Planning a construction project is the first and one of the most significant components of effective project management. It is a process that begins long before the design and architecture process is started. This includes the idea of defining the project teams, scope, project milestones, and other important factors that are essential to bringing a healthy project together.
Contractors believe that spending a greater amount of time on project planning ensures affordable construction, as it reduces the chances of changing orders with an ongoing project. Any changes made can be expensive after the start of the project, therefore, it makes sense that better project planning ensures better outcomes with the budget and the results.
For a project to be successful, the construction manager has to excel at construction planning. Besides, the challenge lies in consistently finishing the projects within budget and on time. As construction projects become more and more complex, the need for initiation, planning, execution, and closing the project within a given time frame arises.
Though modern-day construction involves the effective use of integrated construction accounting and project management software technology, a team effort is equally important for the success of any project.
Apart from this, taking on a construction project in itself is a highly structured endeavor. It requires materials planning and precise cost projections.
Since 2022 is expected to be a year full of opportunities and possibilities, we bring you a list of 5 steps that lead to effective project planning and more impactful construction project management. Let’s begin.
1. Define Project Goals
Even if you have a clear picture of what you need to build, everything related to construction starts by defining the project goals. If you have not defined the objectives, it will create a huge gap between what you expect and what you achieve. You can simply take advantage of your construction project management software to get insights from past projects with similar requirements to keep things sorted.
To know the feasibility of the project and also making a business case to begin the project is the first step in the direction. A lot of moving parts have to be coordinated and the functioning has to be constantly monitored. Besides unraveling the complexity of each project is something that each contractor has to deal with from time to time.
Also, working with a team can help identify the list of all needs, eliminating any type of ambiguity in the process. Moreover, working with a team on such goals helps to define things with greater precision, cutting down unnecessary costs, and ensuring smarter construction.
2. Identify The Project Scope
Once the team is done defining the goals of the project, the next thing that should be targeted is creating a list of features of the project. This can be anything such as achieving a safety certification for the structure or installing an HVAC system, plumbing setup, or use of green/natural materials in the construction process.
Make sure you work on a scope document that contains the detail of all the goals along with the implementation process. This would also include the equipment required, techniques, and other systems required to develop the project. For instance, contractors could simply take consent from project managers on using recycled material in the ceiling or drywall to meet the green building certifications.
Besides, you need to analyze key project constraints and establish performance metrics to make project-based decisions timely. Having tools and strategies in place to deal with the implementation of management systems defines the scope of the project.
Also, the team can work on creating a schedule of the events to achieve the defined scope of the project for various tasks related to architecture and making of the structure.
3. Plan Before Processing
Before the process begins with the task of designing, the team should work on the planning part of the process. Though there are some standardized processes, it is always a good idea that any implementation must be agreed upon by all the stakeholders including all subcontractors or specialty contractor teams working on the project to keep things simplified for all.
The crucial thing is you need to have a clear and thorough understanding of the project. Most of the time, it involves prioritization of project risks and identifying them to not be derailed if something crops up in due time. Having a risk mitigation plan is a must and some other factors that you need to pay attention to are as follows:
Authorization of budget cycle
Impact on financials
Adding to this, construction projects involve a large number of risk factors that might hinder the development process if not identified earlier. Therefore, contractors must ask the teams working on projects to locate any budget cuts, probability of change orders, and unforeseen conditions related to weather or site. Doing so can help contractors to mitigate risks and stick with the planning process.
4. Stay Ahead of your Design
After the process for developing the project is streamlined, the design process could be started immediately. This may involve the use of advanced building information modeling (BIM) tools and other techniques for working on the design while using a cloud-based integrated construction project management software for quick sharing of documents/drawings with teams.
Design management also involves a review of key submissions and verifying the inputs of all stakeholders. Besides, objectives and appropriate goals have to be determined at the beginning of the project. Keeping the owner’s designing criteria and designing standards, builders can manage and coordinate the phases of the project’s design.
Also, collaboration and communication tools can be used throughout to establish a smooth process of designing the project. This can help teams to connect at regular intervals to keep a check on the scope, schedule, and budget of the project allowing faster completion, precise cost estimates, and overcoming any risk factors.
All in all, it is timely delivery, overall quality of the building, and reduction in cost that matters a lot at this stage. Moreover, working on the design process allows teams to make all the necessary adjustments that are essential to cover jurisdictional requirements or achieve the project scope while allowing a better return on investment ( ROI).
5. Walkthrough the Project
On the final review of the scope, process, and design documents by the teams, the documents can be simply submitted to the local jurisdiction in order to get permission to construct. This process involves plan checks as well as corrections with respect to construction codes for making essential changes to the finalized documents.
When done, the entire data is sent from construction firms to general contractors, subcontractors, and other parties involved to bid on the specific work. This process is meant to identify any discrepancies in the process and is usually done by getting a contractor on board at the early stages of the project planning. It is done with the intention to mitigate issues that might appear during the construction period.
Concluding it all
If you are a construction company that needs to overcome the financial downtime and loss for existing and upcoming projects, the best thing that can be done is to define the stakeholders, have a design team, and create a process.
By tracking performance and evaluating the project, it is a good yardstick to measure the efficacy of a clearly defined construction project plan. It helps you to know what you are stacked up against and also informs you how to approach your next project.
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