In the construction industry, project
completion is the pinnacle of success. With the right amount of planning,
implementing and monitoring, a construction team has the opportunity to
complete a project on time, on budget and with favorable high-quality results.
There are several reasons why a project
might fail. However, such failures can be avoided by adopting efficient and
systematic practices and project management techniques which help in
establishing a clear and vivid understanding of expectations, perceptions and
processes between the client and the construction team.
Good scheduling eliminates problems brought
about by production bottlenecks, facilitates the appropriate procurement of
needed materials and ensures completion of the project on time. Contrary, poor
and inefficient scheduling results in considerable wastes in terms of workforce
and equipment. Delays in the completion of the entire project due to poor
scheduling can also create damage and mistrust between the contractor and the
There are many best practices for project
implementation. However, the following are the basic and most effective:
- Every project should start
with a clear project scope. The construction
team should focus and invest their time in gathering and coming up with viable
information, designate specific tasks to specific people and have a clear
checklist of available and needed resources.
- Timeline. It is necessary to put all tasks on a timeline. This is one way of
checking if all involved agents are on the same boat with the contractor. This timeline will give the contractor a
bird’s eye view of the whole project and all resources. This keeps the team
focused on delivering the goods in a realistic schedule.
- Keep planning. This never stops until the project has been completed. Changes can
happen anytime, and by setting expectations on how to deal with these changes,
the construction team will be able to overcome and surpass such obstacles.
- Implement and check the
metrics. Once implementation has begun, it is
also necessary to not lose track of the metrics. Check all possible signs of
hindrance and difficulties that may cause trouble along the way.
- Quality. This is the most essential measure of success. Getting a project done and within or under
the budget is not enough. What is important is to make sure that the project is
of the highest quality.
Excellence in delivering a good of utmost
quality within the specified time is the ultimate satisfaction that a
construction team can achieve. A successful project can be achieved through a
structured process, teamwork and dedication. The whole process balances the
major constraints and provides an effective tool for coming up with exceptional
decisions all throughout the project.
Such decisions should be based on values, metrics standard procedures
and projected goals.
Project management timeline provides a visual overview of the entire project from conception to completion. It outlines the projected deliverables to be produced and completed in a timely manner. A project plan is incomplete and ineffective if there is no project management timeline right from the start of the project.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
The construction phase or design phase is
considered as the period in which the contractor or builder takes full control
of the overall construction plan and how to carry out its patchwork. This phase
is central to the success of the entire project. This is where the entire
project’s success is built upon. It is the starting point that will nail
success throughout the remainder of the project. This is the point where
review, evaluation, and discussion take place. Conventionally, the
pre-construction phase involves performing the necessary preliminary planning
and engineering in order to fully define the whole process, identify probable
problems and analyze cost impact. In
this phase, the contractor can entirely define the formal approach for
developing project scope, schedule to execute the construction on time and in
control and initiate cost as early as possible with the aim of efficiently
using available resources and money. Pre-construction consequently assists the
owner to determine if the project is feasible or not. If it is indeed feasible,
the pre-construction phase defines the entire scope of work enough to determine
the total cost and possible schedule of the project.
The contractor develops a thorough and
detailed process of understanding the entirety of the project, outlines a
viable strategy and convenes a team with a heart full of dedication and aim to
get the job done in time. It is imperative that the team develop a
comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the main business goals and position
the project goals correspondingly.
It is vital to meet the client and discuss
the whole process in order to properly lay out the possible total cost involved
and the totality of the project. This way, the contractor would have a better
sense of whom he or she is working for. This is an excellent avenue for finding
out the objectives and resolving any possible queries that the owner may have. Next
to this would be a definite and plausible schedule, project scope and cost
estimate for the owner.
The monetary estimation is dependent on the
accuracy that the owner requires. Getting the owner on the same page with
regard to the proposed budget is essential. Also, the right overall
pre-construction planning can be the defining point between an on-time, on-budget
project that meets the owner’s needs and specifications. The intent to work
with the project’s owner is to deliver a satisfactory project that meets the
owner’s specifications. In addition to the monetary aspect of the project, the
pre-construction phase enables the construction team to design, evaluate,
study, schedule, and review.
Moreover, it is the task of the contractor
to dig deeper into the plan and specifications to determine the most
economical, viable and efficient way to execute the project plan. It’s an
on-going process from the design stage to the whole duration of the
pre-construction phase with the aim of producing quality contract documents as
well as identifying possible areas of conflict and problems which may affect
the proposed schedule and budget.
Lastly, the pre-construction phase is all
about well-defined scopes, good plans and an experienced team which will pave
the way for a successful construction project.
A construction project is a complex project
as it comes in layers that involve a lot of processes, from that of the actual
design and construction to that of dealing with uncertainties, legalities, and people.
To simplify the phases from all the
complexity, here are the following phases that will be undergone in a
This phase covers the design stage in which
aesthetics, safety, building codes, and regulations go hand in hand. The
feasibility of the design is also studied on this stage to ensure that the
design is plausible and that future issues and problems may be avoided early on
in the design stage of the construction project, making future phases easier to
navigate. In this phase, all possible diversification in the vision and idea
are welcome to challenge the current design to promote innovation and have it
easier on the next stages.
This phase begins when the design is
finalized and when the contractor has been chosen by the client through the
means of bidding, or some other way. Here, the teams and members are assigned
to their specific responsibilities. It could be that the construction project
manager is assigned in this phase or beforehand even before the designing.
