Understanding the basics of Construction Management & its Importance for a Civil Engineer

Effective planning and utilization of the ‘resources’ as well as the ‘TCQ’ (Time, Cost and Quality) towards achieving certain set goals and targets make the essence of the term “Management” in simple words. And when such planning and resource utilization is linked with one or more aspects of construction related activities, the types of management techniques put in use are collectively termed as “Construction Management”.

Depending upon type of matters handled, the construction management can be broadly divided into:

  • Construction human resources management
  • Construction financial management
  • Construction materials management
  • Construction implementation & execution management

Key Resources Involved

The key resources that are handled in the field of construction management are usually:

  • Men
  • Materials
  • Machinery
  • Money
  • Technical documents, viz., designs & drawings
  • Plans & decisions

It is the effective use of these resources only that determine the success or failure of any kind of Civil Project. Therefore, it becomes imperative for a Manager to effectively allocate the weightings depending upon the stage of the project and importance of the resource at a given stage.

Agencies Involved

The main agencies that play important roles in the Construction Management are:

  • The Owner
  • The Architect, and/or the Consultant
  • The Contractor
  • The Suppliers

The Owner is the one who envisages a project after the preliminary and/or detailed feasibility studies. Thus this agency is the parent agency of any project.

The Architect and/or the Consultant is/are the one who impart shape to the project. The project is detailed and put in terms of the Owner’s requirements by these agencies only. Usually, the architects are involved in the building projects having more of aesthetic value, whereas the Consultants are mainly involved in mostly the industrial and process-oriented projects.

The Contractor is another important agency, which actually executes the project by deploying the required resources on the field. In other words, it is the Contractor who actually builds and brings-up the project on ground.

Last, but definitely not the least are the agencies which supply the requisite resources like material, machinery, equipment, manpower, etc. to the rest of the three above-cited agencies. Virtually, they act as the much needed fuel-suppliers for the project to take real shape.

Essential Components of Construction management

The essential components of an effective construction management working are Planning, Execution and Control, all of which should perform in a closed cycle type format. It means that each of these components should assist and support the other also while performing its own role in a manner, which economizes the whole working, and reduces the time and cost parameters also at the same time.

In case, any of these basic components fail to deliver up to any major extent, and at any point of time, the project is liable to suffer losses in terms of either the cost, or the time of planned completion, or both. Therefore, all efforts should be put in place so as to ensure that none of these basic components derail too much from the intended course of action at any stage of the project. Regular planning, monitoring and re-scheduling of the resources can only ensure this balance, and the Management teams should strive towards effective management of these goals at all costs so as to make the projects economically best viable as well as profitable.

Effective Construction management- Need of the Hour

Effective Construction management is invariably the most important need of the hour for all the agencies involved for the simple reason that no agency can survive in today’s cut-throat competition environment without implementing the best practices and even innovating industry specific models. With every project demanding loudly to be completed in the least possible time; with the least possible cost incurred, and with top-class quality standards; effective construction management techniques have become the only surviving tool. The ones, who master it, are the ones who become the successful leaders of the industry. There can be no second thoughts to this, and the sooner all agencies realize this fact; the better it would be for the entire construction industry.

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