An Expert's Guide to Construction Project Management

expert guide project management in construction

Construction is a thriving industry, not only in the US but also worldwide, with both big and small players making a killing from the trade. As development moves full speed ahead, the construction industry in the US could be worth a whopping $1.8 trillion by 2023.

Walk around any city, and you’ll likely see large towering buildings everywhere you look. Nowadays, buildings having more than a hundred floors aren’t uncommon, with the tallest worldwide having 163 floors. All these lofty buildings are the product of proper project management in construction.

These large, towering buildings are products of synchronized and well-coordinated construction procedures from technologically equipped contractors.

At the core of every successful construction project is effective project management. In this guide, we’ll be highlighting all you need to know about project management for construction projects. We’ll include what project management is and the key facets of construction project management.


What Is Construction Project Management?

You can think of construction project management as managing a construction project, but that’s not much of a definition, is it? Project management is a holistic exercise that involves directing and coordinating the construction process.

A project management exercise is very comprehensive. It essentially involves everything from planning for the construction project to the actual execution of the project. It should be synchronized, well-coordinated, and involve all concerned parties for it to work.

Project management is a multi-faceted art that requires extensive knowledge of multiple fields, including business, law, and engineering, among others. The project manager is at the center of project management as the overseer of the entire project.


Project Management in Construction: The Key Players

Project management encompasses everyone involved in the construction process. This includes the client, skilled and unskilled labor, and even the state. Out of everyone involved in project management, these are the main stakeholders.


The Project Manager

At the center of it all, we have the project manager whose job is to make sure the construction proceeds as planned and completed on time.  As you’d guess, project managers typically have a lot on their plate. To complete the project on time, and within the stipulated budget isn’t the easiest thing on earth.

The project manager pulls all the strings and also does all the behind-the-scenes stuff to make sure the project is successful. Some responsibilities of the project manager include:

  • Construction management- coordinating all aspects of the construction process
  • Quality control- Ensures that everything from materials to construction technique meets expected quality standard
  • Time management- Makes sure the contractor completes every phase of the project within the time stipulated
  • Budget management- Manages all construction expenses, including the acquisition of materials to staff payrolls
  • Safety control- the project manager, ensures the safety of all the workers and everyone around or in the construction site

Some project managers also oversee everything to do with the contract administration. That’s why significant knowledge of construction law is essential for project managers.


The Contractor

The contractor is the entity that’s responsible for erecting the structure. Unknown to many people, the contractor plays little or no role at all in the design of the building or structure.  All they do is get the drawings and plans and turn them into actual buildings on the ground.

The contractor facilitates the actual construction, even though the project manager oversees it. That means they handle all the engineering, public safety, and regulation compliance that has to do with the construction.

Before the client settles for a contractor, the contractor must meet a set of prerequisite criteria.  The winning contractor is the one who meets the criteria and offers the services at a competitive price.


The Client

Every aspect of project management leads back to the client because the project belongs to the client. Without the client, there would be no project in the first place. The client’s role in project management is as simple as accepting the structural design and funding the entire project.


The Principles/Process of Project Management

Construction takes place in phases, and these phases depend on the type of structure being constructed. Despite this difference, all construction projects seem to follow a similar framework.

From this framework, we can be able to deduce a few principles of project management.


Initiation

This involves setting the ball rolling and is the first phase of any construction project. It involves little or no groundwork, save from maybe testing out and the preliminary survey. In this phase, the project manager determines whether the construction is feasible enough to proceed with.

If not, then all the stakeholders go back to the drawing board. Before moving to the next phase, all the concerned parties must agree to move forward with the project.


Planning

The planning phase involves drafting an actual plan for the construction.  It includes everything from the scope of work to the completion of the project.

The planning also involves drafting a budget for the project and making a communication plan. It also involves making a contingency plan in case something goes wrong.


Execution

This is the phase when the contractor erects the structure and marks the beginning of the construction work. The execution phase is the one with the most work for both the contractor and the project manager.

If needed, you can always visit www.lmsproject.com for help with your project management.


Monitoring

The monitoring phase parallels the execution phase. It involves making sure everything goes according to plan. It also addresses any unexpected issues during construction.


Closure

The closure means that the project is done with. The contractor can now hand over the structure to the client.


Proper Project Management Equals a Successful Project

In most cases, the success of a project greatly depends on how effective the project management was. As such, it’s important to ensure the project management in construction is right to get the building or structure you desire.

Remember, you can’t blame the contractor for everything that goes wrong with your construction project. The right project management can make all the difference.

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