Tag: project management

Managing a construction project

Managing a construction project regardless of size, is a very complex undertaking. The construction project manager has to ensure the project runs on time and on budget while ensuring all other tasks are completed in accordance to the schedule. Then there are compliance, health, safety and legal issues plus many challenges along the way to achieving a successful outcome for the stakeholders.

It is easy to see why every construction project requires detailed planning. A well-planned project maximizes efficiency and provides a step-by-step guide to achieving the desired end goals.

Here are some essential steps in managing a construction project.

 Know your limits

Before taking on a project, a project manager must determine the project’s feasibility against the resources, budget and timelines available. It is their responsibility to take into account project costs, human resources and the materials required across the life of the project to assess whether the project goals are possible to achieve. This review should then be shared and discussed with all stakeholders.

 Project Design and Documentation phase

 1.Work smarter, not harder

Design is a crucial part of a construction project. Make sure those designing the building document all aspects of the plans in detail, so you can incorporate into the project management system.

2.Learn to successfully delegate

The key to successfully managing a construction project is the ability to delegate tasks. Delegate everything you can to those responsible on site. There is no need for you to do it all when you have capable people around you. Spend as little time as possible on things you do not need to deal with at all and review via your project plan.

Before starting construction

 3.Be a control freak

A project manager needs to be in complete control of their team. Make sure your key staff keep you updated regularly on the tasks delegated to them both in person and via your project management software. You also need a plan and a schedule of works to achieve the project’s end goals. A project manager needs to be a control freak.

4.Have a detailed project plan

A project manager must produce a detailed plan. The more complex the project the more detailed the plan needs to be. Good planning maximizes efficiency and provides a step-by-step plan to follow to complete the project. This should include:

  • setting up a budget

  • define goals

  • determining logical task dependencies

  • creating a schedule

  • coordinate materials

  • develop deliverables

  • allocate human resources

  • establish project timelines

  • putting communications protocols in place.

You also need to work out how much equipment the project will need from start to completion as well as the labour requirements. Consider the use of subcontractors as well as the scheduling of materials and their delivery on site on time. Other things a project manager needs to consider is risk management and having a safety plan.

Having a detailed plan will help mitigate issues when a project threatens to go off track.

5.Make use of technology

Hopefully, you are not someone who has not yet transitioned into the world of technology. If you are still using spreadsheets to track a project, then there is a better way. Construction project management software can help you with the complex, time-consuming tasks involved with running a construction project. A good project management solution automatically tracks and stores documents, and assists with planning and scheduling each phase of a project.

 During construction

 6.Monitor and amend your plan

Project management is a continual process from start to end. When construction starts, a project manager will continually compare optimal to actual performance during each phase of the project. This allows for monitoring and amending the plan immediately to keep the project on track.

7.Prepare for the unexpected

Everything to do with construction is unpredictable. From sourcing materials and skilled workers to the weather, natural disasters and delivery delays, construction management can be a constant challenge.

By preparing for the unexpected in the budget and schedule, it reduces stress and keeps project stakeholders satisfied.

8.Use your employee’s strengths

Do not make the mistake of using your people wherever they fit in according to their availability. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your workers when scheduling resources to tasks. This will keep your workers happy and productivity will be high.

9.Establishing effective communication

Effective communication is crucial for the success of any construction project. Set up communication strategies right from the start. Poor communication can lead to mistakes and misunderstandings that cause costly delays.

Make sure everyone knows who the appropriate point of contact is to ensure information is shared to the team. Things like requests for information and change requests need to follow an established process for a documented outcome.

Communication is vital to the how a construction project runs. Make sure the team is aware that communication and collaboration are necessary for a successful outcome.

When the construction project is complete

 10.Hold a final meeting

Hold a final meeting with members of your construction team when it is all over. Have a discussion about how the project went. Look at not just what went right, but what went wrong and how this can be avoided or addressed in the future. Encourage team members to have input into improving organizational processes and procedures. This will help their continual improvement and learning.

Managing a construction project is not easy. It can keep many project managers awake at night. You can have success when you follow best industry practices and use project management software on every project.

