An overview of the function and purpose of construction management.
Every task in the workplace needs some kind of management. Time, budget, resources, workers, locales, and much more all need to be taken into account. Management can often be done by individual workers (such as workers managing their own time throughout the day). For bigger projects, it is performed by professionals put in charge of that specific project. Project managers oversee the whole process of completing a goal, and essentially function as change agents. They are responsible for the planning, organizing, executing, and directing of specific projects for an organization. What is construction management? What do construction managers do? How are they alike and different to other types of managers? Read on to find out.
Construction management (CM) sounds like a generalized strategy for running a construction project. It’s reasonable to assume that a construction manager is basically a specific type of project manager. They are a manager who specializes in the construction-only aspects of a project. PM (project management) oversees every aspect of a project. From raising funding to planning to revenue upon completion, it is all included in what a PM does.
CM uses specialized management techniques to oversee the planning, design, and construction of a project. A construction manager’s job is to keep the project progressing, and to control costs. They do so by ensuring that all interested parties working on the project can work together effectively.
Construction management works with various building methods. Design-bid-build, design-build, Public Private Partnerships, and more. Expensive, large-scale projects, such as high rise buildings, skyscrapers, industrial parks, transport and military infrastructure, are called “capital projects.” For this type of massive undertaking, a professional construction manager is almost certainly needed.
The main goal of CM is to control the following aspects of a construction project, these are often called the “triple constraints”:
- Time/schedule/delivery. This is when the construction is totally finished as well as the timeline of the building.
- Cost. Cost is always one of the most important factors of any project. Ultimately it may be the final word in giving the go-ahead for something.
- Quality. Quality often improves as both delivery time and costs increase.
- Function is another important aspect of CM. A building needs to be built correctly to function in the way it’s intended too. An office building will have a hard time doing its job if it doesn’t have good internet wiring. A factory may not need great internet, but it will certainly need special considerations taken for electricity supply.
- Safety should be a main concern of any project. If a commercial contractor isn’t concerned with safety, they should probably be in another industry. Keeping a site safe is incredibly important, injuries can result in death. Safety risks can also result in litigation which bottlenecks — or completely stops — work.
So how do Construction Managers do what they do?
How does a construction manager keep a project going and get it completed while staying within the constraints? A construction manager uses their expertise in building trades and the trades to ensure the project goes smoothly. Their specific knowledge of carpentry, electric wiring, plumbing, and more ensure that they know what is best in each aspect of a construction project. They also manage construction contractors, consultants, and everyone at a building location. Although project managers often supervise construction managers, construction managers have the final word on-site. For large projects that require more than one construction manager, a senior manager will oversee sub-managers who each oversee individual aspects of the site. For example, a massive industrial complex will have sub managers who are in control of things like concrete and paving, electrics, and plumbing.
The nuts and bolts of a construction manager’s job include the following:
- Working with engineers, architects, and other construction specialists.
- Hiring contractors/subcontractors and delegating/coordinating their jobs.
- Budgeting and cost estimates.
- Schedules/work timetables.
- Resolving problems such as delays, disagreements, and emergencies.
- Ensuring that all professionals on the worksite understand contracts and other pertinent information.
- Ensuring the site and later the building complies with legal requirements and safety codes.
- Reporting on costs, timelines, and construction progress to owners and project managers.
The main goals of a construction manager
We know what constraints a construction manager has, and what they do. The goals of a construction manager are to provide oversight over the whole construction project for the owner. Their goal is to work with all parties to ensure the building process goes as smoothly as well. In the broadest strokes, a construction manager’s job is to get a building project finished on time or before a deadline, and to ensure it is on or under budget.
Read more here about the requirements/education someone needs to be a construction manager. You can even learn about how to become one.
Is a construction manager necessary?
Well, that question can’t always be answered easily. Are you a private citizen working on building a small shed on your own property? If so, you probably don’t need a construction manager. Are you a CEO looking to build a corporate headquarters adjacent to R&D and a factory? In that case, you might need a head manager and a few specific construction managers. Are you building a single housing unit? What about a dozen houses? How about a retail shop space with room for 3 small businesses? These places are when the necessity of a construction manager becomes a bit more cloudy.
If you are a business owner looking to expand or create a new project, then our advice to you is this: don’t worry about it. Let us do that for you. Reliable Commercial Construction can handle every aspect of your construction project for you. Your dream is the only thing we need to know to get your project underway and completed. Contact us today for a free quote and find out how we can help you build.