Construction Management is a professional management practice consisting of an array of services applied to construction projects and programs through the planning, design, construction and post construction phases for the purpose of achieving project objectives including the management of quality, cost, time and scope.
Construction Management is a discipline and management system specifically created to promote the successful execution of capital projects for owners. These projects can be highly complex. Few owners maintain the staff resources necessary to pay close, continuing attention to every detail--yet these details can "make or break" a project.
A professional CM can augment the owner's staff with pre-planning, design, construction, engineering and management expertise that can assure the best possible project outcome no matter what type of project delivery method used.
CM is a professional service that can be applied to all delivery systems where the CM acts as the owner's principal agent in the management of a construction project or program, where the CM is responsible to the owner for managing the planning, design, construction and post construction phases, or portions thereof. The CM represents the interests of the project in its dealings with other construction professionals, and with other private and public entities.
·Optimum use of available funds
·Control of the scope of the work
·Optimum use of design and construction firms' skills and talents
·Avoidance of delays, changes and disputes
·Enhancing project design and construction quality
·Optimum flexibility in contracting and procurement
Comprehensive management of every stage of the project, beginning with the original concept and project definition, yields the greatest possible benefit to owners from Construction Management.
"At-risk" CMis a delivery method which entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP). The construction manager acts as consultant to the owner in the development and design phases, but as the equivalent of a general contractor during the construction phase. When a construction manager is bound to a GMP, the most fundamental character of the relationship is changed. In addition to acting in the owner's interest, the construction manager also protects him/herself.
What is Program Management?
The practice of professional construction management applied to a capital improvement program of one or more projects from inception to completion. Program Management provides additional benefits such as standardization, leveraged purchasing and economies of scale.
Project Managment Methodology
Projects are usually split into phases often along the lines of initiation, control and closure. During each phase a number of documents are produced as part of the project control process.
Initiating a Project
All projects start with an idea for a product, service, new capability or other desired outcome. The idea is communicated to the project sponsor using the mandate. The mandate provides a structured approach to proposing a project and contains the project’s business case.
Once the mandate has been approved a further document is prepared that explains the project in greater detail. The project definition report is used to provide this information. This document is used as a key part of the assessment when deciding whether the project should be undertaken.
In particular it outlines the goals, objectives, scope, deliverables, assumptions, constraints, risks, issues, key people, benefits, costs and duration.
If authorization to proceed is given, the contract is used to obtain formal agreement from the project sponsor and budget holder to start the project. This signifies the end of the initiation phase.
Controlling a Project
The control phase involves managing and tracking the project. To do this a project plan is developed. The project plan is most commonly expressed in the form of a Gantt chart and identifies the stages, tasks, timeline and resources. A good plan will include regular milestones that act as a measure of progress and keep the project team focused on short-term goals. Project plans may also include information about costs and dependent projects. A tracking Gantt chart can be used to monitor progress.
Once you have planned the project it is important to identify any factors that could have an impact on it. This is done using the issues log and risk log. The issues log is used to record issues and a plan to address them. The risk log is used to record and grade risks with an associated action plan to mitigate them. Often confused, risks and issues are defined as follows:
Risk: The likelihood of the occurrence of an event, usually a negative one that may adversely affect the successful completion of a project.
Issue:A concern raised by any stakeholder that needs to be addressed, either immediately or during a project.
Key to good project management and a successful project outcome is effective communication. The progress report is used to communicate progress on a regular basis, typically weekly or monthly, to all stakeholders of the project.
The control phase ends once the project has achieved its goals and objectives as detailed in the project definition report. A project may be stopped prior to completion for a variety of reasons, including changes within a business, lack of resources or higher priorities.
Closing a Project
Project closure is an important aspect of project management that is often overlooked. A project that is not closed will continue to consume resources, albeit slowly.
To receive acknowledgment from the customer that the project has ended the customer acceptance form is used. Once signed off the project team is disbanded and no more work is carried out.
At this point it is important to know whether the project has achieved its goals and objectives. This is done using the project closure report. This document communicates how well the project has performed against its original business case, quality criteria, costs, duration and tolerances.
What is MasterFormat® ?
What does MasterFormat® mean in Construction?
MasterFormat, a publication of CSI and CSC, is a master list of numbers and titles classified by work results. It is primarily used to organize project manuals and detailed cost information, and to relate drawing notations to specifications.
Construction projects use many different kinds of delivery methods, products, and installation methods, but one thing is common to all – the need for effective teamwork by the many parties involved to ensure the correct and timely completion of work.
The successful completion of projects requires effective communication amongst the people involved, and that in turn requires easy access to essential project information.
Efficient information retrieval is only possible when a standard filing system is used by everyone. MasterFormat provides such a standard filing and retrieval scheme that can be used throughout the construction industry.
MasterFormat is the master list of titles and numbers used to organize specifications and other project information for most commercial building design and construction projects in North America. It lists titles and section numbers for organizing data about construction requirements, products, and activities.
By standardizing such information, MasterFormat facilitates communication among architects, specifiers, contractors and suppliers, which helps them meet building owners’ requirements, timelines and budgets.
Sustainable construction aims at reducing the environmental impact of a building over its entire lifetime, while optimizing its economic viability and the comfort and safety of its occupants. Planet - People - Prosperity: a new and more global approach for the construction sector
While standard building practices are guided by short term economic considerations, sustainable construction is based on best practices which emphasize long term affordability, quality and efficiency. At each stage of the life cycle of the building, it increases comfort and quality of life, while decreasing negative environmental impacts and increasing the economic sustainability of the project. A building designed and constructed in a sustainable way minimizes the use of water, raw materials, energy, land … over the whole life cycle of the building.