If you are interested in pursuing a career in Construction Project Management (CPM), you might be wondering what it entails and how to get started. In this article, I will provide you with an overview of CPM, its phases, its challenges, and its benefits. I will also give you some tips on how to become a successful construction project manager.
Table of Contents
- What is Construction Project Management?
- What are the Phases of Construction Project Management?
- What are the Challenges of Construction Project Management?
- What are the Benefits of Good Construction Project Management?
- How to Become a Construction Project Manager?
- How much does a Construction Project Manager earn?
What is Construction Project Management?
Construction project management refers to the process of managing, regulating, and supervising construction processes. Construction Project Management CPM can vary from a single to several projects. Either way, CPM can help you plan your project work during the pre-construction phase, track deliverables during the construction phase, evaluate project delivery, and close out at the end of the initiative.
Construction project management is deadline driven—construction projects always begin with a planning phase and always have a defined deliverable at the end of the project life cycle. And though there are a variety of construction-specific needs, many elements of the project life cycle are similar to general project management.
As a construction project manager, you will be responsible for ensuring that all elements of a construction project are supported and executed efficiently throughout the project lifecycle. You will also need to coordinate and communicate with various stakeholders who are involved in the construction project, such as:
- Owner or client
- Contractors and sub-contractors
To be successful in CPM, you will need to have strong skills in communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. You will also need to have knowledge of the building process, as well as the legal, financial, and regulatory aspects of construction.
What are the Phases of Construction Project Management?
Construction project management typically follows six phases:
Design and Planning
The Design and Planning phase in construction project management is the stage where the project objectives, scope, budget, schedule, and quality are defined and documented. This phase involves a collaborative effort among the project owner, the design team, the contractor, and other stakeholders to ensure that the project meets the needs and expectations of the end users. The Design & Planning phase consists of several sub-phases, such as:
The initial phase where the project vision, goals, and requirements are established and communicated.
The phase where the design team develops preliminary drawings and specifications that illustrate the general layout, appearance, and functionality of the project.
The phase where the design team refines and finalizes the drawings and specifications, incorporating feedback from the owner and other stakeholders.
The phase where the design team prepares detailed approved for construction drawings and specifications that describe the materials, methods, and systems to be used in the construction of the project.
The Design & Planning phase is critical for the success of any construction project, as it lays the foundation for the execution and delivery of the project. A well-designed and planned project can reduce risks, costs, delays, and errors while enhancing quality, safety, and customer satisfaction.
The procurement phase in construction project management is the process of acquiring the necessary materials, equipment, and labour for the project. It involves identifying the project requirements, developing procurement strategies, selecting suppliers and contractors, negotiating contracts, and managing the delivery and performance of the procured items.
The procurement phase is crucial for ensuring that the project is completed on time, within budget, and with the desired quality.
The procurement phase can be divided into four sub-phases: planning, sourcing, contracting, and controlling.
The mobilization phase in construction project management is the process of preparing the site, equipment, materials, and personnel for the execution of the project. It involves setting up the site office, securing permits and licenses, mobilizing the equipment, workforce, and subcontractors, and establishing communication and safety protocols.
The mobilization phase is critical for ensuring that the project starts on time.
The building phase in construction project management is the stage where the actual construction work takes place. It involves executing the plans and designs that were developed in the previous phases.
The building phase also includes managing the resources, budget, schedule, quality, safety, and risks of the project.
The building phase is typically the longest and most complex phase of a construction project, as it requires coordination and communication among various stakeholders, such as the project manager, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, engineers, architects, and clients.
The building phase can be divided into several sub-phases enabling works, foundation work, structural work, mechanical and electrical work, interior and exterior finishing, landscaping, and commissioning.
The commissioning phase in construction project management is the final stage of the project life cycle, where the systems and components of the building are tested and verified to ensure they meet the owner's project requirements.
The commissioning phase starts as early as the design phase and continues through construction and operations. It involves a series of activities such as documenting, scheduling, inspecting, testing, and training.
The commissioning phase aims to improve the quality, performance, and sustainability of the building, as well as to facilitate a smooth handover process to the owner and client. The phase usually also follows certain standards such to achieve energy efficiency and environmental goals.
The owner occupancy phase is the stage of a construction project management process, where the owner or the end-user of the project takes over the facility and starts using it for its intended purpose. This phase involves several activities, such as:
- Conducting a final inspection and punch list to identify and correct any defects or deficiencies in the work done by the contractor.
- Obtaining all the necessary permits, certificates, warranties, and manuals from the contractor and the authorities.
- Transferring all the project documents, records, and data from the contractor to the owner.
- Providing training and orientation to the owner and the end-users on how to operate and maintain the facility.
The Owner Occupancy phase is a critical phase that ensures a smooth transition from construction to operation and maximizes the value and benefits of the project for the owner and the end-users.
The close-out phase in construction project management is the final stage of a project, where all the deliverables are accepted, and the contract and the project are formally closed. The close-out phase involves several activities, such as:
- Performing final audits to ensure that the project meets the agreed goals.
- Obtaining client acceptance and sign-off for the completed work and deliverables.
- Handing over the project documentation, records, and assets to the client or the designated owner.
- Releasing the project resources, such as staff, equipment, materials, and facilities.
- Evaluating the project performance, outcomes, and lessons learned.
- Sometimes, celebrating the project’s success and recognizing the contributions of the project team and stakeholders.
The close-out phase is important for ensuring that the project is completed successfully and that the client is satisfied with the results. It also provides an opportunity to learn from the project experience and improve future projects.
What are the Challenges of Construction Project Management?
