Construction projects require careful, close management and risk mitigation to be successful. Without proper supervision or management, they can easily become bloated or prolonged. To preserve costs and ensure project efficiency, construction project managers must make risk assessment and management a key part of their approach. These techniques help prevent expensive or dangerous developments in construction projects.
Project Feasibility Assessments
Before the project begins, there should be a comprehensive review of the project to determine financial and practical viability, including the practicality of the design, environmental factors, and access to resources. Failure to take all factors into account will lead to costly developments or corrections down the line. Project managers should ensure that a comprehensive feasibility assessment has been completed before work begins.
Fiscal Planning and Management
Construction projects require a steady stream of funds to cover the costs of labor, materials, permits, and everything else associated with the project. If there is an interruption in funding, the project could be delayed or even halted. In construction especially, time is money, and the inability to fund construction at critical junctures could lead to the ultimate failure of the project. To keep things running smoothly, project managers should build leeway into their financial plan to accommodate any funding delays.
Subcontractor and Resource Management
During the estimation process, general contractors collect bids from subcontractors and then estimate the cost of required materials. While these costs are rolled into the total cost estimation, things can change. If chosen materials are unavailable or subcontractor costs exceed the estimate, the project could become delayed or bloated. Shifts in the project plan can also be challenging to manage. These factors demonstrate why it’s important to build adaptability into the construction plan and use regular monitoring to adjust for any curveballs.
Scheduling and Time Management
Your project schedule must be robust and highly detailed, yet able to accommodate delays due to environmental factors, weather, or other curveballs that may affect the project. Even small delays can be costly, which is why it is essential to the project’s success to have careful, detailed reporting and communication. Project managers should be highly diligent in tracking and scheduling project phases. Also, resource management and time management go hand-in-hand. The proper allocation of resources can enhance productivity — and poor resource management tends to lengthen the timeline.
Throughout the entire project, quality control should be a daily endeavor for project managers. Every aspect of the project needs to be monitored and taken into consideration with all other factors. By ensuring that progress is happening according to plan, project managers can avoid costly delays and potential hazards. In addition, all aspects of the project must be closely monitored to ensure that they meet standards. Cutting corners is hugely detrimental to projects’ timely and cost-effective completion.
As with anything, when it comes to construction, you get what you pay for. If you try to hire inexperienced laborers to save money, you’ll likely end up spending more, as those workers tend to take longer to complete the work or make costly — or even dangerous — mistakes. Project managers should also ensure that they have sufficient labor for each stage of the project before it begins. Cutting corners can delay the project timeline and present hazardous challenges to your existing workers. And of course, all construction projects should have highly qualified foremen and other managers at all levels to ensure safe work that’s performed up to standard.
Theft of materials or on-site vandalism are among the leading causes of project delays and bloated costs. It is more common than you might imagine for expensive materials to go missing. Also, construction sites are dangerous for untrained people to be on-site, so it’s crucial to lock down the area to prevent intruders from being harmed or killed. To prevent these crimes on the construction site, invest in proper security, including personnel, camera monitoring, fencing, and other measures to protect the assets on-site.
Project managers should have a thorough understanding of the insurance policies and how they apply to the site, materials, labor, and all aspects of the project. For example, the policy may take effect at a certain time, or the covered value may vary by asset type. Ensure that you fully understand how the project is covered so that you can schedule project progress and asset management appropriately.
Miscommunication or mismanagement between project managers, workers, and stakeholders can easily derail a project. To be successful, a construction project must be fully transparent to all involved. There are often complex relationships among the parties, and project managers need to be able to manage these relationships to prevent crossed wires and miscommunications that could cause delays and costs to blow out.
Ultimately, a successful construction project is one that is thoroughly planned, managed, and monitored at every step of the process. Cutting corners at any juncture can lead to delays, cost blow outs , and hazards for workers. Poor management and miscommunication are the main causes of construction projects that linger forever or cost much more than the estimate. On the flip side, close monitoring, adaptive planning, risk assessment, and detailed reporting all contribute to risk mitigation and efficient management of complex projects. To make your construction project a success, be diligent, agile, and resourceful in project management.
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