for issues. This is only made possible on projects using dedicated software packages.

However, unfortunately many project management consultancies still revert to old-school methods of hand marked drawings and spreadsheets which cannot handle the levels of detail that the software can.

The importance of the Project Manager

Successful snagging depends on the techniques, tools and consistency applied. It is most effective when seamless technological innovation is used by the whole project team.

Firstly, the Project Manager should have a broader knowledge of the project than other members of the project team. This is particularly true when, as with HUSH, a project benefits from a designated Project Manager from start to finish.

Secondly, at HUSH we fully support the use of technological tools (such as mobile snagging software) to assist the snagging process as well as being proficient in the use of the software itself. A knowledge of the separate processes involved is also needed in order to successfully close out the project to the quality standards required.

The differences in snagging approaches

Approaches to the snagging processes, and therefore the success of it, vary enormously. Where the snagging process is only commenced in the final days or weeks before completion, it is likely that long term operational issues for the building owner will be experienced. In our experience, snagging is most effective when introduced from the moment work on site begins. Indeed, we have a breadth of experience in managing an ongoing standing process from the groundworks stage on site, right through to handover and post occupation.

‘Snagging’ is a colloquial term, often with slightly different meanings. Therefore it is at the risk of the employers to assume it is being carried out in the way the client understands. HUSH can guarantee to provide a process whereby the snagging approach is the one you are expecting, or indeed exceeds the expectations of our clients.

The final result of snagging using experienced PMs and software tools

When snagging is undertaken throughout the on-site construction process overseen by an experienced and skilled Project Manager, using innovative tools, then it can greatly contribute to a project being completed on time, within budget and in line with expectations.

Not only can such software be of assistance during the construction period, post-handover this log of information can be invaluable if the owner chooses to sell the property.

As a result of using this innovative software throughout the process of snagging and post completion defects management, the building owner has an abundance of data at their disposal that shows the active management and rectification of issues that have arisen. Such data can be utilised to track trends in defects and potentially help diagnose future defects prior to them occurring.

When completing due diligence exercises upon the sale of the building, all known defects and issues are easily accessible and available to be called upon to review by both the vendor and the purchaser, creating a considerably more efficient process and a more attractive property for the purchaser.

  • Construction Consultancy London

    Tracy Marsh

    Managing Director

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  • Construction Consultancy London

    Chris Bushell


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  • Construction Consultancy London

    Selina Pickwell

    Operations Director

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  • Victoria Panting

    Project Director

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  • Construction Consultancy London

    Hugo Bradbury

    Project Director

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  • Construction Consultancy London

    Ian Mackintosh

    Senior Project Manager

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  • Construction Consultancy London

    Jamie Kiddell

    Project Manager

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  • Construction Consultancy London

    Richard Lowe

    Project Manager

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Interested in joining our team? View our opportunities.


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