Construction Project Management: Main Factors Dictating It
Construction project management is very difficult these days. To manage a project based on construction is tough because its scope is ambiguous and the availability of resources and equal allocation of the resources is a hectic task. An agency which is assigned with huge construction projects, such as construction of bridges, flyovers and other buildings, seek the help of project management as such projects are very large and well budgeted. Generally, agency/organization seeks an outside expert service. It means they seek a service of project manager who can work on their project on contract basis.
The organization can seek service of many project managers for a single construction project. This solely depends on the size of the project. Depending on the budget of the project the organization decides on the number of project managers. If there are many project managers working for a single construction project, there should be good coordination among the project managers. Sometimes agencies prefer a program manager’s service as well, who takes care of the entire construction project along with other project managers.
If you are a project manager for a big construction project you need to understand the basic concept of project management for successfully handling the construction-type projects. You should have a good knowledge on the scope of the project. Before knowing this, you need to know the work site, city to which the site belongs (very crucial), the cultural system of that city, political status, climatic conditions and nature of the people. You need to apply your interpersonal skills hugely while handling such projects. Note that the cultural structure and political conditions can differ from one city to another and it is very important for a project manager to adapt to such environments for the smooth execution of the project.
Stages in Construction Project Management:
Now, you need to know what the other stages in construction project management are. Note that, the most important stages in construction project management are planning and designing. Following are the important phases in construction project management:
- Project Development
- Project Initiation
- Project Planning (Environmental clearance, Acquisition)
- Project Closing
It is very important for a project manager to understand how projects are developed. There are some processes to develop capital improvement plan (CIP). Capital improvement plan includes the creation of CIP, identification of capital assets and needs, prioritizing project within CIP, financial planning to balance the overall expenditures and sources available for funding in the organization. So, it is important for a project manager to understand this stage.
During this phase, a project manager plans how the authorized project has to be implemented. To begin with, a project manager should work on project requirement and decide what should be the ultimate deliverable to the customer. Deliverable could be well-furnished and designed houses, malls, roads, bridges and more. A project manager should understand the actual project requirement and process further based on this.
Project Planning (Environmental Clearance, Acquisition):
This is a very critical stage in construction project management. In this stage, a project manager decides the way in which the project has to be taken through planning and environment clearance activities. There are some steps to be followed for purchasing real estate, mainly for legally funded project. This is a very critical stage; if it is not performed well, it could be problematic in the later stages such as designing and constructing. It could prove more expensive and schedule could be a threat as well.
This is the backbone stage in the project. During this phase, as a project manager, you should anticipate the transformation of the project requirement into drawings and other specifications, which can be used in the later stages i.e., the construction stage. The key points in this stage are oversight of engineering and the final design, value engineering and more. Note that quality assurance and quality control is very important for this stage.
The execution begins here, as you have designed the project in the previous stage. Here, you need to begin working on the project and as a project manager you need to control price, schedule and scope of the work. In this stage you will be working with the contractors, third party vendors and other agencies to get the product delivery on time at the pre-determined price.
As you know, advance planning in commissioning process can reduce the risk of prolonging the project. Generally, this phase consists of roles and responsibilities, commissioning plans, furnishing equipment, integrating testing, emergency preparedness and more. In simple way, this phase is a process of validation of equipment and systems with operation personnel, contractors and third party vendors.
Generally, a project manager should involve in the project-closing activities, such as overseeing the final settlement of project contracts, getting deliverable acceptance from the customer and most importantly release of the resources after project completion. It is important for the project manager to document all the pertinent information about the inputs from the project safely to be used later in similar projects.
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