Posted on May 10, 2013 · Posted in Management

While project management is a role that is increasing in demand, popularity, and importance, the construction industry is one of the top industries that benefit from project management. Construction involves many milestones, materials, budgets, and deadlines that are all of equal importance to a customer. Here are some tips for construction project managers.

  • Definition and Audience. Each construction project should be clearly defined. What are we building? Who is it for? What is the desired outcome? This could be something as small as a backyard patio to a seventeen-story skyscraper in the city. Who are the customers? They could range from the homeowner who wants the backyard patio to the contractor or company CEO who wants the building built for offices. Each customer has needs and expectations, which all need to be clearly defined prior to the start of the project.
  • Consistency. While most professional project managers know, regardless of the industry, that no two projects are the same, consistency is important. This may sound contradictory, but it’s important to maintain a consistent strategy or systematic approach for all projects. This basically means that all projects should logically follow the same order of steps. Of course these steps may vary from time to time and from project to project, or even in the number or category of tasks, ideally every project should follow the same “order of business”, regardless of specs. This ensures proper planning, initiation, and implementation.
  • Monitoring. Monitoring project budgets, milestones, and overall progress is crucial to the project’s overall success and safety for all those involved. Safety is especially a huge factor to consider in construction project management. This often involves heavy machinery, equipment, and materials that all need to be monitored. It’s also important to monitor that safety rules and proper precautions are taken and met as well as identify and safety hazards or risks ahead of time and during the life cycle of the project.Monitoring also involves project milestones. Typically in construction project management the project milestones are often bigger, and sometimes even more difficult to achieve due to (and depending on) the complexity and nature of the project.
  • Execution. Once plans have been set, risks have been identified, resources have been allocated, milestones have been set, it’s time to really dive into the nitty gritty of the project. The execution phase of any construction project involves the actual physical construction of the structure. This could involve digging, pouring foundation, or setting up the initial framework of structure. This is when the tasks are carried out, the milestones are met during project succession, and this continues right through until completion.
  • Deliverables. Deliverables for a project refer to the final product that is due to the client. However, this is obviously different for a construction project. Clients sometimes monitor the construction throughout development and execution. However, the “deliverables” here refer to the completed structure or edifice that the client originally asked for and hired the construction firm for.

Even though project management strategic practices are somewhat standard across industries, the tasks and teams managed can differ. Construction project management heavily relies on safety policies and procedures and other hazard guidelines, and even state laws related to building codes, permits, etc. However, construction project managers can still benefit from proper project management practices, organization tools and techniques, and even the standard project management PMBOK guide. With these project practices, project managers can really build their construction project management empire!

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