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Construction Project Management Principles

Construction Project Management Principles: how they apply to construction

Here are key construction project management principles: from defining design objectives to risk management

The development of a construction project, whether it’s a shopping center, a highway, or a residence, undoubtedly involves the implementation of numerous structured and interconnected activities.

Managing a construction project requires a data-sharing environment that allows organizing, planning, and coordinating all processes to successfully complete a construction project.

In this article, we’ll explore the key principles of project management applied to construction and discover how to plan, execute, and monitor the phases of a construction project, ensuring that everything progresses efficiently and compliant with specifications.

What are the 5 construction project management principles?

Project management is the application of processes, methods, and skills to efficiently plan, execute, and monitor projects consistent with established objectives.

Within construction, this discipline and its key principles are crucial to ensure that each project is successfully completed, meeting time and budget constraints.

Among the key project management principles to consider in construction project management are:

  1. defining project objectives;
  2. developing a project plan;
  3. implementing effective project and resource management;
  4. managing risks;
  5. defining team responsibilities.

Let’s delve into each of them in detail below.

Project management principles applied to construction

Project management principles applied to construction

Planning phase: defining project objectives

Planning is the crucial starting point for any construction project, where the project’s objectives are defined. Defining the specific project objectives clearly is the initial step in developing proper management for your construction project. Failing to outline the key objectives from the outset leads to a project without a solid foundation.

The best way to define objectives is to “begin with the end in mind,” starting by envisioning the final outcome, as it enables smoother and safer progress.

It’s also important to ensure each objective is communicated and understood by all, being SMART:

  • Specific;
  • Measurable;
  • Accepted;
  • Realistic;
  • Timely.

Scheduling key activities: developing a project plan

Creating a detailed project plan is essential to ensure activities are sequenced and efficient. Scheduling key activities helps prevent overlaps, ensuring everything proceeds as scheduled.

To develop a project plan, it’s necessary to:

  • define a project’s organizational structure by setting procedures and guidelines, developing a project chart specifying roles and hierarchy for each team member. This structure facilitates planning, execution, and monitoring of project activities;
  • identify the project’s main phases: breaking down the project into manageable and organized parts is crucial for schematizing activities and assigning them to each team member;
  • identify relationships between activities and milestones: defining relationships between phases and activities  allows analysing the project, understanding how tasks affect each other, and reaching milestones more easily to achieve benefits and goals;
  • create repeatable models: once a project is completed and the procedural steps for its correct management are identified, establishing global, repeatable guidelines applicable to similar projects helps save time and costs.
Scheduling of key activities -usBIM.project

Scheduling of key activities -usBIM.project

Resource allocation: implementing an effective project and resource management strategy

Proper resource allocation is fundamental for project success. This includes personnel selection, material availability, and managing necessary site equipment. Without correct resource allocation, projects may face delays and additional costs.

To implement effective resource management, it’s important to:

  • have detailed knowledge of available resources, both human and material;
  • assign a project manager to each plan;
  • use collaborative platforms to store data and make it accessible to everyone, ensuring all have access to tasks, deadlines, and updates;
  • plan regular checks;
  • consistently update resource availability.

Managing risks: implementing problem mitigation strategies

Risks are inherent in any construction project, so identifying them before the project starts is crucial. Risk management involves identifying, assessing, and implementing strategies to mitigate potential issues. This ensures the project proceeds smoothly even in the face of unexpected obstacles.

Among the most common risks are:

  • safety risks;
  • financial risks;
  • legal risks;
  • environmental risks;
  • design risks.

An effective method for risk management and mitigation is the Construction Risk Management process, identifying risks related to a specific project’s realization and assessing methods and procedures to minimize resulting consequences.

Defining team responsibilities

Defining responsibilities for all team members ensures clarity in tasks for everyone, ensuring they’re understood by all.

To avoid confusion and enhance process efficiency, defining responsibilities from the early stages is helpful.

Applying Construction Project Management Principles

Having understood the construction project management principles in detail, it’s time to apply them! Here are some useful tips for doing so:

  • create a collaborative environment and active communication by coordinating the work of all professionals involved using cloud collaborative platforms;
  • involve stakeholders in changes, keeping them updated on any unforeseen events and seeking feedback;
  • monitor process performance to measure effectiveness and evaluate team performance;
  • use a construction management software to handle construction project management activities very intuitively. Through visual scheduling cards for activities, you assign, track, manage, and control different project activities, ensuring complete control of each phase.