Construction project management is a complex and challenging field that requires a high level of expertise, skills, and tools to ensure the successful delivery of a project within the scope, budget and time constraints. Some of the main challenges of construction project management are:
- Managing multiple stakeholders with different expectations and interests.
- Dealing with changes in scope, schedule, or budget due to unforeseen circumstances or client requests.
- Ensuring compliance with local codes, regulations, and standards.
- Mitigating risks such as accidents, delays, disputes, or defects.
- Maintaining quality control and safety standards throughout the construction process.
- Managing resources such as labour, materials, equipment, and cash flow.
- Communicating effectively and efficiently with all stakeholders involved in the construction project and resolving any conflicts or issues that may occur.
- Integrating different disciplines, technologies and systems involved in the design and construction of the project.
- Adhering to the relevant codes, standards and regulations that govern the construction industry.
- Balancing the competing demands of cost, time, and quality while meeting the client's satisfaction and expectations.
What are the Benefits of Good Construction Project Management?
Despite its challenges, construction project management can bring benefits to the project owner, the contractor, and the stakeholders. Some of these benefits are:
Improved efficiency and productivity
Good construction project management can help optimize the use of resources, reduce waste, and rework, and streamline the workflow. This can result in faster completion, lower costs, and higher quality of the project.
Enhanced communication and collaboration
Good construction project management can facilitate clear and timely communication among all parties involved in the project. It can also foster teamwork and cooperation among different disciplines and subcontractors. This can improve coordination, problem-solving, and decision-making in the project.
Reduced risks and uncertainties
Good construction project management can help identify and mitigate potential risks and uncertainties in the project. It can also provide contingency plans and backup solutions in case of unforeseen events or changes. This can minimize delays, disputes, and claims in the project.
Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty
Good construction project management can help meet or exceed the expectations and requirements of the customer. It can also deliver a high-quality product that meets the standards and regulations of the industry. This can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as enhance the reputation and competitiveness of the contractor.
How to Become a Construction Project Manager?
A construction project manager is a professional who oversees the planning, execution, and completion of construction projects. They are responsible for ensuring that the project meets the client's requirements, budget, and timeline, as well as complying with safety and quality standards.
To become a construction project manager, you need to have a combination of education, experience, and skills.
Here are some steps you can follow to pursue this career path:
- Gain relevant work experience in the construction industry. You can start by working as an assistant or junior project manager, or in other roles such as estimator, scheduler, or site supervisor. This will help you gain practical experience and exposure to different aspects of construction projects. You may also develop your communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills by working with various stakeholders, such as clients, contractors, suppliers, and regulators.
- Obtain professional certification or licensure or a relevant degree. Depending on your location and employer, you may need to obtain a certification or license to work as a construction project manager. This can demonstrate your competence and credibility in the field. Some examples of certifications or licenses are the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) from the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), the Project Management Professional (PMP®) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), or the Professional Engineer (PE) license from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
- Advance your career by pursuing further education or specialization like a certificate program in construction management or a related field. You may also choose to specialize in a specific type of construction project, such as green buildings, healthcare facilities, or transportation infrastructure. This can help you stand out from the competition and increase your career opportunities.
How much does a Construction Project Manager earn?
Construction project managers ensure that all elements of a construction project are executed efficiently throughout the project lifecycle. Construction project management typically includes complicated tasks that can shift widely, depending on the work at hand, and it requires strong skills in communication, knowledge of the building process, and the ability to solve problems.
The salary of a construction project manager depends on several factors, such as education, experience, certification, location, and industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for construction managers was 97,180 USD in May 2020. That is about 8,100 USD/month. The lowest 10 percent earned less than 56,140 USD, and the highest 10 percent earned more than 169,070 USD.
The average net. salary for a construction project manager in the Middle East varies and is around approx. 6,800 USD to 22,600 USD per month depending on the location, the specific project, and qualifications. The salary may also include additional pay such as housing, education, air-tickets, bonus and profit sharing.
A construction project manager in the middle east may face various challenges and opportunities in their career, such as working in a diverse and multicultural environment, dealing with complex and large-scale projects, adapting to changing market conditions and client demands, and complying with local regulations and standards.
Project management templates can help.
Project Management Template Set 40+ PRO
The set is packed with over 40 different plans, documents, and registers. They will help you be an efficient project manager and develop your documents quickly with little effort.
The templates are based on the PMBOK®.
All templates are in MS Word or MS Excel format and can be edited on PC or MAC in MS Office or other software, such as Open Office or Office Libre.
Suitable for students and experienced project managers. Big time saver, increased confidence!
By: Marc Arnecke, PMP® - ARMACO
USD 29.99 79.99
Risk-free: 60-day money back guarantee - No questions asked
Successful Construction Project Management: The Practical Guide
Successful Construction Project Management – The Practical Guide, provides useful tips to managing a construction project. It’s aimed at construction professionals as well as those studying construction project management.
If you are in the construction field looking for a practical and friendly guide to managing your projects, this book is for you!
It covers all the essential topics you need to know:
- From teamwork and communication to time management and meeting preparation.
- You will learn from the author's real-life examples and experiences over twenty-eight years in the industry.
- You will also find useful summaries at the end of each chapter and handy tips throughout the book.
- This book is not limited to a specific country or field of construction, so you can apply the lessons to any project you work on.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced contractor, this book will help you achieve your project goals with ease and confidence!
- Project Mobilization Plan for Construction Projects by Marc Arnecke, PMP
- Construction Projects in Kenya often Fail for 9 Reasons by Marc Arnecke, PMP
- Manage Project Cost in only 4 Steps by Marc Arnecke, PMP
- Manage Project Cost - 4 Steps by Marc Arnecke, PMP
- Project Report - Your Duty as a Project Manager by Marc Arnecke, PMP