What Is Construction Management?
Construction management represents the process of managing a construction project from start to finish, including all aspects of design and execution. It includes planning, scheduling, budgeting, procurement, quality control, safety, risk assessment, contract administration, change management, and more.
According to the Construction Manager's Association of America (CMA), construction management is a professional service provided by an organization that manages a construction projects’ schedules, costs, quality, safety, and functions.
The construction management profession has grown in importance over the past few decades as the cost of building projects continues to rise. The global construction market is estimated to reach $16.6 Trillion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 7%.
What Is Construction Project Management?
Construction project management refers to the processes needed to complete a construction project. Furthermore, a construction project manager ensures that all aspects of a project are supported and implemented efficiently throughout the project lifecycle.
Construction project management requires strong communication skills, deep knowledge of construction processes, and the ability to think through problems. Construction project management is a complex area requiring vast knowledge and experience across many different areas, including construction accounting, mediation, law, business, and more.
Within Construction project management, project managers specifically handle the overall planning, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation of construction projects across agriculture, residential, commercial, educational, industrial, heavy civil construction, environmental, and more.
The Five Phases of Construction Project Management
1. Construction Management Planning Phase
The planning phase is one of the most critical aspects of construction project management. Before starting any new project, businesses need to assess whether the project is viable before being initiated.
During the construction management planning stage, the team will determine the tasks needed to complete a project, including timing and ownership. Planning helps decide whether you need permits and licenses for construction projects. Once you've mapped out your project plan, you're ready to start.
How Software Can Help with the Planning phase
Thanks to technological advances, construction planning has been revolutionized. Construction management software enables project managers to identify obstacles and solutions before the project starts. Construction scheduling systems help businesses to document all aspects of the planning stage to improve accuracy and timelines.
By securely collecting and centrally maintaining project data, there is a reduced chance of human error and project delays. With all project information updated immediately; the planning teams can create an accurate image of how the project will proceed.
2. Pre-Construction Phase
Pre-construction is the first step toward building a successful construction project. Pre-construction involves making important decisions and establishing success measures for maximizing project efficiency and minimizing potential roadblocks during construction.
During the pre-construction phase, successful building contractors guide the design, cost, and project schedule.
After the construction plan has been developed, including the design, timeline, and costs, the project team starts gathering the necessary resources for construction.
How Software Can Help with Pre-Construction
This stage of the construction project can be more or less challenging depending on the scope of the project, the resources availability, and the start date.
To help, you can build a project timeline schedule that creates a logical workflow for your project. Having reliable planning and scheduling software solution ensures project management success.
An intuitive project management suite provides construction businesses with a platform for successful planning. And project success lies in having a well-architected solution that lays out the project timeline for each phase while noting critical interdependencies and resource allocation for each task.
3. Procurement Phase
Within the construction's procurement phase, the project team acquires all materials, tools, and services necessary to complete the project.
This stage of the construction project drives the project's scope, including resources, availability, and the start date. To maximize the efficiency of a project, a construction firm must carefully approach procurement and purchase supplies cost-effectively, considering factors like timeline, quality of project, and budget.
How Software Can Help with the Procurement Process
Construction procurement software ensures total project transparency, work delivery, and on-site financial management. With the need to help businesses control new supply chain risks, and tighter budgets and timelines, procurement software will reduce errors, reduce costs and maximize value.
4. Construction Phase
The construction phase is when the actual construction takes place. The construction manager oversees the entire process from beginning to end. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations, the construction manager manages the project budget, schedules, and other tasks.
How Software Can Helps with the Construction Phase
A construction management system (CMS) helps construction firms manage their projects by providing them with a single source of truth. A CMS allows users to track work in progress, manage expenses, and generate reports. It also enables managers to make informed decisions based on real-time data.
5. Post-Construction Phase
The construction process does not stop when the physical construction effort is complete. A construction project without the post-construction phase would leave a builder feeling overwhelmed and lost.
Post-construction consists of all the final processes to hand the building entirely over to the building owner. Post-construction includes completing all punch list items, a final walkthrough, training, and more.
How Software Can Helps with the Post-Construction Phase
You can close out projects faster by automating and keeping track of the collection of the necessary documentation. Drawing, warranty, photo, video — the list of post-construction necessities continues. With the right tools, you can deliver essential info in a mobile-friendly format to be accessible anytime, anywhere.
During the closeout phase, document storage becomes extremely important. Documents related to each project must be stored in one place, accessible to all.
What is a Construction Manager?
A construction manager is a person who oversees the above process, including planning, scheduling, budgeting, procurement, quality control, safety, risk analysis, etc., for every construction project.
A construction manager, hired by the general contractor, works directly to oversee the entire project from start to finish. They work closely with architects, engineers, and other professionals to ensure everything goes smoothly. A construction manager must communicate effectively with their team members, keep track of budgets, and oversee every aspect of the project.
Construction managers typically hold bachelor's degrees in engineering or architecture. Some people choose to go into construction management because it allows them to use their technical skills while working directly with the public. Others want to become construction managers because they enjoy seeing a project come together. Still, others see construction management as a way to build a career around their passion for building things.
While some construction managers work as independent consultants, most work as employees for one of the major construction companies. There are now many construction management firms, each specializing in specific projects.
Benefits of Construction Management
Effective construction project management benefits construction firms by increasing the potential for successful project completion—on time, within budget, and free of financial or legal complications.
While project oversight services evolve throughout the project, construction management optimizes for industry best practices, prudent management decision-making, and effective and transparent project controls and reporting methods.
Construction management is particularly vital to large-scale projects with more potential for problems that could significantly delay the project and cost money. A construction manager measures each design decision with careful analysis that calculates the impact that decision will make on the budget and schedule.
Without a professional construction management team, an unforeseen problem risks derailing the entire project. When a project includes a construction manager early in the process, the construction manager is not only able to better plan for potential problems, but the project also benefits from the construction manager's ability to find money and time-saving opportunities.
Project management can also provide clear lines of accountability. With a construction management team in place, there is little confusion about who is the decision maker or what the project objectives are. The construction manager directs the project team so everyone understands what they should do and why. The construction manager's global view of the project enables agile management of evolving risks as they occur.
Benefits of Construction Management Software
Project managers use streamlined project management systems to keep track of projects, manage stakeholder expectations, and ensure that costs stay within budget.
A unified construction project management solution helps keep teams better connected through a single, integrated project management tool that is designed for the construction industry.
In addition to organizing teams, information, and documentation, construction project management software helps businesses to deliver high-quality projects on time and on budget.
How Deltek Supports the Construction Industry
Deltek ComputerEase is the leading construction software for job costing accounting, project management, and payroll services—delivering solutions that help customers connect and automate the project lifecycle that fuels their business. Deltek’s dedicated team is committed to providing service excellence and product innovation, adapting to the evolving construction compliance requirements.