The six main components of construction management.
Construction management is the control, planning, coordination, execution, and monitoring of a construction project. It’s essentially a type of project management designed for the construction industry. The vast majority of construction projects, like all types of business projects, require management of some kind. The various construction projects that need managing usually fall into 5 categories. Residential, environmental, commercial, civil, and industrial all require construction management. Ultimately, construction management and managers play a huge role in the success of a building project from planning to completion.
1. Project planning
Also known as project management planning, this is how the project comes into being. Planning is of utmost importance because it lays out the map for how the rest of the project will be completed. Each step of the project needs to be planned, as well as the timeline from start to finish. The planning process will define what tasks specialized workers, engineers, and general construction contractors are responsible for. The length of time spent on each task should also be planned by the construction project manager. Careful planning will lead to a better, more efficient, and overall successful project in the end.
2. Time management
Unlike money and material, time only goes one way. Proper time management is one of the most important roles that a construction manager fills. The longer the timeline of a project goes on, the higher costs go. Logistics and other construction aspects become more complex as time goes by as well.
As a project drags on, costs go up for various reasons. These include paying workers more for extra hours and overtime. There is also the rental/use of high-cost machinery like cranes and cement trucks. If a project winds up taking significantly longer than thought, contractors, architects, and engineers may have other jobs that they are scheduled to do. These other jobs will eat into their available working time and resources on the current project. It’s imperative that a construction project manager manages time wisely.
Good time management skills include good communication, delegation, and knowing what to prioritize. One small misstep, like the delivery of building materials late or to the wrong location, can result in a delay of weeks or months.
3. Budget management
Also called cost management, the importance of this aspect of construction project control is incredibly important. After the planning phase, a construction manager must take a look at the over all project as well as the details for competing each part. This is done to figure out what the projected costs and returns from it should be. Understanding the budget is key in running the project smoothly. A properly budgeted project will adhere well to its payment schedule. Thus it can be sure that commercial contractors, suppliers, and other workers are payed on time. The budget and time plan also determine when steps of a project are complete.
The overall budget will also include a cost plan. This plan tells workers the costs of various parts of construction and the overall costs of the entire project. If a contractor needs to subcontract something, they will know the budget for that job. The cost plan shows the maximum value for expenses, and where and when project managers can spend money during the project.
4. Contract management
Once the planning, timeline, and budget are complete, a project manager will work on the contracts. A large construction project has numerous moving parts and parties. These include workers and specialists of all kinds. General contractors, subcontractors, engineers, architects, plumbers, electricians, and more are all party to a massive construction job. Everyone involved in building will need a contract.
The owner of the project will also have a contract specifically for the construction manager. This contract will dictate things like the budget and timeline of the project. As the management team completes the project, they will ensure it is following the plan as described in their contract. The contract can also be used to double-check that the project is done right. It should fit the original agreement between the management team and the owner. Here’s a great example of a contract that clearly describes a construction manager’s roles and responsibilities.
5. Quality management
Part of construction management is ensuring that the quality of the building is up to snuff. In order to ensure that the quality of the completed project matches what is outlined in the contract, the manager has several things to keep track of. The first is to ensure that the work practices are high enough. This means due diligence on all commercial contractors and subcontractors hired. Due diligence is also done on anyone else working on the building. Quality management also includes control and monitoring of the materials used. It has to be ensured they are of good quality, durable, and will not receive damage during or after construction.
6. Safety management
During the planning phase, a construction manager must look at all the potential safety hazards of the project. Safety management includes required PPE (personal protective equipment), zoning, and proper delegation.
Workers should only work where they are qualified to do so. They must also be scheduled properly. During the time management and contract writing, a construction manager should be extremely careful and exact. Workers shouldn’t be overworked, or tasked with jobs that are beyond their abilities. Finally, materials that are used on the site need to be carefully analyzed to ensure that they do not pose threats to the people who will be working there. Safety management connects to time management, contract oversight, quality management, budgeting, and planning. It brings together all the other parts of construction management.
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