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If your team has diligently and properly executed the planning and preconstruction phases, construction will progress smoothly. From administering construction contracts and managing the budget and schedule to certifying contractor progress payments and approving payment requests, his vigilance during construction phase services is essential to keep the project on track. The final phase of the project is project closure or close-out.

4 Essential Phases of the Construction Process

This is a critical phase, which if not given proper attention can turn a good project into a problem for an owner. Key tasks during this phase include more than completion of the punch list—turning over the project to the client so they can transition to occupancy or operations. Clients must be provided all project information such as manuals, warranties, as-builts and final accounting. Insurance must be changed from the course of construction to permanent property insurance. For many larger projects, a formalized process called commissioning is utilized where systems are tested for performance to ensure they deliver the specified requirements.

It is difficult to stress enough the importance of training the Owner in how to use their facility. Each phase of construction has its own set of defined tasks and objectives. If performed thoroughly, they establish the strategic framework for a successful project.

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If you glean only one take-away from this article, recognize that the time required to perform methodical planning and preconstruction is a worthwhile investment. Rely on their expertise to keep your project running smoothly through all phases from start to successful completion. When choosing a construction manager, [ Professional construction project management is a super fine-tuned system designed to facilitate planning, coordination and control of a project from the early stages all the way to completion.

Qualified construction managers use specialized project management techniques [ Planning Phase Planning, the first phase of any major project is the process of articulating and defining the goals for the project and evaluating the feasibility of the plan. Preconstruction Phase During Preconstruction, the project architect commences with construction documents, which translates the early planning exercise into contract documents that will be submitted for building permit and conveyed to the contractor to define what exactly is being constructed.

In developing this plan, the project manager negotiates with team members and their supervisors on how much time each team member can devote to the project. If additional staff is needed to consult on the project but are is part of the project team, that also is documented in the staffing plan. Again, appropriate supervisors are consulted.

Many things can go wrong on a project. While every possible disaster or minor hiccup is unforeseeable, many can be predicted. In the risk management plan, the project manager identifies risks to the project, the likelihood those risks will happen, and strategies to mitigate those risks.

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The project manager seeks input from the project sponsor , project team, stakeholders, and internal experts. Mitigation strategies are put into place for risks that are likely to occur or have high costs associated with them. Risks that are unlikely to occur and ones that have low costs are noted in the plan; however, they may not have mitigation strategies.

A communications plan outlines how a project will be communicated to various audiences. Much like the work breakdown structure, a communications plan assigns responsibility for completing each component to a project team member.

In this step, it's important to outline how issues will be communicated and resolved within the team and how often communication will be done to the team and the stakeholders or the boss. Each message has an intended audience. A communications plan helps project managers ensure the right information gets to the right people at the right time.

A stakeholder management plan identifies how stakeholders will be used in the project. Sometimes stakeholders only need to receive information. That can be taken care of in the communications plan. If more is needed from stakeholders, a stakeholder management plan outlines how it will be obtained. A change management plan lays out a framework for making changes to the project. Project managers tend to want to avoid changes to the project, but they sometimes are unavoidable.

The change management plan provides protocols and processes for making changes. Don't try to be artificially precise - keep it vague, use rough figures. As you come to the end of each chunk of the project, you will be able to plan the next one. You can use the information and experience you have just gained from the previous section, and thus you will be able to be more confident.

Make sure you explain this to your project stakeholders! Often your project executive may look at a schedule, and imagine everything is laid out and known. You must get this idea out of their head straight away!

5 Essential Steps in Project Management

Explain that the early part is firmer than the rest, and make sure they expect changes as the project moves on. Your executive will crave certainty, and absolute dates for the project, from the very beginning. You must resist the pressure to name a specific date, and explain why. While there may be a temptation to give an answer no doubt of a date plucked, essentially, from the air you need to instead be realistic about what is and isn't possible in terms of scheduling.

Anything else can only lead to trouble for you, the project, and ultimately your executive further down the line. You see, you cannot know everything you need to complete the plan, and you shouldn't expect to. I've mentioned bringing other people in to decide what success looks like, and it is vital that you bring people in to help with the scheduling. You will have a project team who will be doing the work, and it is probable, if not certain, that they will have a better idea than you of how to break down a chunk of work into specific tasks, and how long those tasks will take.

Make use of their knowledge! This has the added benefit of bringing them into the project, and helping to start the process of turning a group of individuals into a team. Trevor Roberts runs his own project management consultancy, and has worked as a project manager for business and government. He also writes Project Management Guide where he aims to help you learn more about project management. The health check is a reflective learning exercise, a snapshot of project or programme status used to identify what is going well and areas for improvement.

Many project managers put an implementation or cutover plan together yet fail to carryout the rigorous analysis to determine whether they should proceed. Innumerable studies have shown that Requirements Gathering is the single most important step in the Software Development Life Cycle. It seems that these days everyone claims to be a project manager. But are these 'true' project management roles? Let's find out what makes a project manager. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds.

With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

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  4. All rights reserved. Previous Article Next Article. What we want to have in our project plan is: Aim of Project Outputs Quality Criteria Resources Management Structure Milestones Tolerances Dependencies Risks Schedule Let's have a look at these in turn, and see why they are needed, and what we want to achieve with each of them.

    Aim of Project What do we want to produce?

    1. Aim of Project

    Outputs Given the aim of the project, what do we actually need to produce to get there? Quality Criteria Now we have the outputs, we need to understand what quality they need to be of. Measurable: e. Attainable: Don't ask for the impossible. Relevant: Is the criterion actually related to the aim of the project? Time-based: Enough time to achieve this. There is no point expecting a year's worth of work in one week! Topic : Project Plans: 10 Essential Elements.

    I prefer 'performance requirements' to quality: quality always needs to be qualified with performance criteria Performance produces project value. Interfaces with other activities also might need to be recognised. Suppliers and procurement might need to be recognised as well.