What is Construction Management – Types, Functions, Software Tools, and Difference From Project Management

Construction Management Company in Lagos Nigeria
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What is Construction Management?

Construction management involves the strategic planning, coordination, and control of all aspects of a construction project, including budgeting, scheduling, resource allocation, quality management, and risk mitigation. It aims to ensure that projects are completed safely, on time, within budget, and to the client’s satisfaction.

In the dynamic realm of construction, effective management is paramount to the success of any project. Construction management encompasses a multifaceted approach to overseeing every aspect of the construction process, from inception to completion. Let’s delve into the intricacies of construction management, exploring its key elements, processes, roles, skills, and much more.

What does a Construction Manager do?

Professionals who oversee construction management are called Construction Managers. Construction managers are responsible for structuring and overseeing budgets, maintaining schedules, ensuring on-site safety, and coordinating tasks to ensure timely completion. They engage with various stakeholders such as contractors, workers, architects, vendors, and clients to ensure projects meet specifications, deadlines, and budgetary constraints.

Explore further about Construction Managers, their Responsibilities, Job Description, Essential Skills and Qualifications

Types of Construction Management

Construction management can be broadly categorized into two main types: Agency Construction Management, and At-Risk Construction Management:

1. Agency Construction Management:

In this scenario, the construction manager serves as a representative of the owner’s interests.
They supervise the project on the owner’s behalf, yet they do not bear the financial risk associated with project delivery.

2. At-Risk Construction Management:

In this category, the construction manager takes on increased accountability and financial risk for project completion. They might oversee subcontractor coordination, budget management, and ensure project completion within the designated time-frame.

9 Essential Steps and Functions of Construction Management

The construction management process typically involves several phases, including;

  1. Project Planning
  2. Procurement
  3. Cost Estimation
  4. Scheduling
  5. Quality Control
  6. Safety Management
  7. Risk Management
  8. Communication
  9. Stakeholder Engagement

1. Project Planning

Involves defining project goals, scope, and objectives, as well as outlining the tasks, resources, and timelines required to achieve them.

2. Procurement

Involves obtaining the necessary materials, equipment, and services for the construction project, including sourcing suppliers, negotiating contracts, and managing vendor relationships.

3. Cost Estimation

Involves forecasting the total cost of the project, including materials, labor, equipment, and overhead expenses, to develop an accurate budget.

4. Scheduling

Involves creating a detailed timeline for the project, including milestones, deadlines, and dependencies, to ensure timely completion and efficient resource allocation.

5. Quality Control

Involves implementing processes and procedures to ensure that construction activities meet established quality standards and specifications, including inspections, testing, and corrective actions.

6. Safety Management

Involves identifying and mitigating potential hazards and risks on the construction site to ensure the health and safety of workers and the public, including implementing safety protocols, training programs, and emergency response plans.

7. Risk Management

Involves identifying, assessing, and managing potential risks and uncertainties that may impact the project’s success, including financial, legal, environmental, and operational risks.

8. Communication

Involves establishing effective channels of communication among project stakeholders, including the owner, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and regulatory agencies, to facilitate collaboration, coordination, and problem-solving.

9. Stakeholder Engagement

Involves engaging with various stakeholders, including the owner, investors, government agencies, community members, and other project participants, to gather input, address concerns, and build consensus throughout the project life-cycle.

Types of Projects for Construction Management

Construction management is applicable to a wide range of projects, including Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, Hospitality, and Retail projects.

Reasons Why You Need Construction Management for Your Building Projects

The adoption of construction management offers several benefits, including;

  • Improved Project Outcomes
  • Enhanced Efficiency
  • Cost Savings
  • Reduced Risk
  • Better Stakeholder Engagement
  • Increased Client Satisfaction

Implications of not having a Construction Management System

Failure to implement effective construction management can result in project delays, cost overruns, quality deficiencies, safety incidents, legal disputes, and damage to reputation.

Pillars of Construction Management

The pillars of construction management are efficiency, effectiveness, quality, safety, sustainability, and client satisfaction. By upholding these pillars, construction managers can ensure project success and stakeholder satisfaction.

Principles of Construction Management

The principles of construction management revolve around transparency, accountability, collaboration, innovation, continuous improvement, and adherence to ethical standards and best practices.

10 Essential Construction Management Documents

Construction management involves the creation, maintenance, and utilization of various documents throughout the project life cycle. These documents play a crucial role in facilitating communication, documenting project progress, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Some of the key construction management documents include:

1. Project Plans

Comprehensive plans outlining the scope, schedule, budget, and resources required for successful project execution.

