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?
If you want to be a construction manager,
first of all, you need to understand construction. Start on site, and
understand the process from the ground up. I think that this should be a given,
for although your theories might feel spot on, there is still that need to
truly see and feel the atmosphere of the site for you to truly be effective.
Mistakes (But Not Deliberately, Obviously)
Well, yes, make mistakes, but do learn from
them, and be sure to remember them and their solution on your next projects.
There is so much growth in taking mistakes this way, as learning opportunities
that could only make you better as a manager and as a person. Of course, as
much as you can, you must avoid them and counter all the possible mistakes
pre-construction and during planning, but do not be frustrated by those that
you do encounter; learn to calm down and take note.
First, you have to know and understand on
what ground you are standing in, both literally and figuratively. The
identification of the scope and the limitations of the project means the
identification of the specificities and the overall direction of the
construction, for which without identifying these scopes and limitations, the
project will be more prone to changes and future mistakes. Develop this first
and stick to what is in it all throughout the processes and then finalize.
Here, the resources must highly be taken of note.
the Design Phase
Now that we have the scope all settled in,
we can manage the design around this. Managing this area is in terms of just
making sure that the design specifications are within the set scope and limitations.
This is where most of the development takes place. A good area to encounter and
overcome mistakes, so in this step, is to not be afraid of making changes and
seeing what is or what could be better. Taking inspiration from other projects
can come in handy once you handle issues within this step.
Once all that is done, the advertisement
and proposals come in, which of course can be handled by a different team other
than the main construction and engineering crew. This is more in marketing and
social connections, so do not be afraid to find help beyond just construction;
external inputs in this step may be more of a necessity than that of the other
the Contractor Up to Completion
Mistakenly viewed most of the time as the
only actual management done when it comes to construction management, this step
is indeed the most critical and the biggest play, as this will seal the deal
and ultimately, in goodwill, aid you into future projects.
In here, the actual constructions are done,
and skills are put to the test. Have this step done perfectly and the next
project will come in easier that you may not even need to advertise or bid for