What is construction management?
Construction management is a discipline that supervises a construction process and ensures its quality. Find out which professionals and software are involved
There are many challenges and potential pitfalls in the life of a construction project especially when it comes to large-sized ones. Fortunately, construction management is the professional service that covers and supervises all essential aspects of a construction workflow.
Put simply, construction management ensures that project objectives are met and also manages project’s schedule, budget, quality. If you work in this field, I recommend you to immediately test a construction management software. This tool is fundamental to address the correct management of issues and is designed to facilitate planning, coordination and control of a project during its entire lifecycle.
Let’s take a closer look at this topic and find all about the skills and tools that a Construction Manager should have.
What is Construction management and what is the role of a Construction Project Manager?
In the most basic term, Construction management is the process of managing all aspects of the construction project and using various methods and tools over the entire lifecycle of a building covering:
- time schedule;
- project quality;
- management of contracts;
- safety management;
The professional role who deals with a project’s supervisory process is typically the Construction Manager. Specifically, Construction Managers are tasked with keeping a site running smoothly, safely, within schedule and on budget as they are demanded to:
- collaborate with other stakeholders involved in the construction process: client, designer, general contractor, etc.;
- develop a detailed project workflow supervision plan.
Which are the must-have skills for a Construction Manager?
The job of a construction manager comes with many responsibilities, which require different skill sets. Here are the fundamental skills and associated responsibilities of a successful construction manager:
- analytical and critical thinking skills – Construction Managers will need to interpret technical drawings and documents, understand contracts with general contractors, and interpret building codes and regulations. But above all they will have to translate this information into easy-to-follow instructions in order to manage the supervisory process
- leadership – Construction Managers need to know how to lead the construction process team in order to ensure compliance with time, budget and quality. To achieve that, it is useful to provide them with a feedback and guidance system;
- attention to detail – one of the tasks of the Construction Manager is to ensure that the quality of work on site is up to design standards and meets regulatory requirements. This requires attention to detail throughout the process;
- communication skills – top-notch communication skills are perhaps among the most required skills that a construction manager should have. The CM will in fact have to to interact with many stakeholders with regards to important matters;
- administrative skills and knowledge of contract terms – the CM will need to be able to negotiate contracts, manage project budgets and also develop good working relationships with suppliers, strategic partners, alliances, and other third parties – relating to contractual matters;
- in-depth knowledge of health and safety at the workplace – knowing and staying up to date on issues concerning the health and safety of workers is of fundamental importance for the CM who will have to supervise the construction process always keeping in mind the risks associated with the various processes;
- project management skills – closely associated with communication are the project management elements. Naturally, that includes ensuring there is a follow-up on issues, continual monitoring, and performance audits..
Which are the phases of Construction Management?
The construction process is typically divided into 4 essential phases:
- planning – the first phase of any major project is the process of articulating and defining the goals for the project and evaluating the feasibility of the plan, also determining costs and strategies to achieve them. Basically, the planning phase is when the owner, architect and construction manager have early discussions on what is to be built, if it is approvable by authorities and parameters such as scope and quality assumptions.
- pre-construction – in this second phase, first offers and contracts are processed and the CM will have to supervise these important steps reducing to a minimum the occurrence of risks and ensuring an early resolution of any problems.
- construction – this is the execution phase where all the planning will pay off. The CM’s services during this phase will include having to supervise on:
- quality control;
- on-site investigations;
- monitoring of security measures;
- review and approval of technical requests;
- budget management;
- time management;
- compliance with quality standards and regulatory requirements;
- close-out – closing of the project represents the final stage of a project. The construction manager closes out the project by analyzing if the team met the initial objectives and conducts a project report, calculates the final budget. In this phase, a CM also gets feedback from the client to see if they can improve other aspects.
What tools are used in construction management?
Construction projects are highly structured endeavors with many variables coming into play – high quality standards, lack or poor communication between professionals, important amounts of documents, inaccurate estimates of times and costs, etc. – which often make the workflow even more complex.
Fortunately, technology is helping project managers plan better, work smarter and be more adaptable during the project thanks to construction project management solutions with the following features:
- construction cost estimating software for cost estimates and BoQs directly from the project’s model;
- construction site management BIM software for Health and Safety;
- tools for the management of construction site documentation;
- CDE platforms that facilitate communication and coordination with the Construction Manager;
Finally, there are specific construction management software that allow you to efficiently manage all the issues that might arise in the various phases of the construction process, respecting time and budget and ensuring not only the quality of the final product but also the satisfaction of customers and the work team. All you need to do is implement it in your workflow and check how design times are reduced by 50% or more!