Like any other business industry, the construction industry also has a huge scope for project management. However, unlike other industries, the timeframe of construction project management only lasts until the project's completion. Project managers for construction projects are not responsible for maintenance and repairing the build once completed.
The differences between project management for construction projects and other industries don’t stop here. So let’s take a detailed look at the responsibilities of a construction project manager and the different stages of construction project management:
Responsibilities of a Construction Project Manager
While construction project management only lasts until the completion of the construction projects, it requires the construction project manager to consider a wide array of disciplines related to the project. These disciplines include engineering, city planning, architecture, and even public works.
Moreover, every construction project can have different requirements depending on its sector and purpose. There are two different sectors of construction projects, i.e., commercial and residential. Besides the difference in sector, construction project management can fall into four categories: home building and renovation, engineering construction, institutional and commercial construction, and heavy industrial construction. The sizes of the construction projects can also vary greatly.
However, all kinds of construction projects include the following tasks as part of construction project management:
· Managing the construction project order
· Brainstorming and analyzing project management strategies that best fit a construction project
· Estimating the budget for the construction project
· Negotiating the project cost with the responsible parties
· Getting the construction project approved by the local construction regulatory authority
· Communicating regularly with project stakeholders and project owners
· Overlooking project contract details
· Planning construction schedule
· Managing timetables for construction workers
· Communicating with on-site engineers and technicians
· Supervising planning of the construction project
· Ensuring the safety of workers on-site
· Ensuring successful completion of the project
The responsibilities of a construction project manager are divided across the various stages of a construction project.
Stages of a Construction Project Management
No matter their sector, category, or size, the management of all construction projects is spread over four different stages. Similar to project management in other industries, the key to successful construction project management is to divide it into smaller stages and achievable goals.
Construction project managers need to be involved from beginning to end and participate in the various stages as explained below:
Stage 1 – Design
Designing a construction project is the primary and most essential task of a construction project manager. A construction project manager needs to ensure that the building design meets the goals set by project owners and stakeholders and the criteria and building codes set by local building authorities.
The first stage of managing the construction project can be further broken down into smaller tasks, such as:
Defining the Concept – This includes finding out and establishing the project's objectives. Project managers define the concept after understanding the needs and goals of the project owners and stakeholders. The size of the project and the site allocated for the project's construction also help understand and define the project objective.
Designing the Project – Once the project goals and needs are clearly defined, the project manager designs the construction project with the help of an architect. This step of designing includes identifying the number of rooms, defining the floorplans of each level, and sketching the exterior of the construction project. Sizes of different build components and their colors and textures may also be defined. A site plan may also be included.
Developing the Concept and Design - As the designing of the construction project proceeds to define the materials and equipment that will be used, it can lead to a little back and forth of the above two design stages. The drawings and sketching will be tweaked and refined at this stage to stick to the project goals while adhering to the building regulations.
Documenting the Project Contract - Once the designs are finalized, they are documented as final project's blueprints. The project contract is then documented to include the blueprints and all other important project information.
Besides overlooking and contributing to each step of the design stage, the construction project manager must ensure swift and efficient communication between all parties.
Stage 2 – Preconstruction
The stage of preconstruction is also further divided into three sub-stages, such as:
Investigating the Construction Site - Construction project management at the preconstruction stage requires ensuring the readiness of the construction site. A construction project manager has to ensure the suitability of weather and soil.
Putting Together a Project Team - Depending on the project, a team of personnel is put together to overlook different construction parts. This team of personnel includes a contract administrator, a superintendent, and a field engineer. According to the construction project, the construction project manager is responsible for finding personnel with relevant experience.
Scheduling the Construction Work - As the project comes near the construction stage, the project manager becomes responsible for scheduling the work. The number of construction workers, their timings, and their daily achievable goals are all determined and scheduled.
Stage 3 – Procurement
Procurement refers to obtaining the materials and equipment necessary for the construction. The construction project manager must ensure that the resources acquired fit the project’s budget. While this stage of construction project management may sometimes be the contractor's responsibility, a project manager is always responsible for overlooking the purchases.
Stage 4 – Construction
As the project steps into the final stage of construction, the project management includes a new set of duties for the construction project manager. These duties include overlooking the daily progress of the construction and ensuring safety measures for all workers on site.
Other duties such as setting up a schedule and mode of delivering payments to workers also need to be carried out at this stage. Finally, it includes tweaking the daily goals and schedules according to the uncontrollable factors and seeing the project to completion as planned.
Once a construction project is complete, the job of a construction project manager ends. The end of the job is usually determined by a warranty period and an officially signed document.