Nowadays, applying Project Management to the construction sector is also a must.
Construction projects evolve and become more and more structured, here we find many moving parts and heterogeneous resources that have to be managed.
Moreover, in every construction project, there are many phases that have to be managed as well, from planning to construction itself. This means that managing such a project requires high technology, knowledge and tools to successfully complete it.
- The types of Construction Projects
- Construction Project Management: the choice of the construction company
- Construction Project Management: the start of the project
- Construction Project Management: planning
- Construction Project Management: execution
- Construction Project Management: end
- The role of a construction project manager
The types of Construction Projects
Even in construction, it is essential to use specific project management techniques that oversee planning, design and, of course, managing a project from beginning to end.
Let’s try to understand the specificities of this sector beginning by understanding how, in the construction sector, we can distinguish six different types of construction. These are:
However, these types are not watertight compartments and this further complicates things. The same subjects involved in various projects, in fact, can belong to different types.
Construction Project Management: the choice of the construction company
It is no secret that the management of construction projects is a fairly complicated task.
It all starts with the project owner (client) who gets in touch with contractors asking for quotes. It is also possible that the owner establishes a competition between contractors in order to receive offers.
There are two types of scenarios concerning bids in the construction field:
- Open bid: open offers are inextricably linked to projects and public works. These are auctions in which any entrepreneur is invited to make an offer. A public offer is normally promoted and advertised openly.
- Closed bid: private projects are generally based on closed offers. The project owner himself sends an invitation to a specific number of contractors.
After collecting all the estimates, the owner moves to the selection of the contractor through one of the following three methods:
- Selection of the lowest bid: in this case, the main interest is the price. The project owner selects the lowest bid from an economic point of view and proceeds with it.
- Value-based selection: this process evaluates both the qualifications and the contractor’s price. The owner chooses the most attractive offer in terms of both quality and money.
- Selection based on qualifications: this method is adopted when the qualifications are used as the sole criterion for the selection of the construction company.
Construction Project Management: the start of the project
In general, each project has a standard life cycle, regardless of its special characteristics. This structure could be outlined in four basic phases:
- Initiation of the project
- Planning phase
- Execution phase
- Final phase
In the initiation phase, the goal and feasibility of the project are determined.
This is a crucial phase, as it can tell if this project is a good opportunity or not.
If necessary, a feasibility study is conducted and a recommended solution or plan is issued on the basis of the results.
Once everything is decided, a project charter is created. This document provides the foundation for the construction plan and is one of the most important documents in project management.
Construction Project Management: planning
The project planning phase is where the team identifies the work that has to be done.
The main priority during this phase is the planning of times, costs and resources for the project.
Based on these requirements, the team develops the strategy to follow. This is also known as scope management.
Another important document that has to be prepared is a work breakdown structure – or WBS -, a checklist that divides all the necessary work into smaller, more functional steps.
As soon as the budget, program and work are defined, the project is almost ready to start.
The next step in this phase is the risk analysis. At this point, the team should examine all potential threats to the project and find solid solutions.
Construction Project Management: execution
In the execution phase, the construction project management plan is finally put into practice, ie. in execution.
As a rule, this phase is divided into two main processes: actual execution, and monitoring and control.
The project team ensures that the required activities are performed. At the same time, progress is monitored and the necessary changes are made accordingly.
In fact, a project manager spends most of the time in the monitoring phase and, depending on the information he receives, redirects activities and thus maintains control on the project.
Construction Project Management: end
The final phase of the project represents its official completion.
The project manager will evaluate what went well and what did not. The team writes a project report, calculates the final budget and provides information on any activities left unfinished.
The role of a construction project manager
A construction project manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, budgeting, and supervising a construction project from beginning to end.
In short, a construction project manager must take care of the following:
- Draw up a budget and negotiate cost estimates.
- Organize the working hours of employees and workers.
- Choose the most efficient construction methods and strategies.
- Stay in touch with customers for issues related to work or budget.
- Discuss technical and contractual details with workers and other interested parties.
- Keep an eye on the personnel on site.
- Collaborate with construction specialists.
In conclusion, managing a construction project is a very demanding effort, but that in many respects – at least on paper – is similar to any other project.
There are many parameters and elements that should be analyzed exhaustively.
This is why not only the project manager has to be specialized in construction, but he should have the possibility to use the most modern project management tools for the construction industry.
Twproject is structured to support the construction project manager.
Thanks to its nature and structure, Architects and Builders, as well as dedicated Project Managers can:
- Trace the progress of projects
- Manage the time of the whole team
- Record all supplier data
- Share project files on the web securely and without any complications
- Store and share building permits
- Choose whether to leave data in the internet or in a dedicated remote hosting.
In short, Twproject is much more than a project management software, it is the unique management place through which is possible to carry out projects.
Thanks to its specific features and to the possibility of developing an enterprise version, the PM can really dedicate itself to its real main activity and successfully complete the construction projects.