Republished from original article here: https://www.raptorpm.com/single-post/2017/10/12/Managing-a-construction-project-step-by-step

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Lean construction scheduling

Source: Lean construction scheduling

Scheduling is an important part of project management in construction. It is a list of project milestones, activities and deliverables with start and end dates. These are based on other information in the schedule. This includes budgets, resource allocation and activity timelines. It will also list links to dependencies and scheduled events. Elements in the project schedule are usually based on the work breakdown structure for the whole project.

Keeping a construction project on track is the difference between finishing a project on time and making a profit, or not. Lean construction scheduling is a way to design processes and procedures to minimize waste in the workplace to maximize value. Schedules detail each construction activity for the project team and how long it should take to complete each one. Lean construction scheduling is vital to all parts of the daily management and reporting process of a project’s status. It helps reduce all forms of waste in the construction process.

 Forms of construction waste

There is always a risk of waste during a construction project so using lean construction scheduling helps organizations plan to avoid waste of money, resources and manpower. Forms of construction waste include:

  • time – looking for things, ordering materials, etc

  • transport – materials handling, deliveries, etc

  • staff downtime – waiting for instructions, information and deliveries, etc

  • rework and corrections – correcting poor or incorrect work and updating plans

  • overproduction – producing more than ordered

  • inventory – too much or too little stock on hand

  • over processing – doing more than the client can pay for.

Benefits of lean construction scheduling

Using lean construction scheduling adds value to the process of constructing a building. It will also help to uncover where there is wasted time and staff potential in the process.

Schedules keep the work on track and you can see how the project works are progressing. This can be important as there may be penalties for meeting milestones late. Meeting milestones late will not be good for your reputation. Benefits of lean construction scheduling includes:

  • Making it possible to move a project through the critical path of activities of the construction process.

  • Means it is easy to change priorities for activities and resources when the need arises. This reduces the peak demand for resources. It eliminates standing down other resources and bringing them back later at an extra cost.

  • Showing clear team goals and milestones. It also shows the path of how to meet them on time. The schedule will give the team a pathway to follow to achieve those milestones on time. A schedule defines the sequence of activities to let project managers what to plan for.

  • Providing dates for material deliveries.

  • Monitoring the progress of work activities as well as those of subcontractors and suppliers.

  • Providing subcontractors and suppliers with schedules at the time of the tender and contract sign-off prevents misunderstandings and disputes down the track.

  • Allowing for planning what resources you need where and when. The last thing you need is too many or too few people on the job to get it done on time.

  • Providing valuable feedback about how the construction project is proceeding. It is easy to see when a project is slipping the schedule. This give you the chance to take action by bringing in extra resources or working overtime to make up the time.

 Lean construction project scheduling is a tool a project manager uses to systematically manage all parts of a construction project. This includes assigning the relevant skilled human resources to get the work done. The schedule can be regularly reviewed using a good task software to check actual outcomes against the plan.

There is no room for mistakes in lean construction scheduling. Mistakes cost time, money and your reputation. Using good planning strategies and software will keep your construction projects on track.

Construction Project Management Insights

Original Article Source: Construction Project Management Insights

Construction project management is more complex than ever in a digital age coupled with increased legislation. So, working with teams of architects and designers as well as contractors and other interested stakeholders means keeping things on track is harder. These days you need tools that help you manage project delivery, risk assessments, o and m manuals etc. Technology is one of the greatest enablers for the successful delivery of construction project management. It provides the tools to manage construction projects cost-effectively, quickly and safely.

 One common issue every construction project faces is managing requests for information (RFIs). These have the ability to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in project delays. Some RFIs may be unjustifiable, while the actual answers could already be in the contract or they are design requests not authorized by the design team. These costs impact the profit of a project’s bottom line, so a project manager needs better control of the RFI process.

Project managers need 24/7 insight into a project of any size to complete it successfully. Here are some insights into project management of RFIs. This is an example of how good project management tools can make a difference.

 Managing requests for information

Contractors use RFIs to ask questions of the designers and architects. The contractor can also use RFIs to ask the client questions. Sometimes contractors use RFIs to justify claims of changes in a project’s scope. But, in reality, they can cause delays. A transparent, consistent system for dealing with RFIs is an important part of construction project management.

