Construction projects are a balancing act between different but related aspects like the people, the budget, and the equipment. For this reason, construction project management is a crucial part of any construction process. But, what is project management in construction?
Project managers apply the skills, tools, knowledge, and techniques they have to ensure that the construction project at hand is completed in the best way possible and within the set constraints. They have to balance all the aspects at play throughout the duration of the project.
Construction Project Phases
Here are four main project management phases in the construction.
- Project initiation – During this phase, the objective of the project is defined, and the feasibility is established. A plan is issued only after the project is considered feasible. At this stage, a Project Initiation Document (PID) is created and contains the groundwork for the project
- Planning phase – While planning goes on throughout the project, the first planning phase is very critical. At this phase, the project is broken down into smaller categories, and the resources, costs, and work time for the project are determined. A work breakdown structure (WBS) document is a checklist that will break down all the activities that make up the project into smaller, more functional categories. Before the next phase begins, the project managers should define the budget, schedule, and work to be done
- Execution phase – At this point, it is time to put the construction project management plan to work. Two main things will happen at this stage, the plan will be executed, and monitoring will be done. Through monitoring, progress can be tracked and changes made to the plan to meet the reality of the execution
- Closure – Here, the project is done, and it’s time to see how well the plan worked and what parts of it didn’t. At this point, the final budget is recalculated, and those working in the project are informed of the tasks that remain unfinished. An analysis of the implementation process, as well as failures, can be used to make the next project better.
Construction Project Management Aspects
There are four critical aspects that a project manager is required to keep track of during the duration of the project.
- The work – A project management plan includes the work breakdown structure that details the tasks that make up the whole project. Most of these tasks must be followed in a step to step basis. The steps may need different tools, workers, and materials, all of which the project manager has to track and control
- The budget – The budget is a significant constraint when it comes to any project. It determines what tools and materials can be used as well as how much employees are paid. Proper budget management is, therefore, crucial. In the initiation phase, an analysis is carried out, and a budget is estimated. In the duration of the process, the money usage has to be monitored, and accounting is done so that there is a record of how the money was spent
- The personnel – If there is a time constraint on the project, then part of the project management plan may include work schedules for employees. If the plan can include a tracking system for when the employees work, then paying them will be easy to do, especially for those employees who are paid on an hourly basis
- The resources –Every stage will need different tools, materials, and equipment. A project manager should be able to manage this aspect of the project by coordinating the procurement or leasing of these tools. These activities will most probably incur costs that will need to be tracked against the budget.
For any construction project to run smoothly and be implemented within the set constraints, it needs to follow a well-structured construction management plan. Construction project management allows those working on the project to go through the four phases smoothly and manage the different aspects effectively so the project can be completed successfully.
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