Project Planning & Management
Established for over 20 years, we have built a strong and reputable reputation across many sectors of the construction industry with a proven track record for delivering high quality projects to clients throughout the South West from our Head Office in Exeter and our new office in Taunton.
Determining whether to pursue a project is the first and most important part of the construction process. Halting projects after they’ve begun is costly, and the further they progress, the greater the potential losses become. Feasibility studies, capital budgeting, pro-con lists, and extensive input from stakeholders are staples of this stage. You can use these practices, and others, to answer key questions about the project:
Will it yield a positive ROI?
Are the associated risks manageable?
Does it fit into your company’s portfolio?
To answer these and other relevant questions, use a combination of insights from robust data analysis and feedback from the key stakeholders on your team. Analytics provides decision-makers with an objective perspective on the proposed project, while wide-ranging input from team members can help identify potential issues that might otherwise pass unnoticed.
Once you’ve decided on a project, it’s time for the creative juices to start flowing. The design phase involves developing everything from the basic concept of the project to detailed blueprints that show the final design. Your design will evolve from initial sketches to finished drawings and specifications, but each iteration should meet the project’s requirements while keeping the timeline in mind and costs under control.
Once the design is finalized and approved, it’s time to move on to the preconstruction phase.
Preconstruction involves creating a roadmap that will guide you through the construction process. It’s about building a game plan for the project that shows everyone what they need to do, when they need to do it, how they should accomplish it, and what it should cost. If all parties stick to the plan and execute their roles to perfection, they’ll deliver the project on time, to standard, and within budget.
Presconstruction involves a wide variety of critical tasks. Here are a few of the most important:
Define and allocate resources.
Set up mini-budgets.
Create timelines and deadlines.
Map out work and operations through work breakdown structures (WBS), organization breakdown structures (OBS), and other tools.
Risk assessment and contingency planning are also a major part of preconstruction. Things rarely go just as planned during a construction project — often due to factors outside your control — so project managers and stakeholders must prepare for things going awry. The more proactive you are, the less time, money, and resources you’ll lose trying to get back on track if and when hiccups occur.
Procurement encompasses sourcing, purchasing, and transporting the materials and services you need to complete a project. Procurement and supply chain managers should provide input in the planning stages to keep unexpected cost overruns to a minimum during this stage. Even so, some volatility is inevitable, as prices are subject to shifts in the market. You should account for this risk to the extent possible through robust preconstruction planning.
There are benefits and drawbacks to sourcing materials from local, regional, or global markets. Local procurement may take less time, but it may come at a greater cost, while less expensive materials shipped over long distances may be more subject to delays and supply chain interruptions. Engage in thorough research so you can choose the right options to meet budgetary requirements and stay on schedule.
Choosing when to perform procurement is another major decision. Rather than completing procurement before the construction project begins, you can obtain the resources you need as the project progresses to meet evolving requirements. While this strategy provides additional flexibility, reduces holding costs, and preserves liquidity, it risks delayed shipments or shortages that may slow the entire project. It also exposes you to potential price increases. Whatever approach you choose, try to align purchase orders with your construction plan and have contingencies in place to preserve your budget and schedule as circumstances change.
You’ve made your plan, everyone knows what their jobs are, and you have the resources you need to get started. Now construction can commence. All your preparation and planning pays off in this stage, helping the construction process move along smoothly and finish successfully. Even the most thorough plans can’t anticipate every hiccup along the way, of course, so regular monitoring and evaluation of progress during this phase is vital for staying on course.
When you have to make adjustments due to new circumstances or goals, change management comes into play. Project managers must adapt as needed while remaining within the parameters of the project’s plan. Look for a change management solution that can help analyze the impact of changes and minimize their impact on the project.