A project manager cannot avoid RFIs. But, project managers can use tools that standardize and give relevant stakeholders access to consistent project management processes for RFIs.

 Standardize processes for requests for information
Collaboration is key to delivering a standardized process for everyone involved in the project.

In a basic collaborative model, the project manager receives RFIs by email and tracks each one using spreadsheets. This makes tracking RFIs and any attachments difficult. It also makes it difficult to solve them before the end of each construction phase.

Take collaboration to the next level using project management software that stores all RFIs in a central repository along with the relevant drawings and attachments. Use a platform based in the cloud so relevant parties can review and action RFIs simultaneously. This saves many man hours of processing RFIs. Good project management tools give you transparency and the ability to anticipate recurring issues before they occur.

It takes time to get contractors to adopt new processes. Once they do, there will be efficiencies across the whole project. This gives everyone better understanding with better communication. But, unless everyone involved in the project conforms to collaborating on the one platform, efficiencies will be hard to drive.

 
Instill best practices
 Create guidelines for best practices for everyone involved in the project to follow. An example is establishing consistent tags or numbering system to categorize RFIs. Use these to group RFIs and to assign priority. A good construction project control tool set gives the flexibility to setup up the information you need as a mandatory field. Things like what the RFI affects, trade type lodging the RFI, whether it requires a change order, and the impact on costs and time.

RFIs should link into the construction schedule. A contractor can flag urgent requests that need resolution before work can move forward. This makes the issues visible for all to see.

RFIs are one piece of the construction puzzle construction management software can help manage. It can also help project managers with:

  • managing and tracking all project documents

  • managing and submitting bids

  • scheduling resources and workers

  • job and time estimates

  • job-site logs

  • project collaboration.

If you are still resisting using new tools of the trade to manage construction projects, talk to the experts Raptor Project Management. They can help transform the way you manage construction projects.

 

AEC project management and tracking solutions

Source: AEC project management and tracking solutions

There are many challenges within the AEC industries for project managing from the large complex project to multiple smaller projects. These challenges faced by the project manager can include understanding the deliverables the project, budgets, costs, margins, job costing and multi-team communication.

RaptorPM project management solutions provides the tools so your projects don’t lose money. We give project teams the tools to deal with clients, Architects, Engineers, Consultants and QS firms.

aec-tools-project-delivery
Still image from the Autodesk Future of Making Things video. Image demonstrates how the next generation of digital technology will change the way things are designed and made.

Our project management software is ideally suited for the AEC industries.  A secure, robust web based solution, RaptorPM delivers a comprehensive and powerful set of project management tools to help project teams to plan and manage any number of projects. At RaptorPM we see project management as managing people’s activity around the core project details. This approach empowers project leaders to set measurable tasks, manage document flow and emails, co-ordinate project communication, and assign the right resources to the right job for the best set of outcomes.

The purpose of project accounting for any AEC business goes beyond understanding that behind every project is a series of financial data. RaptorPM gives the user the ability to create reports that help analyse the health and progress of their projects. Instant access to the critical information for architecture and engineering project managers to understand the status of their projects such as budget control and where projects are in terms of profitability.

In the world of AEC project management, for the most part resources equal people (project managers, contractors, subcontractors, design companies, specialists etc.) all of whom should be working around a central platform for project information.

RaptorPM allows the user to create projects around some core data points of project information. Then, tasks and time frames are set, resources will be assigned through a work breakdown structure, project related documents are stored in central folders, contact data is then linked to a project.

The project leaders will also be able to use a structured resource and capacity planner to forward plan all resources, capability bandwidth and ensure resources to undertake the identified tasks across all stages of the project. As RaptorPM gives the project managers visibility into the capacity of project teams, they minimize the risk of over-allocating work and missing those deadlines.

AEC are demanding solutions that help them adopt standardization in the project management area while also facilitating flexibility at an individual project manager level. RaptorPM does not only help with standardization of key project management processes across the entire organization, it helps improve performance management, team collaboration and dashboards for client specific reporting at the individual project level.