The construction industry is one of the most complex industries because of the high costs incurred, the huge number of workers involved, and the potential for disruption or miscommunication. Planning a construction project during the pandemic, for example, can coincide with supply chain deficiencies.
Here’s a brief look at how construction management can help you to overcome project obstacles.
What Is Construction Management?
As defined by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), construction management involves the specialized planning of a construction project through its entirety. Real-time communication and coordination between key players in the construction industry is essential to ensure a project’s success. Construction management requires experience in budgeting, business, law, and mediation. Successful construction management is reflected in the client’s satisfaction with the project.
Construction Manager: Duties and Responsibilities
Construction managers are responsible for ensuring that the project follows its original plan. Their main goal in overseeing projects is to stay within the budget and meet the expected deadline. The construction manager takes charge of confirming that the project complies with building plans as well as local codes and other requirements.
The job of construction manager encompasses as many as 120 responsibilities, according to the CMAA. These responsibilities include establishing a budget, planning a work schedule, and deciding on how to approach the project. It’s imperative for managers to have excellent communication skills so that they can develop relationships with clients and negotiate employment deals with subcontractors. They must further take responsibility for the health and safety of individuals who appear at the worksite.
The Role of a General Contractor
After the design stage is conducted, the construction manager searches for a contractor to take over the project. A general contractor typically is responsible for the following key areas:
- Assumption of project liability
- Coordination of three or more trades
- Resource allocation
- Ability to resolve problems quickly
Construction Management 101: The Key Functions
General contractors fall into two groups. One plans with architects and designers, while the other takes on both design and project execution. Construction managers set various project objectives, some of which may overlap. Here are the four main functions of the position:
- Setting clear objectives for budgeting, worker selection and performance
- Allocating and managing resources effectively
- Coordinating and monitoring project planning and execution effectively
- Using strong communication to avoid confusion and conflicts
Construction Risk Management
Risks are an inevitable part of any type of construction project, which is why it’s essential to establish a customized construction risk management plan for each project. Here are some of the different challenges that construction managers might face:
- Tight budgeting leading to delays or negative profit margins
- Health and safety issues related to elevation and equipment use
- Project disagreements
- Aiming for high ROI
- Possibility of an increase in the rework rates
- Communication issues throughout the supply chain
- Cybersecurity breach of project data
- Administrative constraints
- Unforeseen factors such as bad weather can delay the projects
While overseeing a long list of responsibilities, the management must monitor the project development closely to prevent unnecessary delays.
Common Causes of Project Failure
- Fragmented Supply Chain – One of the most common factors that might lead to a project’s failure is the lack of proper planning. Too many decision-makers can create confusion among the crew, resulting in project delays and budgeting issues. Digital tools that allow real-time communication are helpful to resolve this problem.
- Power of Habit – Construction workers must be able to adapt to projects even if it means changing old habits. The adoption of digital technology is one of the most important challenges many construction companies must deal with in the near term.
- Lack of Trust in Contractual Relations – Sometimes a construction site becomes inactive due to contractual disputes. Miscommunication and lack of trust between subcontractors can hinder a project enormously. All it takes is one major disagreement to delay a project, leading to a series of delays that can further run up costs.
Dispute Resolution in Construction Management
Usually, the bigger the construction project, the more potential for legal conflicts. The construction manager must be prepared to deal with a variety of project disputes raised by stakeholders. Here are the main ways these conflicts are typically resolved:
- Mediation: Projects often go more smoothly when a mediator works as a neutral party who listens to both sides and helps find mutually beneficial solutions. Using a mediator often eliminates the need for attorneys to take legal action.
- Mini-trial: This concept requires more time and money than mediation. It involves an attorney or independent advisor resolving disputes or providing advice, although the agreements made in a mini-trial are not legally binding and subject to cancellation.
- Arbitration: If mediation or a mini-trial do not seem like effective choices, the construction management team can turn to a more expensive and time-consuming method of conflict resolution known as arbitration. This method brings together both parties with attorneys to present evidence in a hearing. This process culminates in a binding decision.
Disputes are common in the construction industry, but a close analysis of project data is often the best approach. Remaining positive and objective are important qualities for experienced construction managers to maintain control of the project from start to finish.
The fact that construction projects often involve a large group of workers and complex plans creates tremendous challenges that construction managers must overcome. Projects can be executed successfully only if all the stakeholders focus on each stage of development and communicate effectively. Are you looking for an experienced construction company in the Bay Area? Contact the experts at Proforma Construction to learn more about how we can resolve all your construction needs. We are available at your service even during the pandemic.