The construction industry is extremely dynamic and fast-paced, with many different material suppliers and contractors, stakeholders, and regulations. Managing all of that while also ensuring that a project remains on schedule and within budget is a huge undertaking, and not to be taken lightly.
There is a whole specialization revolving around the management of the various components of construction projects. Construction project management (CPM) specializes in helping to keep track of all the different deliverables and finances, as well as personnel. Construction Project Management helps to facilitate cross-talk between different teams and stakeholders to ensure smooth communication and ensuring that all aspects of the projects are running smoothly. This way, all teams can be held accountable for their different responsibilities and divide the work among the most suited personnel.
What construction project management does
Construction project management is a concept that revolves around the management, regulation, and supervision of the entire construction process of the project. Its scale can be focused on just one project or can be extended to a company level. By having project management through the entire process, from pre-construction to construction itself and to project delivery, you can have consistent supervision on all aspects of the project by the same party. This keeps continuity as high as possible as there will be no handing over of management responsibilities from party to party.
In construction management, there are many unique difficulties and challenges that can be faced. From safety concerns and practices, budget constraints, and project scope, as well as time constraints, it’s important that the project management team is able to keep ahead of them. The biggest challenge for construction project management, however, would be having to communicate and coordinate with the many different stakeholders that will be involved in the construction project.
Some of these stakeholders are:
- Project owner
- Project supervisor
- Clients, stakeholders, and investors
- Construction project managers
- Architects and designers
- General contractors and subcontractors
- City planners, civil engineers, and public officials
All of these stakeholders will have to interact or communicate with each other in some capacity, and it is the job of the construction project management team to facilitate the exchange of information and communications.
What you require to manage a construction project effectively
“There are many things to take care of and to keep an eye on when managing a construction project, and you will need to find a way to keep track of:
- Cost estimation and budget tracking
- Vendor management
- Project scheduling
- Periodical inspection logs
- Quality control
- Safety management and job site monitoring
- Contract negotiations and bidding
Core tasks of general project management
Even if it’s construction, the core fundamentals of project management are still very much important. The construction project management team will need to do their due diligence and conduct feasibility studies and stick to the project initiation phase before even beginning the process. It is also important to set up safety channels for reporting and constant oversight of potential hazards. By highlighting your workflows clearly, setting up your resource management effectively, and setting an achievable project timeline, you will be able to deliver your project on schedule. Resist the urge to rush the process and ensure that you have all your bases covered.
Construction project management milestones
There are, generally, six phases to a construction project. By being aware of what steps you need to take next, you’ll be able to better plan ahead and set up the stakeholders, finances, and resources necessary so that your project runs on schedule.
In the initiation phase, you will discuss with the client and the project owner what goals and needs need to be met, as well as how your team or organization can fulfil them. This is where you conduct feasibility studies and business cases to make sure that what the client wants is actually achievable, within their needed time frame. Provide sketches to help your client better visualize what you interpret and ensure that no stone is unturned. You will wrap up this phase when the contracts are signed between you and the client.
In the pre-construction phase, you will begin to gather the needed manpower and specialists. Put out a bid for general contractors to bid on, and start compiling all the potential risks and countermeasures that you will need to do. Figure out your budgets for the various parts of the construction, and generate a timeline with milestones to make sure the works are being done on time.
The execution phase will come once all the pre-construction planning has been completed. This is where the construction project management team needs to manage the communication and directing of all the different parties involved. Make sure you have a communication channel where everyone can be kept up-to-date on the construction process, as well as a repository for all the information that you have. This reduces the chances of overlooking information or updates and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
Commissioning comes after the last product is built. Here, you will do a full inspection of the project and make sure that the fit and finish are up to par as well as all the requirements laid out by the client are met. After which, you will give the client a walkthrough of the place and confirm that the client is satisfied.
The occupancy and warranty phase happens after the handover from the management team to the client. After the handover, you may be obligated to provide a warranty in case of any damage or faults, depending on your local jurisdiction and contract agreement.
The last phase will be the project closure, which occurs once the warranty period has expired. From this period onwards, you’ve fulfilled the obligation to the client and it would be best to conduct an after-action report on the project. That way, you can apply the lessons and observations learned to future projects to increase the team’s efficiency.
Construction project management can be a daunting undertaking, with all of its stakeholders and management of finances and resources. There are plenty of project management tools that you can take advantage of in order to increase your efficiency and coordination between different teams. The most important thing that a construction project management team needs is to communicate effectively, so don’t be afraid to explore the options to help ensure that everyone is on the same page!