Construction project management: what is it and 7 steps to manage it
Construction Project Management is the process that allows you to successfully manage a construction project. Here are 7 steps to manage it better.
Construction Project Management may require a workload that may seem insuperable. Especially when you first approach this process.
But if you follow the advice I will give you in this article and use the appropriate tools I assure you that everything will become easier. You’ll be able to manage all aspects related to the design of your works without problems.
I suggest first of all to rely on a construction management software‘s potential to better organize your work and get it done on time. A system containing in a single powerful tool, all necessary features to program and monitor, managing different phases of construction projects.
All that remains, therefore, is to start discovering together what are the most effective strategies to ensure different phases of Construction Project Management’s success!
What is Construction Project Management (CPM)
Construction Project Management (CPM) is the discipline that includes tools, processes and technical resources needed to plan, execute and complete construction projects on schedule and budget.
Construction projects, as with any other type of project, are also develop in various phases and need to be carefully coordinated and consequently manage since they are part of a more complex global process.
The management of construction initiatives is, however, much more complex than traditional Project Management. It includes, in fact, a wider variety of constraints (including time, costs, quality, safety, resources, materials, labor, etc.) involving a multitude of subjects who intervene in various ways along the process, from conception to its completion (such as designers, consultants, general contractors, subcontractors, operational directors, etc.).
The entire project management’s responsibility is, in any case, entrusted to the Construction’s Project Manager who has the task of:
- analyze and understand the project’s technical difficulties;
- determine the most appropriate management methods and strategies;
- plan in detail each individual phase of the design;
- agree on the time, costs and resources necessary to carry out the work;
- manage site’s works’ planning and execution;
- monitor and negotiate the construction budget with contractors and suppliers;
- collaborate with construction’s professionals, construction’s worker and inspectors;
- communicate with the project’s owner, staff and stakeholders at all levels;
- ensure that each phase of the project is on time, within budget and according to required standards;
- solve any problems that may arise during the construction’s work.
CPM’s 6 phases
Construction Project Management processes are guided by deadlines. They always start from the conception and planning phases, characterizing a final goal at the end of the project’s life cycle.
Typically these processes are developed in 6 distinct phases, each of which contains specific activities that help to pursue the project’s end result.
The 6 phases in which the building’s project management is divided are as follows:
- ideation: it is the starting point where stakeholders conceive the project’s idea, search for construction’s places, identify a first set of standards and establish within how long the work must be completed. The Project Manager interfaces with the client identifying needs and determines how his team intends to meet them;
- planning: it is a crucial phase because it traces the construction project’s guidelines. A feasibility study is carried out to define the project’s scope, establish results to be achieved identifying potential partners. It is the stage where contractors begin to submit their bids and stakeholders evaluate these proposals to choose the one that best suits their needs and budget. The end result of this phase is a project plan which must be approved by all parties involved avoiding misunderstandings and false expectations in the subsequent phases;
- execution: it is the moment when the procurement of materials, resources and equipment for realization of works begins, thus starting construction works. This phase’s success is closely linked to the accuracy with which the planning phase is performed. The Project Manager implements his or her own project plan and assigns tasks to various team members managing resource allocation. It also holds group meetings to address issues while updating stakeholders on the project’s progress;
- monitoring and control: it is a phase that overlaps with the executive process. During the construction works it is important to observe deliveries’ status to detect possible deviations from the predefined objectives, as well as to plan meetings on a regular basis to solve problems therefore remaining in line with provisions;
- commissioning: once the construction and control processes have been completed, the “commissioning” phase is carried out, focus on testing the final product’s quality, correct any errors thus informing users on how to use, manage and maintain building’s optimal conditions;
- conclusion: it is formally the works’ delivering phase where the owner and all stakeholders are informed. Before the actual delivery, the Project Manager brings the team together to examine what went well and what, instead, could be improved. This allows you to avoid similar mistakes in the future, but also allows you to implement more stable processes creating more efficient and productive work teams.
How to Manage a Construction Project Step by Step
The goal of CPM is that the entire construction process proceeds according to plan. Thereby ensuring all project’s elements are supported and executed efficiently, without hiccups or unforeseen occurrences.
Now that you have thoroughly understood Construction Project Management’s meaning, analyzing the stages in which this process develops, here are the 7 key steps that will greatly help simplifying workflows to achieve successful results. Whatever construction project you will find yourself managing.
Step 1 – Create a plan
The first important step in effectively managing any construction initiative is to understand project’s range and scope, planing in detail each individual phase to smoothly achieve the final goal. It is essential to confront client’s expectations, establishing together the final results. Careful planning will allow you to:
- assess project’s feasibility;
- establishing the time required for its realization;
- define how to spent the budget ;
- implement all necessary security protocols;
- identify and monitored key performance metrics (KPI).
- define how to monitor KPI’s will during the project;
- establish how stakeholders, management and the teams involved will communicate throughout the process.
Step 2 – Assign Roles
The second step is to determine who does what within the project. Clearly assigning roles and responsibilities is important to define the steps that require management or stakeholder approval. It also helps to improve work team’s productivity keeping team morale high (because everyone will have a task to complete) and saving time thus avoiding ineffective overlaps.
Step 3 – Arrange Preliminary Meetings
Before actually starting the project, it is appropriate to arrange frequent meetings with stakeholders to review the plan, check responsibilities of the parties involved taking appropriate corrective actions. This will prevent problems in future phases.
Step 4 – Increase flexibility
It may not always go according to plan despite careful planning. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an adequate capacity to cope with changes as they arise in order to turn setbacks into opportunities.
Step 5 – Implement a document management system
Stakeholders will need to have the appropriate documentation at the right time during the course of the project For this reason, it is advisable to implement an efficient BIM Document Management system that helps simplifying creation, management, updating and sharing of all project documents.
Step 6 – Improve collaboration and communication
During the project’s entire development, communication should be consistent, open, honest and clear. Therefore it is essential to leverage technologies that promote collaboration and real-time data delivery so that team members have up-to-date and reliable information at their disposal.
Step 7 – Automate management tasks
To really get the most out of your Construction Project Management’s processes, it’s important to get help from advanced tools. Thus simplifying different tasks’ management. Cloud-based solutions ensure that the entire project’s team and Project Manager have access to a single source of data. Therefore updating the progress of each operation in real time. They also make it possible to improve communication between stakeholders and to develop project’s distinct phases more smoothly, without delays.
Whether you’re a novice Project Manager or a professional looking to update your strategy, using construction management software you’ll have the features you need to simplify your project management and streamline your workflows’ progress. Try this system now and find out how easy assigning tasks, monitoring progress, sharing documents becomes, thereby solving all problems risen during the construction project’s advance.