Project Management in Construction

constructionmanagementCommonly for civil and structural projects or real estate development project, there exists three major players: The client, the builder or the contractor, and the project designer or consultant. Normally, all the three major players have their own project management.

Project management refers to the strategic application of the skills, tools and other educated techniques to achieved and meet the desired project requirements.

For construction projects, project management is commonly known as construction management. This scope is basically managed by a construction management team usually spearheaded by a Vice-President for Construction (name of position varies for the corporate company). Working directly under the Vice-Presidents are the Managers. Managers are the one working hand in hand on site. Directly managing the manpower, the material resources, the equipment and tools, budget and other.

This being said, there should be a construction management in every site to ensure that the contractors and their on-site development is properly checked and is in line with what is specified and planned as per design.

For better understanding, I will be discussing about the construction or project management under the client side. For instance, there will be a condominium project. The client tapped the consultant to have his condominium be put to paper or designed. The consultant then will prepare all the needed plans, the specifications, the designed strength, and calculations gave this to the client for bidding. The client then provided this bidding plan to contractor or builders for pricing.

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Preparation of Budget for the Project

The contractor prepares the pricing and the project will now start. The client prepares the down payment for mobilization. The client will then have to create his own construction management team to directly manage his project. Every accomplishment percentages claimed by the contractor for progress billings will be checked by the construction management team. That is where the importance of this department lies.

Construction management team ensure that the progress billing as claimed by the builder is directly proportional to what is actually cast on site. Not only that, the construction management has ensured and checked that what is claimed by the contractor has passed the quality assurance inspection.

To give you an example of the importance that the billing claimed has to meet the quality assurance is for the tiling works. I have encountered a residential project wherein the builder claimed 60% of the total contract price for tiling works. As the site engineer checked, all the 60% has been actually installed on site and signed their claim without consulting the quality control engineer.

Quality Assurance & Quality Control Team

Normally for corporate positions, quality control engineers are working not under the umbrella of the Construction Management Team (CMT) but under Quality Assurance Team (QAT). This initiative is followed nowadays as CMT tend to take the quality for granted being time constraint. Thus, personnel outside the CMT should be hired to avoid any conflict of interest. This being said, these two departments usually have their own corporate cold war.

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To diminish lapses like overbilling with a trade, not QC checked, the site engineer has to see to it that the scope claimed by the contractor is already accepted by the quality control and assurance engineer.

Importance of Construction Management

In addition to the importance of construction management, is the strategic placing of manpower that gives results and also at the most economical plan. To give you an idea on what I am referring, during any excavation and foundation works wherein zero to minimal work is scheduled as per architectural works, normally, the construction management wouldn’t hire an Architect, yet. Same thing for the builder. The builder’s project management on the contractor side would not hire painters yet since the scope of work is still under the excavation works. The logic is too obvious to be explained further.

For builders working with several projects wherein they tend to let their equipment and formworks be borrowed from other sites, the construction management under the client side should not let that happen. Construction management under the client side should stand their ground knowing every formwork, shoring and accessories were all paid by the client (Clients normally pays for formworks, you may want to construction contract to be sure). Allowing the borrowing of these systems is risky and harmful to the project schedule.

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Recommended Readings:

  1. The Seven Major Components of Project Quality Plan That Really Needs to Implement in Construction
  2. The Basic Composition Of A Project Quality Plan
  3. Principles and Guidelines for the Management of Projects
  4. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

Construction Management Plays a Major Role

Construction management really plays an important role in a construction project being the overall manager. They are the ones that oversee the construction. With this role, whatever activities or grounds that is dragging the timeline, safety, and quality of the project should be eliminated and projected even before they exist. Problems including weather disturbances should as well the planned out to ensure smooth flow of the construction.

Other things that construction management oversee are the vicinity near the construction site. Any real estate development or construction projects should never disrupt, abuse or take for granted their neighboring area. This is true especially for large dam project that is prone to flash flooding during rainy seasons. Construction or project management should find a way to divert probable flooding away from the neighboring people.

Do you follow standard guidelines for the management of project?  What guidebook do you read to enhance your project mangement skills?

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