August 10, 2016
In today’s marketplace, having an effective project management process that ensures a smooth transition from the concept stage through completion is an absolute necessity to provide immediate and long-term value for the organization.
Since buildings and their systems are becoming increasingly complex, and regulatory and contractual requirements continue to be perplexing, there has been an increasing demand for construction management services in the diverse facilities arena.
Construction management is the overall planning, coordination, and control of a project from beginning to completion. The role of the construction manager (CM) is to deliver a functionally and financially viable project, coordinated seamlessly between multiple trades. When delays or problems do occur, the construction manager is the project’s first responder, ensuring the project stays on schedule and within budget.
The CM is responsible for nearly every phase of the construction program, fielding bids and presenting them to the owner, managing the job and crunching numbers. The CM works in conjunction with the design team, overseeing their work and devising ways to add value and keep costs in check. Working with a CM allows for a higher level of transparency, as they provide preliminary real-time budget estimates to the project team throughout the design and build process, minimizing surprises and allowing for necessary adjustments along the way. The CM provides a measure of comfort and assurance for building occupants, facilities directors and companies alike.
There are several specific tasks that construction managers perform: project management planning, cost management, quality management, contract administration and safety management.
Here's a brief look at what each entails:
• Project management planning. This initial stage involves laying out a plan for the entire project, including the various jobs that need to be done, the materials required and a timeline.
• Cost management. Construction managers must constantly keep tabs on costs, making adjustments if unexpected issues or complications arise.
• Quality management. Projects often involve numerous contractors and subcontractors; construction managers must make sure they're all following the specifications and not cutting corners.
• Contract administration. Lengthy contracts are part of all construction projects, and it's the construction manager's job to ensure all of the contract provisions are being met and all parties are satisfied.
• Safety management. Construction sites are filled with potential safety hazards that construction managers must be aware of and guard against.
CM’s are particularly valuable when multiple projects or multiple trades are working simultaneously as the scheduling and sequencing can be very challenging and time consuming for an owner to manage. Above all, construction managers have to keep everyone in the loop during the entire project, from clients and architects to contractors and subcontractors, and quickly resolve any problems that arise.
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