Construction management is a process that involves planning, control, and coordination of a project from start to finish.
Building a workspace requires working with a lot of different experts, and this can overwhelm owners. If it is not done correctly, you will end up with many elements you don’t like or lose a lot of time and money.
A construction manager (CM) helps businesses avoid the hassle of office construction. A CM is in charge of the whole project and works with engineers, architects, electricians, and other professionals to create the perfect work environment.
They are the link between a business owner and all the professionals working on the project. In short, a construction manager ensures that the construction process is smooth. Therefore, businesses stand to benefit a lot from the services of a construction manager.
Benefits of Working With a Professional Construction Manager
1. A High Degree of Expertise
If you start working on your new office without a CM, many things could go wrong. First, you don’t have any experience building an office. Also, working with various construction specialists can be difficult.
But you can save yourself this trouble by contracting the services of an experienced construction manager. Construction managers are normally in contact with the most qualified professionals in the construction industry.
Thus, you won’t have to worry about getting the best people for the job. Aside from that, they will expertly coordinate the whole process and ensure that it is completed on time. If any of the professionals are not doing their work the right way, the CM fires them and gets those who can do it better. Another important thing is safety at the construction site – experienced construction managers ensure all people working at the site are safe.
Generally, getting the right construction manager will make the office construction process easy with the right office interior design
2. Improved Efficiency (Budget and Time)
Construction management significantly boosts the efficiency of the construction process. Time is precious, especially if you have numerous things to do and want to move to the new office as soon as possible. A CM supervises the day-to-day activities at the site and ensures that all workers complete their tasks on time. Also, the CM looks out for and eliminates issues that can cause delays.
And if you’re working on a budget, you need not worry. The construction manager does contract negotiations and oversees competitive bidding. To reduce costs, they can hire professionals who offer the lowest rates but provide quality work.
3. Facilitated Communication Between Entities Involved in the Construction Project
Communication is one of the most critical elements when building an office. The construction manager acts as the contact between the client, contractors, architects, and other parties involved in the project.
The CM regularly updates the client about the progress of the project. If any problems arise, the client is informed, and measures are taken to solve them.
Aside from that, the construction manager settles disputes between parties involved in the project. For instance, if the dispute is between subcontractors, the CM steps in. This way, work will resume, and there won’t be delays or shoddy work because of the conflict.
4. Keeping Everyone Involved Accountable
If you do not have a lot of experience in the construction sector, keeping all participants accountable can be challenging. When you hire a professional construction manager, they take over the entire office building process.
They have to supervise all contractors’ work to make sure that everything is done according to plan. And since the construction managers take the blame when anything goes wrong, they are usually strict when it comes to quality. With construction management, business owners can be sure that all the contractors will produce quality work.
Clearly, a construction manager can help you avoid the challenges that come with office construction. The CM takes control of the whole process and ensures that the project is completed in time. Thus, finding an expert construction manager to supervise the building of your office is vital.
A successful construction project starts with having an excellent construction team. A team generally has the building owner, engineer, architect, contractor, and building designer. If you focus on construction managers and architects, both are critical roles with essential responsibilities during the building process.
The two disciplines have some basic commonalities, but they also have clear distinctions. Both a construction manager and an architect are necessary for any construction project. You have to understand their differences if you want the entire project to go without a problem. Knowing the difference can also help you communicate with your team more effectively.
The Role of a Construction Manager
Your construction manager schedules and coordinates the design and construction process of your structure. No matter what type of building you want to construct, they foresee the entire project. A construction manager also helps in approving or deciding which contractors they need to hire for specific jobs, such as plumbing, electrical, and framing, to name a few. They will stay throughout the entire project duration until the project gets completed.
The Role of an Architect
On the other hand, architects are in charge of designing buildings and structures. They have to create a safe and appealing design for the contractor to build. Before a construction project starts, the architect will meet up with the client and lay out the structural design. They follow the client’s requirements and ensure the design is safe and functional. They also do pre-construction assessments to understand the project’s feasibility and assess any negative impacts the location could have on the structure. To do their job, they must be familiar with different construction materials like heavy-duty general access doors to assist them in designing.
Utilizing project management methods effectively can help the building industry reduce the risk of failure and deliver projects more efficiently
Technological advancement has opened up many opportunities for the construction industry. However, the construction industry also faces many challenges: projects are becoming more and more complex, economic uncertainty, a myriad of stakeholders, extremely aggressive global competition and high pressure to not just deliver successful projects but deliver them on time and within budget.
