General

The Basics of Project Management

Project management is a multi-layered, complicated process in the construction industry. Wasting time resolving communication issues and math errors can cause a delay in the whole project. Learn more about the basics of project management, and why it matters so much to companies of any size.
Lauren Pesola
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Project management is the process of planning and organizing resources to complete a specific task. In the construction sector, highly detailed project management is essential to keep teams on schedule, stay within budget, ensure quality, comply with building laws, and maintain a safe work environment. Construction projects have many working parts and often rely on multiple teams of subcontractors for completion. Without effective project management, a shortage of materials or a single delay can affect an entire project.

Basic Job Responsibilities

In the most basic sense, a construction project manager is tasked with overseeing and guiding a construction project. However, every construction project is different and the management process can be intricate and layered. Whether the project is managed by an individual or an entire team, there are certain responsibilities that come with the job.

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In any industry, project management includes five key phases. These include initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing. This is also true for project management in construction. By clarifying the phases with specific responsibilities, it becomes easier to outline the role of project management in any construction project.

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  • Initiation: Often completed by project stakeholders, this phase establishes the overall goals for the project. It will likely include estimating project costs and defining the goal of the finished project (structure).
  • Planning: Generally completed by the GC, possibly with the assistance of a team, and occasionally, stakeholders, planning is more involved. It will include putting together a project budget, creating a schedule, and setting up parameters for how the project will be executed. The final step in the planning phase is communicating with stakeholders and educating workers about the details of the contract and project.
  • Executing: This step is carried out by the GC and team(s). It describes the process of putting resources to work and carrying out the project.
  • Monitoring/Controlling: Carried out by project manager(s), this phase includes supervising all specialists completing work on the project. Tasks required for this phase include tracking resources, maintaining progress, performing risk management, and taking corrective action as needed.
  • Closing: Typically carried out in a final meeting between the GC and project owner, this phase is the final approval of the project and completing the terms of the contract (like payment).
Project management is a crucial part of the construction industry, and requires communication from all parts of the business.

How Strong Project Management Benefits a Business

Effective project management enables a construction business to build a reliable reputation and avoid potential risks during any project. By developing a proven process, you can deliver consistently excellent results. However, no construction project is without risks, and planning for conceivable issues can help teams avoid problems that arise with poor project management.

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Common Issues and Solutions

These are some of the most common risks faced by construction project managers.

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  • Vague goals or poor budget planning
  • Safety violations
  • Poor communication
  • Undefined milestones

Every step in a construction project requires clear communication between contractors, subs, and shareholders. By investing in modern tools that prioritize communication and automate manual tasks, construction companies can avoid many of the errors and risks faced during the construction planning process. Further planning with the assistance of a thorough risk assessment can help highlight potential risks likely to arise during a project. Every phase of the project management process in construction works to eliminate risks that could add up costs and put people in danger. Effective project management is the key to a successful build.

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Project management is a multi-layered, complicated process in the construction industry. Wasting time resolving communication issues and math errors can cause a delay in the whole project. Flashtract can help avoid easily-preventable issues during the billing & documentation process. If you want to learn more about how we can make project management just a little bit easier, fill out the form below.

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