Construction Management & Planning
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Construction project management (CPM), as the name implies, is focused on projects in the construction industry, and the unique challenges posed by that environment.
In construction, the projects tend to be larger, longer and more complex. And, in addition to managing the traditional constraints of time, cost and quality, the construction project manager needs to know public safety, how to manage subcontractors and other skills. A well-crafted construction management plan is required to manage all of these elements and bring a project to a successful conclusion.
What Is a Construction Management Plan?
So, what is a construction management plan? That’s a bit of a multiple-choice answer. It can be a plan delivered by the client to map out the entire project from its goals to an evaluation of the process. Sometimes the plan comes from the contractor, who focuses on the construction work primarily. Then there’s the plan that puts the project in the context of the site around it, as defined by the rules and regulations of the municipality in which it is being done.
But regardless of what type of construction project planning you’re involved in, the best way to start is at the end. You need to know what it is you’re planning for, and where it will stand in the environment in which you’re building it.
Building construction is complex. The more aligned the plan is with the objective, the less likely issues will arise as you’re executing it. You need to keep in mind the customer’s requirements, of course, but the time for tinkering is in the planning. When you break ground, your plan should be as solid as a rock.
How to Write an Effective Construction Management Plan
Construction project planning is like creating a roadmap that leads everyone through all the phases of the project. It’s a formal document that requires approval from the client or stakeholder, and shows how the project will be executed and controlled.
You’ll start with a business plan, which explains the whys of the project, including:
- Business Benefits: what is the return on investment of the project.
- Planning Permission: you must get approval and adhere to building and municipal codes.
- Project Description: outline what the project is and how you’re planning to execute it.
- PM and Team: who is leading the project and who will make up the teams executing the plan.
- Project Design: the plans, blueprints and other drawings detailing the build.
- Bid and Contract: there are a couple of different bidding methods, which should be detailed here, also the details of the contract.
- Construction Process: identifying activities and resources required to make the design a physical reality.
- Occupation and Defects Liability Period: outlining the process the client takes once possessing the development to occupy it.
- Evaluation After Occupation: like a post-mortem to note what worked and didn’t over the course of the project.
The project construction plan is made up of many documents, including:
- Scope Documentation: The scope is a list of goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, deadlines and costs. It’s the overall needs of the project. You’re outlining the business needs of the project, as well, by detailing the benefits among the milestones you’ll track to reach them.
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): This is the document that visualizes the key project deliverables and organizes the work your team will do when the project is started into manageable sections. Think of it as a “hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team,” as defined by the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).
- Communication Plan: To effectively implement the various aspects of your project plan, you must articulate them clearly and deliver them efficiently. That’s where this communication plan comes in. You need to define your goals and objectives, and then decide on what tools and methods you’ll use to deliver them.
- Risk Management Plan: All projects have risks, but construction projects have risks on a different level. You’re going to have to provide safety management, which will include a thorough assessment of what might go wrong and how you’ll resolve it. But the risks aren’t only physical or life-threatening, they also include time and cost estimates and other more mundane aspects of the project.