These and many other factors put a lot of pressure on the construction manager, as even the smallest of mistakes can cause a delay of the whole project schedule as well as additional costs. Utilizing project management methods effectively can help the building industry reduce the risk of failure and deliver projects more efficiently.
Managing costs, change and risks
The most important aspect in construction is the cost factor as it determines the financial success of a project and affects, and is affected, by other project variables such as scope, time and quality. Construction project managers need to plan the budget accurately but also need to constantly compare the estimated costs with the actual costs and adjust the budget plan accordingly.
Failure to do so can cause a lot of problems in the long run. Remember that it is much easier to deal with a 10% budget overrun in the beginning than a 50% overrun at the end, when it is too late to turn it around.
Changes and risks also pose as threats to the budget plan. For example, the subcontractor might increase prices or there might be delivery delays, both of which have an impact on the time factor in addition to the cost factor. There are risks that you can anticipate and control, but there are also unforeseeable events such as natural disasters or accidents. You cannot control these events, but you can prepare a plan B (or C or D).
A lot can and will go wrong in construction which is why comprehensive conflict and crisis management skills are necessary to complete projects successfully.
Time and task management
As construction projects are getting more complex and with a lot of stakeholders involved, it is absolutely essential to have a clearly structured task plan and schedule. The first step is to identify the more general tasks and then divide these tasks into more specific sub-tasks.
It is also important to remember to include tasks that precede the actual construction, such as removing vegetation to clear up the site.
As for the scheduling of the tasks, you should always prioritize tasks and factor in eventual dependencies as some tasks may run parallel whereas others can only start if the predecessor tasks are finished.
Also, include milestones and deadlines which serve as guidelines as well as motivation to the construction team. This may all sound like it is a given for experienced construction managers, but meticulous planning takes a lot of time and effort and is not something that is done just like that.
Evaluating efficiency and productivity
As construction projects are so diverse and productivity depends on so many different variables there is not one ultimate productivity measure. However, every project can and should regularly compare actual with target performance. This will help you identify unproductive activities and processes and find a solution to increase efficiency and effectiveness immediately.
Construction managers can take inspiration from software project management methods such as ‘Scrum’ which helps keep complexities and risks minimal. So-called ‘sprints’, which are essentially small projects that have a duration of no more than a month, keep the team focused, as at the end of each sprint they have to present a complete product or a specific result. This will ensure that the construction staff works efficiently and productively to meet these requirements.
Delegating and outsourcing
A great project manager always knows how to delegate and outsource tasks. Allocating the right people to the right jobs is extremely important, especially in construction. You need to assign people according to their skills and expertise — and their availability.
Managing resources means delegating tasks to the right kind of people at the right time, often across projects at different construction sites. This is a particular challenge in construction, as only some staff possess the certain skills or expertise needed for certain tasks but are needed at several sites often at the same time.
Resource management is essential to be able to keep an overview of who has capacities left and who can’t take on any more work load. However, there are also tasks and activities that you can outsource such as bookkeeping and other administrative tasks. This can increase the efficiency of processes and operations while the construction manager can concentrate on key activities of the project.
Embracing collaboration and communication
Globalization has led to more rigorous competition for the construction industry, but it has also opened up the labor markets. Construction managers have access to a diverse and highly skilled global workforce. This allows them to design a more flexible and cost-efficient personnel plan and make use of a talent pool, which was not available to them before.
New collaboration and communication technologies support this trend of remote teams but also meets the increasing demands of clients to immediate and easy access to information updates regarding the construction project.
As there are so many stakeholders in a construction project, effective communication is vital for the project’s success. In fact, most project failures are a result of insufficient communication between parties concerned. So to ensure that communication doesn’t break down, you need to create a clear plan from the very beginning, outlining the communication process and the method, and make sure that everyone knows and sticks to it.
Designating one person as the communicator can channel the communication between teams and help avoid misunderstandings.
Andreas Tremel, Co-Founder and CEO of InLoox, is responsible for strategic development and product development as well as for the company’s marketing and communication strategy. With over 15 years of experience in developing software solutions, Tremel has made InLoox’s priority to build a PM software that would add value to the standard procedures of task management.
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