Contrary to what we think, the success of a construction project does not only depend on the skills of architects or craftsmen. The project manager also has an important role to play. The management or more precisely the planning of a construction project guarantees its success. Concretely, everything depends on the successful completion of this phase.
The challenges and needs associated with managing a construction project
In some ways, managing a construction project is like any other project. However, there are some particularities in terms of the challenges and needs associated with it.
Definition of objectives and choice of participants
When it comes to construction project management, the main challenge for the manager is to define the objectives as a whole. Then he takes care of the design of the project. By this we mean:
budgeting, – the various decisions on the conditions of achievement, the organization of the work schedule.
All of these rest on the shoulder of a construction project manager. This is why the planning of a construction project may require the use of management software to facilitate the coordination of all members of the team involved.
The plurality of stakeholders is one of the specificities of a construction project. Each stakeholder plays a well-defined role and performs a specific task. To carry out the construction project, all stakeholders and all tasks must be orchestrated. To respect the deadlines and the budget and not to create blockages, each actor must indeed intervene at a precise moment of the project. The trick: plan ahead while following a well-defined process.
Construction project planning: who are the associated stakeholders and their role?
The stakeholders in a construction project are numerous, but they can be classified into four main categories.
The customer is none other than the end user. Most of the time, he also represents the funder of the project. Its role is to make decisions on the essential points of the project. As sponsor, he has the right, for example, to make or approve changes in the project.
The contractor appoints the operational leader of the various works of the project. He is the guarantor of the smooth running of the project on the site. The entrepreneur, who can be a natural person or a company, has the task of supervising and orchestrating the various trades involved in carrying out the project.
A construction project necessarily sees the participation of different professionals in the field. For example, architects deal with the development and design of the project. They also ensure the realization of the plans. Engineers, on the other hand, have the role of studying the technical elements of the construction project. In particular, they can work with the architect to come up with a formal plan. Craftsmen and specialized technicians will also be present on site. They ensure the realization of the construction project itself.
Suppliers are also key players in a construction project. The fact is that without suppliers, nothing is possible. They are often chosen by the company carrying out the work. Concretely, the suppliers deliver the materials and equipment necessary for the construction. They can also provide certain additional services (assembly of scaffolding for example).
The phases of construction project planning
Planning a construction project follows a long process. It basically has six phases.
Identification of the key elements of the project
The first phase consists of listing the various key elements of the project. What are the major tasks to be carried out? The answer to this question makes it possible to identify the stakeholders essential to the realization of the project.
The sequencing of activities
The purpose of this phase is to identify the relationships as well as the dependencies between the different activities. Let's not forget that in the context of a construction project, carrying out an activity or a task sometimes requires the intervention of several completely different professionals.
Duration estimation is not just about meeting the project's deadline. A poor estimate of the duration may have an impact on the cost of the project itself.
It is also important to list the resources needed to carry out the construction project. This approach makes it possible to estimate the budget above all. It is also necessary for planning resources and making the necessary arrangements:
– fundraising for financial resources, – setting up storage places for material resources, etc.
The creation of the calendar
When the activities are sequenced and the resources estimated, it's time to create the schedule. This is a schedule that details the execution of the various activities.
The selection of speakers
The last step in planning the construction project is to assemble the team that will execute the project. Ultimately, it is according to the different tasks to be carried out that we choose the professionals who will ensure the execution of the work.
The critical importance of anticipation through task planning
Anticipation through the planning of tasks makes it possible in the first place to ensure that the construction project deadline is met. It also makes estimating the budget easier. Some advocate such an approach in order to optimize the productivity and efficiency of the various stakeholders. For example, the task calendar helps stakeholders plan their time well. It also facilitates control and monitoring.
Good planning guarantees perfect cost control. The fact is that one planning error can distort the whole project. A delay in completing a single task can result in a lot of extra expense. Indeed, most activities are interdependent. It is extremely difficult to manage all this using a traditional project tool. Hence the interest of investing in construction project management software.