You will be hard pushed to find a construction project that is completed without measured and experienced project management. There are diverse skills required, and there are always plenty of phases and possible moments where it can all go wrong. However, with the right processes and structures, potential hazards can be eliminated or dealt with quickly. But before all that, you need to know what is involved in a construction project from start to finish, so you can plan ahead.
The planning phase
Regardless of the size, a construction project requires plenty of planning and expertise, as well as teamwork. To ensure everything goes as planned, each detail needs to be carefully planned so that no unexpected problems or delays arise. Before the project begins, architects and engineers will spend considerable time drawing up detailed plans and designs for the project. Below are what teams will often be involved in a construction project and what they are responsible for:
Architects – The architects will have the central role of developing a detailed design for the project, usually including drawings of all the rooms on the property and the surrounding landscape. This will vary depending on the aims, locations, and goals of the project, including whether it is commercial or domestic, for example.
Engineer – An engineer will usually prepare the blueprints for the building, noting details of how each primary component should be built and installed. In addition, they can advise on what materials and machinery will be required.
Health and Safety Consultant – For any project, a fire risk assessment and a health and safety assessment must be completed. This doesn’t have to be someone on your team internally, as you can outsource it, so the paperwork is limited. Most health and safety consultants will be able to do an assessment of the site and identify any potential hazards.
Once these initial plans have been finalized, a planning authority will likely need to approve them before construction can even begin.
Once the plans have been approved, the construction teams can begin work on the actual building of the property. The idea of this stage will involve several activities at the beginning of the project, including constructing walls and foundations, installing plumbing and electrical supplies, as well as laying the chosen flooring. In most cases, the buildings will be built using steel frames. This is because they are robust and relatively easy to put together.
To execute the project, the builders will often begin work on the walls of the building first, as these will provide the structure for the rest of the building. If bricks are used to build the venue, then the first course of bricks will be laid, and a cement mixture will be applied to the walls to give them a smooth finish. Walls usually have three courses of bricks, with the top course considerably thicker than others to provide extra support. The division will then be finished with a coat of plaster to give the inside walls a smooth appearance and protect them from the elements.
Foundation: The foundation of the building is the base on which the rest of the structure will be built. Most foundations will consist of a layer of concrete reinforced with steel bards, providing extra stability and preventing the building from sinking into the ground over time.
Framing: The framing of the structure is one of the most critical stages in the process, as the frame provides structural support for the rest of the building. Once you’ve got this in place, your construction crew can get going on the internal aspects of the building and allow the interior designers to work their magic.
These are the basics of getting started on a construction project, but how can you ensure you can get to this stage without anything going wrong? One aspect we touched on at the start of the article was project management. So here’s how you can get your construction project off the ground without tripping up.
Tips for Project Management in a Construction Setting
If you are a construction project manager, you will want to take note of this. A construction project manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, budgeting, and supervising projects from the beginning to the end. Alongside the teams mentioned above, they’ll be responsible for ensuring the project reaches a successful conclusion.
So before the project even gets off the ground, the project manager will have embarked on the planning phase. They will have worked hard to compile a cost analysis, work out an affordable budget and negotiate cost estimates. They’ll be arranging timetables to ensure no time is wasted and there is no conflict between teams. The research will be conducted to find and choose the most efficient construction methods and strategies. If the client has any questions, the project manager will also be responsible for answering them.
It all sounds a bit much. But the truth is, it is all part of the job. The good news is modern technology has made it easier for Project Managers to manage a construction project. How? We hear you ask!
Construction Project Management Software
Well, the small matter is the invention of state-of-the-art construction project management software. When sifting through the various technology on offer, you can come across companies like Kahuna, which help construction companies and builders to build smarter. To a project manager, this type of tech is game-changing. The software helps personnel manage construction project costs, documents, and processes from inception through to completion. To the delight of any manager, it also aids in improving efficiency and reducing risk. If you are in the construction industry and are involved in an upcoming project, don’t rule out technology as something which could be of serious help!
Coming to the conclusion of your project
When you are coming to the conclusion of your project, it is essential to reflect on what went successfully so you can use it next time. The complexity of managing costs on a construction project can lead to issues that are damaging for individuals and brands. You can streamline cost change management by using the right people, materials, and software. This provides visibility for builders and clients into what issues need addressing and what hazards might crop up which could stall a project. Not only can the right team and software highlight problems, but it can also provide solutions on both sides of the project.
Consider whom you want on your team before the project starts, and consider the type of experience levels you are looking into when embarking on a project. Then, work with a team to source the best materials for the job at an affordable price and consider if there is any way you can make the project more efficient. The last thing any Project Manager needs is someone bringing them problems rather than solutions.
Construction and software have not always gone hand in hand, but this changed dramatically recently. Between reduced construction time and better performance monitoring, the ultimate project processes are now clear to see. With reduced risks for accidents and mishandling, there is no reason why your construction project cannot be a success.