A Complete Guide to Construction Project Management


Are you new to construction project management (CPM)? Here’s a guide that gives you an insight into what it entails.

What is construction project management?

Construction project management is the art of planning, coordinating, and executing human and material resources throughout a construction project. Generally, construction project management consists of complicated tasks that vary depending on the work at hand.

Successful construction project management requires not only strong communication and problem-solving skills but also in-depth knowledge of the building process. Since construction project management is a complex field, it requires you to know various areas, including mediation, business, law, and finance.

If you’re thinking of how to manage a construction project, you must first understand the role of a project manager and contractor in construction management.

The role of a project manager

Construction project managers oversee and manage a construction project to complete on time and within the allocated budget. As a construction project manager, you may also be responsible for hiring contractors and setting the calendar, finances, and parameters.

Other roles of a construction project manager include:

• Time management
• Cost management
• Project management planning
• Safety management

The role of contractors

As a construction project manager, you will open the bidding process for qualified contractors. You’ll then choose qualified personnel who meet your guidelines for handling safety, decision making, and quality management.

Project management principles and process

There are five phases of construction that you should familiarize with as a construction project manager. These include:

1. Initiation

Before starting your project, you must develop and evaluate the business case to determine whether it is worth undertaking or feasible. Once all parties agree to proceed with the construction project, you’ll draft a project charter document that contains the business case and the business needs.

2. Planning

Next, you’ll create a formal and approved document that details the cost, schedule, and scope of your construction project. This document aims to guide execution and control while defining your project’s deliverables, objectives, and critical milestones.

3. Execution

In this phase, the construction work begins by implementing project management plans and assigning resources. You can also modify the project plan to ensure the timely completion of the project.

4. Performance and monitoring

This phase happens concurrently with the execution phase, and it measures the performance and progress of your construction project. This way, you can ensure everything is in line with your goals and overall project management plan.

5. Closure

This is the final phase, and it marks your project’s completion. You may hold a meeting with your construction team to discuss the parts of the project that did or didn’t meet your goals.

Getting a job as a construction project manager

According to the US Department of Labor, if you have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, construction management, or construction science, you can easily apply for a construction project management job. Remember, you need skills and abilities in problem-solving, time and document management, and teamwork to become a successful construction project manager.

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