This article focuses on tips and techniques on construction management and further sheds light on this exciting field. Many a time we hear stories of people who had a bad experience with a construction contractor. People complain of delays, overshot estimates, shoddy workmanship, mismanagement etc.
Construction management is the key to the solutions of such problems. In today’s fast paced world time is the essence. Therefore it is important that projects are completed on time and within budget because delays are costly and overshot budgets can lead to a lack of funds, thereby causing financial problems for the contractor and the client.
Managing a project is an art and today we will take a look into some of the aspects of a successful project manager. How a project manager thinks is crucial to the success and outcome of the project.
The first rule is “never over commit”. Over commitment as tempting as it maybe, is very detrimental. The client would plan out his activities as per your prescribed date and when that would not be achieved there would be a problem for both you and the client.
The second important point is “Plan!” Planning is essential to project management. Prepare a detailed schedule of activities after carefully analyzing the chain or sequence of events. Then dive into each event and further sub plan tasks within that event. The more detailed your plan is, the higher are your chances of delivering a successful project. For example if you have to plaster and then paint your walls, you would naturally first jot down plaster then paint in your schedules. Then estimate the time for completion of plaster by referring to a labor analysis book such as the DAR or through experience or knowledge of others.
Sub plan further by estimating material requirements, and then delegating tasks to specific people or vendors for material procurement. Put down a date for checking the activities on site for quality. Take a buffer for one or two days to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances. Check the list of national holidays and see of they could in any way interfere with work on a particular day, then account for that particular delay in your schedule. Next move on to paint and repeat the steps above. You can see how detailed each activity can get and this is precisely what construction management is all about.
The third point we will talk about is “options!” Yes the key to a successful project manager is one who always has a Plan B or an Option B. In construction there are so many different dynamics at play that things don’t usually work out as planned. A sub-contractor may commit to a certain task then suddenly disappear.
Your material supplier may commit delivery to you on a specific date but then at the last moment tell you that it would take another 2 weeks for him to source it for you. These things are commonplace and to safeguard yourself in these situations always have a backup of vendors for the same job, just in case required. Having a backup would mean instant replacement and instant replacement would ensure that the task is carried out in time.
Managing a project as you can see requires way more to it than you initially thought. The 3 points above are just the tip of the iceberg in this complex and exciting discussion.We will further analyze important points on construction management in our next article.
See how project management plays an important role while building a house.