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How To Manage a Construction Project



To manage a construction project effectively, you must ensure that from the start, the planning and scoping process is done correctly.


This means putting enough time and resources into cost estimating, site analysis, plan reviews, hiring and vetting of contractors, and establishing key project benchmarks.


Construction project management is the process of managing the entire scope of the construction project from start-to-finish.


From the initial planning, cost estimating, resource planning, review of plans and permits, sourcing contractors and ultimately ensuring the successful completion of the construction project.


Because construction project management has such a broad scope, it is important that you work with a range of construction professionals to ensure that every aspect of the project is accounted and planned for.


This means working with a company such as Project Cost Solutions to ensure that your construction project is vetted and reviewed for:


  • Scope Definition: make sure your project goals are quantified from day one.

  • Budget Definition: track and measure your probable cost against performance.

  • Planning & Scheduling: make sure your project is within scope and planned to ensure it is completed on-budget.

  • Validation & Success: have confidence that proper review and planning has been done to minimize risk.

It is key that through-out the lifecycle of your construction project, your construction project management team is skilled in four key areas:


  • Planning

  • Adjusting and Reviewing

  • Communicating

  • Collaborating

Good construction project management happens when everyone involved knows the importance of their individual roles and how they contribute to the overall success of the project. When one part of the project begins to fail, it is very hard to overcome these shortcomings while still delivering an on-time, on-budget, within scope, and high-quality end result.


What Are the Phases of Construction Project Management?


There are 10 phases to effective construction project management. Because construction project management has such a broad scope, it helps to work within very narrow and focused phases:


  1. Feasibility Review

  2. Planning

  3. Project Implementation

  4. Time Management

  5. Cost Management

  6. Quality Management

  7. Change Management

  8. Risk Management

  9. Maintaining Control

  10. Project Close-Out

How Does Cost Estimating Impact Construction Management?


Cost estimating can make or break construction management. Improper cost estimation can result in a poorly planned, budgeted, and scheduled construction project – resulting in failure.


A thorough cost estimation is fundamental to effective construction management. The cost estimating process helps your management team develop a project plan that is workable, manageable, on-budget, and within scope.


In fact, it is our belief at Project Cost Solutions, that cost overruns can be attributed to poor and faulty cost estimation. I’ve worked with too many clients who have suffered deep losses on their projects all due to ineffective cost estimation and validation.


A cost estimation delivers 5 key benefits to the construction management process:


  • Clear Investment Direction: a cost estimate allows you to clearly understand project viability. With this information you can properly determine if this project is a sound investment.

  • Option Review: it’s important that you review all of the available options and alternatives for the project: site, architect plans, vendors, scheduling, materials, etc. This ensures you’re making the best possible decision to support project success.

  • Vendor and Contraction Validation: the cost estimate allows you to review and challenge the quotes provided to you by potential vendors and contractors.

  • Budget Planning: the only way to prepare an accurate and workable budget is to clearly understand all costs associated with the project. To do this properly, you must work with professionals who have deep experience in cost estimation and cost engineering.

  • Benchmark Definition: the only way to know if your project is on-time and within scope is with the adherence to clearly defined project benchmarks. Use these benchmarks to help you maintain project control and to help mitigate risk.

Cost overruns can be prevented. It all comes down to effective planning, estimating, scheduling, budgeting, and resource management.


Contact the PCS team to learn how our approach can set you up for construction success. For us, at PCS, construction is personal, and we want to see your project succeed.


About the author 


Lee Thomas, MBA is the chairman and CEO of Project Cost Solutions. Lee has over 20 years of hands-on operational process experience under his belt. He is deeply committed to seeing your construction project succeed.

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