Introduction to Construction Project Management
Construction project management is a different aspect of project management; although it requires primary management skills, but also demands continuous monitoring over an environment that is quite certain to change with time. In a construction project, there is a number of factors that need to be in line with each other to make the project stable. A project manager is the first person who will hear about the changes first and on the field. Here we will see the different areas of CPM and what are the roles and responsibilities it offers.
What is Construction Project Management (CPM)?
- Construction Project management can be defined as supervision, guidance, and regulation of a project from an early stage to its completion by maintaining effective communication within the project team.
- The main objective is to provide the client with a viable project under the given budget and timeline.
- The scope of CPM is also further divided into commercial, residential, industrial and heavy civil.
Roles and Challenges as a Construction Project Manager
The role of a construction manager is a challenging one and involves a lot of real-time management.
1. Project Planning
In the construction business, it is one of the crucial components, and it always starts way before the construction starts and ends with the project completion. Here the project manager needs to revise the plans to continue to meet the end user’s criteria. With the project planning comes budget estimation, procurement planning, and design, and why is this a crucial phase? Suppose you come across a change in real-time, which is an environmental issue, and for that, you need to make a slight change in the design. But remember this even a slight change in your planned design, and there will be an impact on your initial design and timeline for which a continuous revision of planning will be needed. This work needs transparency at each level.
2. Making an Effective Communication Channel
Construction business requires many resources to manage from the stakeholders, project manager, site engineers, contractors, daily workers, etc. Therefore, the project itself needs an effective communication channel that will pass the information to all the team members and make the transitions go smooth, which will be helpful to the PM to avoid micromanagement.
3. Risk Management
Risk management is a role that a project manager plays in the planning stage where PM needs to address the possible risk factors while developing the action plans from the start. Also, we need to validate each option to mitigate the risk factors during the project action plan. Proper planning of these sections decides the future of the project once started. Because no construction project is risk-free, and risk can be minimized, managed, shared or accepted but cannot be ignored. Let’s take an example: Suppose there is the procurement of raw materials, and it has gone wrong. So at that time project manager must have done enough planning about the risk and how to mitigate it at that very stage.
4. Project Closure
This is one of the integral parts of construction project management because there is nothing worse than a project which is getting short of timelines after multiple extensions. This doesn’t mean the manager needs to do micromanagement, but this also doesn’t mean the manager needs to sit idle without even knowing how the project is progressing. So, therefore, PM should follow up on the key tasks. Taking care of the timeline from the beginning, learn to think on the feet how to compensate if a task takes longer than assigned.
Apart from the above points, there are few minor things which are offered by the CPM role. The project manager needs to be on a constant verge of a learning curve to leverage the project by new strategies and methodologies in the industry. Different software that simplifies project planning, scheduling, and estimation. Similarly, the PM should have a keen judgment on how to address changes in the scope, which the client informs. Because sometimes, the client gives something in the middle of a project, and at that time, the project manager needs to learn to say “no” if it deviates the scope by a large margin. Having an emotional quotient which actually differentiates good project managers from the avg ones.
“Studies show that when it comes to spending time on human-related activities, about 10% of high-quality project managers spend 60-80% of their work on these factors while average project managers only spend 8-12%.”
Therefore, it takes a whole lot of effort and resources to manage and execute a construction project. After reading the above aspects, you would get to know as a project manager that there are a lot of things to take care of. As a project manager, you need to be resourced by keeping yourself updated with upcoming strategies, software, and methodologies. With regards to the risk management, as no construction project is risk-free, the higher you map the risks, the better you will be able to close the projects within the timeline.
This has been a guide to Construction Project Management. Here we have discussed the basic concept, roles and challenges of a construction project manager, respectively. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –
- A career in Project Management
- Introduction to Project Management
- Project Management Interview Questions
- Project Management Myths