A Note on Construction Project Management

Construction Project Management (CPM) is project management that applies to the construction segment. It is the general planning, organization and control of a project from initiation to conclusion. It aims at meeting the client’s objective to produce a functionally and economically viable project.

Because each project by itself is highly valuable construction, companies have found that improving their core project management and knowledge allocation processes generates higher return on investment for lesser risk.


The Construction industry has conventionally faced a knowledge decay cycle whereby the knowledge gained on implementation of a project is lost when the team disperses so that the next team is again forced to relearn it. This valuable knowledge can be captured by companies implementing a strategy to standardize the process and developing a shared repository for gathering information and knowledge sharing so that decision making is also made easier.


In general the business model of the construction industry has three parties which consist of the owner, a designer and the builder usually referred to as the general contractor. Conventionally there are two contracts between these parties. The first contract is the owner-designer contract which consists of the three phases of planning, designing and construction management. The second contract is the owner-contractor contract which consists only of construction. There may be present a third party relationship between the designer and contractor based on these two contracts.


In recent times a different business model has become more popular. Here the owners, in particular government agencies have let out contracts referred to as Design-Build Contracts. Here the construction team is referred to as design-builder. They are accountable for taking an owner’s concept, completing design and going ahead with construction based on the owner’s approval.


The Virtual Design and Construction technology has greatly aided the ability of constructors. There are two main advantages in using a Design-Build contract. One is that the construction team is motivated to work with the design team to do design creatively and with increased constructability with the intention of minimizing construction costs. The other advantage is that, the construction activities can be initiated in parallel with design as the contractor is already established.


One another method is referred to as Agency CM which is a fee based service where the Construction Manager (CM) is responsible to the owner and acts on the owner’s behalf and interests. The Agency CM can further help by analyzing through Value engineering, Cost/Benefit Analysis etc.


The CM At-Risk is a deliver method which expects the construction manager to deliver the project within a stipulated Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP). He should manage and control the construction costs such that it does not exceed GMP in order to prevent any situation of loss from happening to the CM Company.


Not only does the construction industry touch each individual’s life, it also occupies an elementary position in several national economies. It is heterogeneous and complicated. The projects are intricate and time consuming and consist of a number of phases requiring a diverse range of services in its progress from initiation to completion. Large projects normally have full time project manager. Here the project manager plays a prime role in coordinating and acting as a focal point for all the facets of the project.


He should have a considerable background of practical experience and attributes that help him to work harmoniously and capacity to plan for the future. The scope and range of contract services is also myriad. Professional contractors can help owners of a construction project by performing construction work by means of applying the latest field management techniques in an economically feasible manner.


Thus effective management of a project with sufficient knowledge of the Construction industry is the key tenets to Construction Project management.

| An Introduction to Earned Value Management | A Note on Construction Project Management | An Overview of the Contribution of Sharepoint Project Management | Distinguishing between Project Scope/Hope/Effort/Feature Creep | Introduction to Open Workbench | Project Management Audit – Modus Operandi | The Critical Chain Project Management as presented by Goldratt |


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