2. Contracts:

Legal agreements between project stakeholders, including clients, contractors, subcontractors, and vendors, outlining the terms and conditions of their involvement in the project.

3. Construction Drawings:

Detailed drawings and blueprints depicting the design and layout of the construction project, including architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing drawings.

4. Specifications:

Detailed written descriptions of the materials, products, and construction methods to be used in the project, providing guidance to contractors and subcontractors.

5. Change Orders:

Documents authorizing changes to the original project scope, schedule, or budget, typically issued when unforeseen circumstances or client requests necessitate modifications to the project.

6. Progress Reports

Regular reports documenting project progress, including work completed, milestones achieved, challenges encountered, and upcoming tasks.

7. Meeting Minutes:

Records of project meetings, including discussions, decisions made, action items assigned, and attendees’ attendance, ensuring accountability and transparency.

8. Safety Plans and Inspections:

Plans outlining safety protocols and procedures to be followed on the construction site, as well as records of safety inspections and incident reports.

9. Quality Control Documents:

Documentation of quality control measures, including inspections, tests, and audits, to ensure compliance with project specifications and standards.

10. Closeout Documents:

Documentation required for project closeout, including record drawings, operation and maintenance manuals, warranties, and as-built documentation. By maintaining accurate and up-to-date construction management documents, project stakeholders can effectively communicate, collaborate, and manage construction projects, ultimately ensuring successful project outcomes.

Relevant Certifications for Construction Management

Certifications such as the Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Construction Manager (CCM), and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation are highly regarded in the construction management industry.

Find more insights into Project Management for Building Constructions in our dedicated article.

Software Tools for Construction Management

Construction management software tools such as Procore, Autodesk BIM 360, Primavera P6, and PlanGrid streamline project management processes, facilitating collaboration, document management, scheduling, and reporting. We have curated a list of the 10 Best Construction Management Software Tools to use in 2024!

Project Management vs Construction Management

While project management focuses on the overall planning, execution, and control of projects across various industries, construction management specifically addresses the unique challenges and requirements of construction projects, including site logistics, safety, and regulatory compliance.

Services Offered by Construction Management Companies in Nigeria

1. Project Planning and Development

Construction management companies assist clients in defining project goals, establishing budgets, creating project schedules, and conducting feasibility studies to determine project viability.

2. Design Management

Construction managers collaborate with architects, engineers, and other design professionals to develop comprehensive design solutions that meet the client’s requirements while adhering to regulatory standards and building codes.

3. Procurement and Contract Administration

Construction management firms oversee the procurement process, including soliciting bids from subcontractors and suppliers, negotiating contracts, and managing contractual agreements throughout the project life-cycle.

4. Construction Supervision and Quality Control

Construction managers provide on-site supervision to ensure that construction activities are carried out according to project specifications, safety regulations, and quality standards. They conduct regular inspections, resolve issues, and implement corrective measures as needed to maintain project quality.

5. Cost Estimation and Budget Management

Construction management companies prepare detailed cost estimates, monitor project expenditures, and manage project budgets to ensure that costs are controlled and remain within budgetary constraints.

6. Schedule Management and Progress Monitoring

Construction managers develop project schedules, coordinate construction activities, and track project progress to ensure that work is completed on time and according to the project timeline.

7. Risk Management and Compliance

Construction management firms identify potential risks and develop risk mitigation strategies to minimize project delays, cost overruns, and other unforeseen issues. They also ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, building codes, and safety standards throughout the construction process.

8. Stakeholder Communication and Reporting

Construction managers facilitate communication between project stakeholders, including clients, architects, contractors, and regulatory authorities. They provide regular updates, reports, and documentation to keep stakeholders informed about project progress and status.

9. Sustainable Construction Practices

Many construction management companies offer expertise in sustainable construction practices, including green building design, energy efficiency, waste management, and environmentally friendly construction materials and techniques.

10. Post-Construction Services

Some construction management firms provide post-construction services such as commissioning, occupancy coordination, and facility maintenance to ensure a smooth transition from construction to occupancy and operation.

Explore the Top 10 Construction Management Companies in Nigeria

In essence, construction management represents a multifaceted and indispensable field, comprising diverse functions, processes, and duties. Through the adoption of best practices, utilization of cutting-edge technologies, and promotion of teamwork, construction managers are poised to steer projects towards success and achieve outstanding outcomes within the dynamic construction landscape.

Ready to transform your construction projects into reality? Explore our construction management services at The Building Practice Architecture Firm in Nigeria.

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