Construction management (CM) plans are the glue that keeps construction projects together. As those in the construction industry know, construction work is prone to unique challenges and construction projects have many different moving parts. This means that projects can easily become derailed if a solid plan is not in place.
In this article, we’re breaking down what exactly a construction management plan is and the key elements that you should include in your construction management plans to set your projects up for success.
What Is A Construction Management Plan?
A construction management plan (CMP) details the information necessary to complete complex construction projects. This may include task schedules, costs, resources, and more that will facilitate project completion and set clear guidelines for how project work should be done. This plan is also a useful resource for determining whether a project is feasible and aligns with customer requirements.
The best way to approach these plans is to start with the end in mind! What exactly are you trying to accomplish with this project? What are the goals you would like to achieve? How will you know if your project is successful?
Building a clear construction management plan that is closely aligned with your project objectives will give you a solid foundation and pathway to follow. This will reduce your chances of unexpected project hiccups (although these are sometimes unavoidable even with the most solid plans) and prepare you to appropriately tackle any challenges that are thrown your way.
Key Elements of an Effective Construction Management Plan
So, now that you know the importance of a strong construction management plan, what exactly do you need to include in your plan? We’ll cover 58 essential elements of effective construction management plans in the following sections.
- A Clearly Defined Project Scope
Project scope is basically a project description including the overall needs of a project and the boundaries in which your entire project exists. Although the goals and objectives of a project may seem obvious, different people can have very different ideas of what a “finished” project might look like. That’s why it’s important to take keyimportant stakeholders’ opinions into account to ensure you have their buy-in and everyone is on the same page.
When creating your project scope statement, it can be helpful to consider the following questions:
- Why does the project need to happen?
- What is within the scope of your project?
- What is not within the scope of your project?
- What do you hope to achieve with this project?
- What could adversely affect project progress?
- What are the business benefits of this project?
- A Project Schedule
After everyone is on the same page about the project scope, you can begin to develop a project schedule. Although project schedules are often confused as project plans, this is just one of the many aspects that your plan you should include.
A project schedule is an estimation of how long it will take to complete each task, the entire project’s duration, important deadlines and milestones, and the order that tasks should be completed. Don’t forget to leave some extra wiggle room. There are many things that could delay a project task and if you don’t account for them, your entire project could become delayed.
Create a Roadmap
One of the ways you can format your project schedule is with a roadmap. This is a great tool for helping you orchestrate the many different aspects of your project. Essentially, a roadmap is a visual representation of your project schedule (like a Gantt chart) that shows the various aspects of your project together on one timeline.
- Team Member Responsibilities
Once you know the exact work that needs to be done, you can begin to plan who will be required to complete that work. Coordination of the responsibilities of everyone involved, including stakeholders, will ensure everyone is clear on what they need to do. For example, an owner, engineer, or architect auditor or project sponsor may be required to approve change orders throughout parts of your project. Ensure that you don’t leave these parties out when assigning tasks.
Create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Similar to the roadmap document we previously discussed, a work breakdown structure will also help you visualize your project schedule. A WBS is specifically useful for visualizing project deliverables and organizing task assignments. The larger project is broken down into smaller sections, which allows you to easily assign the right task to the right person. One of the key benefits of these documents is that it helps project managers ensure a uniform allocation of workload.
- A Communication Plan
The next key element of an effective construction management plan is a communication plan. This should outline how, when, and how often you will communicate with the stakeholders involved in your project. The communication plan should also specify how and who to contact should an issue occur. This will ensure that any issues or roadblocks will be dealt with efficiently to avoid project delays.
Clearly documenting the collaboration channels before the project is put in motion will ensure that no one misses out on important information.
In addition, it’s a good idea to include the following information in your communication plan:
- The kinds of updates that stakeholders will receive.
- The reports that will be generated.
- The approvals that will be needed.
- The types of issues that should be escalated.
- Where project information can be accessed (and who can access it)
- A Risk Management Plan
So, you’ve done all the work putting together your construction management plan so far. But, now it’s time to accept that your plan… might not go as planned. Projects are bound to change once they’re actually up and running in real life, rather than just idealistic words on paper. Acceptance of the inevitability of these changes will help you prepare for, and mitigate, them. Your risk management plan is where you plan for, and anticipate, those changes so they’ll be easier to manage when they inevitably occur.
Construction project risks can vary greatly from public safety risks and physical risks for the people on the job site to more mundane aspects of the project such as the risk of project costs going over your cost estimates.
Although the events detailed in your risk management plan may not occur, it’s always better safe than sorry. Detail every risk that your project may pose, how these risks can be mitigated, and a plan of action for how your team should respond if these events do occur during your project. The clearer your specifications, the better.
An effective construction management plan should include a thorough risk management section with detailed information to prepare your project team for anything and everything, and maximize the success of your project.
Jonas Construction Software Helps Keep Your Projects on Track
Now that you’ve completed your construction management plan, it’s time to put your plan into motion and begin the project. Construction management software is one of the best investments you can make to keep your construction project in check and simplify your construction project management processes. Jonas Construction Software offers fully-integrated construction management software solutions with the ability to digitally house important project information and automate and streamline processes. This effectively expedites timelines and eliminates opportunities for human error.
Additionally, project management software allows project managers to keep better track of utilization and profitability during the construction process. Project managers can also take advantage of documentation and reporting functions for improved transparency with important stakeholders.