Having the right construction management strategies is vital for the success of any construction project. Whether it’s a ground-up new build or renovation project, having a construction management team to oversee everything ensures it’ll run smoothly.
We at Construction Guide understand the importance of correct project management strategies. Not only do they help you keep to budget and schedules, but they’re also useful for managing health and safety, particularly in light of the current pandemic. To help you get the most out of your next construction project, we’ve put together a list of the top construction management strategies that really work.
Before jumping into the list, it’s worth asking what we mean by good construction management. Good construction management strategies should always consider the project as a whole, even when dealing with seemingly insignificant issues. Everything in a construction project can have a knock-on effect, so first and foremost you should always consider strategies in light of how they’ll impact the whole project.
This might seem like an obvious point, but this is even more reason why it should be considered first. Working under the assumption that every subcontractor knows their role in a project is an easy way to start off on the wrong foot. After all, just because project managers know a team’s role doesn’t mean everyone else does.
Before your project even gets off the ground, ensure you have clear role descriptions that everyone works towards. For example, a team’s role definition should include things like the scope of their work, materials and budget, schedules, and role expectations. Providing every team with this information ensures they know exactly what to do.
Similarly, these role definitions are helpful for stakeholders too. Not only will they provide stakeholders with peace of mind, but the role descriptions can also come in handy if you ever need to justify things like budget or schedule. All construction projects should have clarity at the top of their list, and this is a good way to start.
Choosing the best contractors is fundamental to your construction project’s success. Selecting a contractor goes well beyond budget, although this is obviously an important factor. Just remember that expensive doesn’t always mean good, and cheap doesn’t always mean bad.
When choosing a contractor, you should always consider important factors such as their financial situation, previous work, their health and safety record, their skill level, and their current workload. The last thing you want to do is to select a contractor based on their excellent work, only to find that things will be delayed because of their current project load.
Another option is to use a company like Construction Guide. Our aim is to match stakeholders and project managers with the best contractors for their needs. We use the information you provide to compile a list of the most suitable, allowing you to vet them as necessary. This takes a lot of the work out of the process, allowing you to focus on other things.
As mentioned, clarity is key to the success of any project, and collaboration is a great way to ensure clarity. Before you even begin hiring teams, consider using an integrated project delivery system. IPD is designed to maximize efficiency of all parties involved, primarily through collaboration and increased productivity and skill sharing.
IPD systems allow all parties to share ideas and to make decisions based on available data. Not only does this make things more productive, but it also helps to promote the idea of teamwork between all invested parties. Ideally, managing a project using an IPD system will reduce costs, boost efficiency, and keep everything running smoothly.
Buying materials and hiring contractors is obviously an important part of the buyout process, but is also one of the main areas for losing time and money. You might have a good idea of where to get materials, or which subcontractors to hire, but when faced with the decision you might not have these options available.
Before the project begins, make sure you have a standard working strategy for buying materials. You should also have a standard strategy for deciding which work needs to be subcontracted out. Doing this will mean that everyone understands the process, which should streamline everything.
After the early stages of the project are complete, your contractor will create a detailed project plan to cover the steps of construction. This should contain information such as timeline, locations and roles of teams and equipment, materials and budget. The initial plan can then be tailored and adjusted to meet everyone’s schedules if necessary.
When creating your master project plan, have as much data as possible to hand. Pull this from previous projects where necessary, and discuss relevant information with each team. Although the focus should be on budget and schedule, you can realistically never have too much data. The more information you have to hand, the clearer and more concise your project plan will be. Although it probably goes without saying, a clear plan will mean higher productivity and less chance of lost time and money.
Once the construction phase is underway you might think that you can take a step back and let everything go to plan. In an ideal world this would be true, but unfortunately this is rarely the case with a construction project. Improper monitoring of resources is one of the easiest ways to stray off budget and schedule.
Along with managing things like equipment and materials, you should pay keen attention to money and manpower too. For example, providing your teams with a high level of training in the early stages might seem expensive, but is more than compensated for in the later stages of construction when you don’t have to pause to give everyone refresher training.
It’s great to have a really clear master plan for your project, but this means nothing if construction is allowed to stray way off course. Regularly comparing actual practice to your various plans will help keep everything on track. Be sure to compare your project against the master plan, the budget, and any supplementary plans held by the project manager.
Monitoring and controlling your variables as construction progresses will help you to catch any issues before they get too serious, and will allow you to keep track of important factors like health and safety.
Having the right project management software is vital for success. Most importantly, look for software that allows for real time reporting, as this will allow you to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. Combine this with regular site monitoring and proper forecasting, and there should be few (if any) issues that slip through the net.
Although all on-site issues are important, special attention should be paid to construction quality and health and safety. Having the ability to upload reports in real time to a cloud-based system means that the information will reach the right parties quickly, allowing them to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
The collaborative approach you started in the planning phase should continue throughout the project, particularly during construction. Having a cloud-based document system is another good idea because it lets everyone share documents with all other parties involved. More than anything, this means communication is easier and unnecessary delays can be avoided.
A surprising number of construction projects still use paper-based handover processes, which is an easy way to delay a project. Not only are delays caused waiting for documents to go from one party to another, but they can also be caused by confusion or poor communication of party’s roles in the handover process.
Much like document sharing, digitizing the handover process can make things run much more smoothly. Most importantly, documents will reach everyone immediately, and any issues or confusion can be resolved quickly and without confusion. To achieve this, however, it’s vital for you to find the best digital handover tool for your project.
Having the right construction management strategies from the beginning of your project is the best way to ensure everyone sticks to the budget and schedule. Combine regular monitoring with proper communication and collaboration and your project will be off to an amazing start.
Just remember, it’s important to keep this up through every stage of the project. We at Construction Guide know how vital it is to hire the right teams and acquire the right resources, so if you need any help with the early stages of your construction project, give us a call. We have a dedicated list of some of the best contractors available, and can guide you through the bidding process to ensure you get the right ones for you.