By Khalid Noor, 2022
In many areas of employment, structure and efficiency are important indicators of success. Putting methods, processes and practices in place to complete tasks will give you greater confidence in knowing you can complete tasks to a point of comprehensive satisfaction.
These principles can be demonstrated in any profession, but they become more pronounced and part of the job when in relation to jobs that have added responsibility. By added responsibility, this does not necessarily mean more work to do, but in fact much more is meant by this. From managing a staff, to procuring and allocating resources, it is crucial that structure is implemented from the beginning. With this in mind, losing focus becomes much less of an issue, and the energy put towards this is directed to maximising productivity and positive outcomes.
The ideas mentioned above come under the umbrella of planning. Any successful plan is well thought out and revised, taking into consideration not just internal factors but external as well. To use planning as an example in a leadership context, a person of responsibility will not just consider their staff and resources, but the other outside factors that will affect and/or interact with the drafted plan.
The focus of planning is narrowed to construction in this blog. The construction industry is one that is heavily reliant on planning. After all, when projects of such large scale like roads, hospitals and railways are built on a constant basis, it is imperative to have a plan in place to ensure they are delivered to a tee.
The question of quality and safety also becomes important when discussing plans. Given that the industry puts a microscope on ensuring projects are fit for purpose, it is incumbent on construction plans to incorporate how they will take these factors into account.
Planning can be done by a variety of sects within the industry, but the bulk of planning is done by those in positions of leadership and responsibility. There is a trickle down effect whereby the head of projects creates plans and the rest of the team needs to abide by these plans.
Construction management plans are generally handled by construction managers. construction managers plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate construction of civil engineering and building projects, and the physical and human resources involved in the construction process. Some of the tasks defined include:
- Coordinating labour resources, and procurement and delivery of materials, plant and equipment
- Consulting with Architects, Engineering Professionals and other professionals, and Technical and Trades Workers
- Negotiating with building owners, property developers and subcontractors involved in the construction process to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget
- Preparing tenders and contract bids
- Operating and implementing coordinated work programs for sites
Construction management plans have parts within them that make them unique. These are the stages and types of construction management plans. We outline both of these in this blog.
Stages of construction management plans
There are four stages of construction management plans: feasibility assessment, pre-construction, procurement, and construction.
In the beginning of the process, feasibility research is conducted, as well as design considerations. A feasibility study involves researching and understanding the legal, economic, physical and social parameters of a project. Feasibility is important because it essentially gives you information on what you can and can’t do.
Within feasibility and design are 4 stages: programming and feasibility, schematic design, design development, and contract documents. Programming and feasibility involves identifying goals and objectives for the project. It becomes a question of what needs to be done with regards to the project. How will space be used and optimised?
Schematic designs are drafts that illuminate spaces, patterns etc within a project. Further part of these considerations are how the floor plan will be created as well as the structure of each space within a project.
Design development is mainly a stage of research whereby the material and equipment needed to complete a project become clear. The cost of these items are an important consideration, which ties into the regulations and codes of practice to ensure said materials and equipment comply.
Contract documents are the last phase of feasibility and design, and comprise of the final specifications before the preliminary stages of construction commence.
In the pre-construction phase, many of the processes are further fleshed out. Once bidding is completed and the contractor has been identified, a project team is assembled. This comprises of: Contract administrator
- Project manager
- Field engineer
- Health and safety manager
The project team prepares the site intended for construction. The site needs to be fit for work to be conducted. This is not as simple as removing all items however, as it also could include soil testing and environmental analysis. The general plan within the wider construction management plan is also reviewed by the relevant authorities in this stage.
Another stage of the construction management planning process is procurement. In this stage, it is determined materials, tools and equipment is required to complete the project. The procurement phase involves acquiring these items through purchase, rent etc. and can become difficult depending on the size of the project, the costs involved and the timeframe the project must be completed by.
Whilst this phase is where most of the planning is put to use, plans for and during construction are also developed. This might incorporate daily tasks that make the process easier to follow, and ensures all stakeholders directly involved are working towards reaching goals and objectives.
Types of construction management planning
Now that we have discussed the stages of construction management planning, we now move to the types of construction management planning.
It would be facetious to say there is one way of planning in construction management. In actuality, there are a few types of construction management planning.
- Overall plan: this construction plan is a generalised offering that encompasses the entire project. Its purpose is to detail the whole process and what goals and objectives need to be met.
- Detailed plan: this type of plan provides information around schedules and costs. It is usually prepared by the contractor, and explains how construction work will be carried out, what needs to be done when and how much it will cost.
- Environmental plan: this plan involves surveying the land and area surrounding the location of a project, which will give further information as to how the project will commence within the given parameters.
Whilst the structure of a construction management plan may differ, the content usually covers most of the same topics. They all define the scope of the project, as well as other important details like impact on traffic routes and how vehicles like trucks and cranes will be accommodated within a given space.
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