Real Life: Construction
Management Guide from A-Z
Have you ever experienced discrepancies between the concepts you read in textbooks and their real-life application? In order to successfully enter the field of construction management, one must incorporate both theoretical concepts and practical experiences. Real Life Construction Management Guide from A-Z does just that.

Real Life Construction Management Guide from A-Z combines theoretical principles with real-life insight, offering a practical guide of best practices to be a successful construction manager. This book is a complete manual taking you through all phases of a project, from its inception, to design, to completion of construction. It will cover all the challenges you will face as a construction manager, whether you are working as an owner’s representative, for a contractor, for an architect, or for an owner.

This book is written in an easy-to-read, conversational style, and will benefit anyone, from a new construction manager to a seasoned professional.

BookReviews:

Grady Harp,

Amazon reviewer:

Combining excellent illustrations with graphs and table and work areas, Jamil provides information that will benefit anyone involved in construction management – whether first timers or advanced practitioners. Perusing the topics he discusses in chapter format is a fine indication of the material to be learned from this practical and sophisticated book: The undisclosed factors, History of Construction Management, The anatomy of a construction project/key players, Construction Manager/ Being an owner’s representative, Planning phase, Design phase, Various project delivery methods, Bid/Award phase, Construction/Close out phase, Scheduling, Delay analysis, Construction claims – various methods for dispute resolution (‘The bottom line is AVOID CLAIMS AT ALL COSTS. Solve the problems as they arise at the project’s level. Don’t let an issue fester for a long time. The best cure is establishing fair and good relationships among the project team members.’), and some solid concluding remarks.

For those directly involved in Construction Management, this book is a veritable Bible on the field. For those one the periphery, reading Jamil Soucar’s creative approach to problem avoiding and problem solving make this a manual for all who are involved in management of any type. A definitive success!

R. Scot Lorenz,

Amazon reviewer:

Jamil Soucar’s Real Life Construction Management Guide A-Z is “the ultimate how-to book for both the student and the veteran construction manager.” I found this book to be more than the nuts and bolts guide you’d expect from a book like this. In fact, the book focuses on the human factors and personalities involved in managing large projects. Let’s face it, the management of people is what make the world go around and Soucar is a master of managing people. Furthermore, Soucar worked with the biggest firms on the largest projects for Turner Construction and LA Public Schools to name a few.

If you are seeking a new book for your classroom instruction, then Real Life Construction Management Guide A-Z would seem to me to be a perfect addition.

If you are a project manager, architect, engineer, construction manager, student, builder or anyone involved construction then read this book.

Pam Gossiaux:

I’m not a construction manager but after reading Jamil Soucar’s excellent book Real Life Construction Management from A-Z I feel I could be one. He is obviously a very gifted teacher and the conversational and organized way he walks the reader through the steps lends to an incredible overview of the job.

What appeals to me most—and what could be used in other areas of life as well—is the honest look he brings to the “human element” of the book.

The book is also full of practical tips for the job, examples of forms, meeting agendas, and a how to avoid claims and litigation. Jamil Soucar, who has vast experience in construction, teaching, and also as an expert witness for construction in court, brings it all to the table.

Manhattan,

In Real Life Construction Management Guide from A-Z Jamil Soucar explains the process of being in Construction Management from a real-life perspective. Many times informational books will be written like a textbook, whereas Soucar gives examples from his experiences working with and alongside various people. This is very helpful in order to learn from others’ mistakes. Soucar stresses the most important do’s and don’ts in the business for the reader to get a glimpse into the world of construction and to learn the proper way to engage in human interaction while on the job. Included in all of the individual professions involved, much like it should be for everyone in real-life, is the need for equal opportunities and a mutual respect for the common goal they all share in the construction business. Without these, everyone’s experience and the entire process will be flawed from the start.

Charts and graphs are provided to enhance the learning and comprehension of the text. In the business of construction management, there is an abundance of paperwork that must be completed in a timely manner in order to be successful. Soucar helps explain the paperwork needed for each situation. This paperwork can seem overwhelming if you’re new or if you choose to put off the necessary daily work involved to keep records straight not only for the project at hand but also for the chance of a court hearing in which the paperwork will serve as evidence. Within the job description of each group of people involved in the process of building (architect, owner, construction manager, contractor, etc), there lies great responsibility as well as a great need for positive human interaction between everyone involved to end up with the best outcome. Pettiness and the need to feel or look better than others will not get you far, in construction or even elsewhere; being able to be straight with someone in private is much more noble, time-saving, and respectful than waiting for a public opportunity to put someone down.

In addition to the necessary text, there are also many typos that should be addressed in order to make the reading experience that much more enjoyable and easier to comprehend. Not having any personal experience with construction management and minimal knowledge, I came out of reading this book with a more in-depth understanding of what goes on and the requirements in the world of construction. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy the process of increasing their knowledge in areas outside of their expertise or comfort.

Kristi Elizabeth


The Real Life Construction Management Guide From A-Z is an excellent handbook written for contractors and construction managers. It breaks down a number of scenarios and gives examples of what to do in different situations. Author Jamil Soucar emphasizes the importance of “having a construction manager who is a focal point of communication coordinating, acting as a liaison, and facilitating everyone’s problems so the project runs smooth.” The importance of the construction manager staying on top of all of the procedures will determine if the project runs smoothly or not. The book is written unlike a textbook and is instead easy to understand and implement.