Then, the site investigation is done to ensure that the steps that are to be
followed will be sufficient and efficient for the project and everyone.
The procurement phase is the phase where
the materials and equipment needed to complete the project are acquired or
purchased. So here, from purchasing supplies to acquiring subcontractors, these
are the main tasks of the team. Subcontractors may be acquired through bidding
or depending on the discrepancy of the main contractor and client. And in cases
where the demands are not met, some design changes may have to be considered;
to avoid such, this must be considered in the design and feasibility phase
thoroughly as well.
The construction phase begins with that of
identifying the basics from the schedule needed to be followed to the number of
subcontractors needed and obviously the finalization of payments and such for
the coming progress, after which the actual construction begins. In this phase,
minor issues may be encountered, but mostly they are handled quite easily if
the design and feasibility phase was thoroughly gone through.
In this phase, the owner, client, or what
is supposed to be in the building moves into the project, and the warranty period
begins. Also, the contractors and subcontractors will have to respond if issues
are encountered with regard to the construction as per the contract that they
Occupancy at the same time will work as a
form of advertisement and portfolio for the construction project manager, and
here he/she must be of good terms with the client as into closing the deal so
that bidding will almost hardly come as an option in the next coming projects.
What do you think are the needed things for the construction project manager to get ready for during the occupation phase?
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A construction project may contain more than the following
parts that will be given within this blog, but for most of the cases, the ones
that we will be tackling are the major limbs that will always be part of a construction
None of these other parts would be relevant without the
actual project. This is the most crucial and important part of everything else.
This may be put in mind before the actual design and acquisition of the project
if biddings and proposals are of concern.
The core of the whole construction project is the project
A project will always have a client. It is of utmost
importance to know the client as it is to understand the required requirements
for the project. The client is either a person or a group that initiated or
requested the project. A client may be the one to approach you with a project,
or it is you who will have to approach the client to submit a proposal for a
The client will be either hands-on or not in interacting
with you and the project, or he/she/they may give the whole responsibility to
the construction project manager, but in all cases, the client must be timely
updated of the status of the project.
This is the part of the construction project where visions
are brought to reality through the scrutiny of great minds. In here, the floor
varies from architects, engineers, to even artists from time to time. This
group may exist even before the acquisition of the project and most of the time
will continue to supervise the construction to make sure that the vision is
played out as planned and designed.
The contractor is the team that will handle the resources
needed in the construction. They may be responsible for both the people
acquired for the construction and the supplies and resources needed or at least
one of either, for there may be more than one contractor per project.
Contractors are acquired either within the design phase or after, depending on
the situation. Contractors, in most cases, also bid for the projects which in
turn pair them with a construction project manager or vice versa. There are
also cases where the construction project manager may come from or with the
The Construction Project
The one who manages everything from the ground up. He/she
must have any form of background when it comes to construction as a
prerequisite, but one of the most important aspects that is to be highlighted
is that he/she as a construction project manager must know how to deal with
people from the bottom to the top of the pyramid. A balanced construction
project manager does not only rely on theories alone but also considers the
thoughts and opinions of his/her team members from the top to the bottom of the
So those are the most common and basic anatomical parts of a
construction project. In your projects what extra parts do you have?
There are two types of challenges that the
construction manager encounters.
The most basic and obvious one, as per
category, is the technical aspect of constructions and management, design,
resources, biddings, and unpredictable circumstances.
The most difficult challenge to manage of
all that is encountered by construction managers, however, are the very social
aspects of the involved transactions, meaning the people that they themselves
must have to encounter. Of course, there will be easy social transactions; it
is the difficult ones that are really difficult. Imagine you need one company
as a supplier for a very important resource to your current project and there
are two choices: one with a more feasible location and pricing and the other
which is not as feasible and not as affordable; seems like a simple choice,
right? But here is the catch: the owner of the former is known to arguably
cheat on clients that are not “close” to his favor. Either he would mix
low-quality items into the ordered batch or something else, but let us just say
that this is the case. So what will your approach be?
Your answer might be different from mine,
but hopefully, you did it with a thought on possible future transactions and
The solution is just knowing how your
attitude should be when encountering these challenges, for they can come as a
learning experience for future references or either as a very terrible haunting
decision. Learning to be mindful, empathic, and calm during encounters of these
kinds can help you and your team make the right decisions. As much as possible,
do not make or take the decision as a personal thing, and be more critical but
still take note of social implications.
Sometimes it is best to look from the
bottom of the pyramid for solutions, for these people in terms are very
familiar with the effects of the problems, and you might just be surprised of the
wisdom that they might have when it comes to finding solutions to your biggest
problem, so do not be afraid to ask, and always see through that you meet your
Of course, there are more pressing
challenges that could be covered here, but those that of legal technicalities
can always be passed on to your legal team (if you have one). Budgeting and
cost monitoring are also a possible challenge to encounter depending on the
project. Scheduling, on the other hand, is a solution turn into a problem when
it is taken for granted by the team and taken so lightly that it almost is
being ignored (note that this practice could promote more issues in the further
Again, if we dissect these problems and
challenges, we will see that the human factors of the transactions, e.g.
disregard of schedule, disregard of duty, and personal conflicts of interests,
are the leading cause of them. So here, we propose that the approach to be done
should be more on the social and personal side in which the managers play as
leaders who instill leadership values to all of the members of the team,
ensuring that everyone ticks in a positive way, reducing future encounters of
similar challenges, and, if so encountered, knowing the right attitude and
correct approach. Is not that all that we need?