The book describes the key players in a construction project. It describes who is involved and what their responsibilities are and even has some easy-to-understand diagrams to visualize the chain of command. Included are guidelines for each player to make the project successful. I really appreciated the scenarios the author laid out, including the example of a construction manager who is also representing the owner versus agency management. The pros and cons are outlined so the reader clearly understands that it’s not a matter of wrong or right but more so an issue of what responsibilities are and who answers to whom. For example, if the construction manager is representing the owner, he/she would need to build a rapport with the owner and create a relationship with the owner to make sure things are done to the owner’s liking. Without this rapport and constant communication, a project could fail.

The different phases of construction include Planning, Design, Bid/Award, Construction, and Close Out. The author does a thorough job of describing each step, how it fits into the big picture, who the key players are, and what happens if one of the steps goes terribly wrong. He gives examples of each stage and the different options he has experienced. He includes what to do and what not to do and even gives examples of notes from the California Public Contract Code and urges the reader to look up the codes for his/her own state since the laws may vary. Another positive point of the book is that the author includes examples of spreadsheets needed for each phase. This would be useful to a construction manager who is just starting out and does not realize he/she will need something like an “Application and Certificate For Payment.” Overall, I found this book to be full of useful information that takes the construction manager through every step of a project.

Tulsa

The Real Life Construction Management Guide From A-Z is an excellent handbook written for contractors and construction managers. It breaks down a number of scenarios and gives examples of what to do in different situations. Author Jamil Soucar emphasizes the importance of “having a construction manager who is a focal point of communication coordinating, acting as a liaison, and facilitating everyone’s problems so the project runs smooth.” The importance of the construction manager staying on top of all of the procedures will determine if the project runs smoothly or not. The book is written unlike a textbook and is instead easy to understand and implement.

The book describes the key players in a construction project. It describes who is involved and what their responsibilities are and even has some easy-to-understand diagrams to visualize the chain of command. Included are guidelines for each player to make the project successful. I really appreciated the scenarios the author laid out, including the example of a construction manager who is also representing the owner versus agency management. The pros and cons are outlined so the reader clearly understands that it’s not a matter of wrong or right but more so an issue of what responsibilities are and who answers to whom. For example, if the construction manager is representing the owner, he/she would need to build a rapport with the owner and create a relationship with the owner to make sure things are done to the owner’s liking. Without this rapport and constant communication, a project could fail.

The different phases of construction include Planning, Design, Bid/Award, Construction, and Close Out. The author does a thorough job of describing each step, how it fits into the big picture, who the key players are, and what happens if one of the steps goes terribly wrong. He gives examples of each stage and the different options he has experienced. He includes what to do and what not to do and even gives examples of notes from the California Public Contract Code and urges the reader to look up the codes for his/her own state since the laws may vary. Another positive point of the book is that the author includes examples of spreadsheets needed for each phase. This would be useful to a construction manager who is just starting out and does not realize he/she will need something like an “Application and Certificate For Payment.” Overall, I found this book to be full of useful information that takes the construction manager through every step of a project.

Rachel Dehning


In Real Life Construction Management Guide from A-Z Jamil Soucar explains the process of being in Construction Management from a real-life perspective. Many times informational books will be written like a textbook, whereas Soucar gives examples from his experiences working with and alongside various people. This is very helpful in order to learn from others’ mistakes. Soucar stresses the most important do’s and don’ts in the business for the reader to get a glimpse into the world of construction and to learn the proper way to engage in human interaction while on the job. Included in all of the individual professions involved, much like it should be for everyone in real-life, is the need for equal opportunities and a mutual respect for the common goal they all share in the construction business. Without these, everyone’s experience and the entire process will be flawed from the start.

Charts and graphs are provided to enhance the learning and comprehension of the text. In the business of construction management, there is an abundance of paperwork that must be completed in a timely manner in order to be successful. Soucar helps explain the paperwork needed for each situation. This paperwork can seem overwhelming if you’re new or if you choose to put off the necessary daily work involved to keep records straight not only for the project at hand but also for the chance of a court hearing in which the paperwork will serve as evidence. Within the job description of each group of people involved in the process of building (architect, owner, construction manager, contractor, etc), there lies great responsibility as well as a great need for positive human interaction between everyone involved to end up with the best outcome. Pettiness and the need to feel or look better than others will not get you far, in construction or even elsewhere; being able to be straight with someone in private is much more noble, time-saving, and respectful than waiting for a public opportunity to put someone down.

In addition to the necessary text, there are also many typos that should be addressed in order to make the reading experience that much more enjoyable and easier to comprehend. Not having any personal experience with construction management and minimal knowledge, I came out of reading this book with a more in-depth understanding of what goes on and the requirements in the world of construction. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy the process of increasing their knowledge in areas outside of their expertise or comfort.

About the Author

Jamil Soucar has passionately worked in the construction industry since 1983. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering; is a Certified Construction Manager; and is licensed as a B-General Contractor. He has a construction management consulting business in Los Angeles, through which he consults to general contractors, owners and architects, and provides expert witness service to construction attorneys. Jamil has overseen over 500 projects from inception to closeout. He has worked as a superintendent, a project manager for contractors, and a construction manager consulting to owners. He has worked in civil engineering design and drafting surveys.

Jamil was inspired to write this book after teaching construction management at night to working adults. He realized the need for construction management taught from the perspective of real-life experiences.

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