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Topic : Construction Project Management
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Construction Planning & Management

By : Venkatesh M, Warehouse Manager, Larsen and Toubro
Industry : Construction Functional Area : Strategy Execution
Activity:  10 comments  3966 views  last activity : 07 06 2010 20:18:04 +0000
 Refer 23

We are all more demanding and more discerning than ever before – wanting everything better, faster, cheaper, safer and easier. Increasingly informed clients are looking for companies that are demonstrably better – more knowledgeable, experienced and progressive – to consistently meet their business needs.

Understanding and using recognized best practice in construction provides organizations with the opportunity to fully meet those business needs and make increasing profits to reinvest in its people, products and processes, or distribute to shareholders. Here are 10 key business practices that deliver real added value and are shaping the direction of the industry. These are;

  • Procurement: Procurement is the process of establishing the most appropriate method of managing the construction project and selecting the best team to design, deliver and sometimes operate the required facility. Lowest price tendering and lump sum contracts are giving way to better forms of selection and contract arrangements. Modern procurement methods emphasize the need to select those companies that can work effectively in a collaborative relationship and who understand and practice the principles of “Partnering”.

  • Partnering: Partnering is a management system that is based on a collaborative approach to working. It is therefore a very different style of working compared to the traditional adversarial approach that has been common in the construction industry for many years. A partnering project has the following characteristics:
    • an agreed set of mutual objectives
    • work undertaken in a spirit of trust and co-operation
    • an agreed problem resolution procedure
    • open book pricing
    • a commitment to continuous improvement.

  • Risk Management: A risk register is a key planning tool. The register should be started at the inception of a project and actively used through to project completion. It can then be used to assess the way that risk on the project was managed so that lessons can be applied to other projects. It is important that financial allowance is made for all residual risk items. This ensures that it does not get ignored. Instead a decision can be taken as to the best approach in reducing the cost of this item.

  • Value Management: This is a method to identify the best way of meeting a client’s business needs taking into account time, cost, quality and risk constraints. The value management process involves collaboration with the team responsible for design and delivering the project, and ideally includes end-users and other stakeholders.

  • Sustainable Construction: Sustainable construction cohesively addresses the triple bottom line – the social, economic and environmental performance of the industry. Areas for action include:
    • being more profitable and competitive. It is recognized that businesses need higher profits to intelligently invest in its people, products and processes to improve their competitiveness.
    • delivering buildings and structures that provide greater satisfaction, well-being and added value to customers and users.
    • respecting and fairly treating employees and the wider community. This includes improving health and safety, enhancing site and welfare conditions, and avoiding noise and dirt which would inconvenience local residents.
    • enhancing and protecting the natural environment, including protecting habitats, trees, waterways and other natural features.
    • minimizing consumption of natural resources and energy during the construction phase and throughout the life of the facility. The buildings should be energy efficient and utilize energy from renewable resources by specifying recycled materials and renewable energy sources and considering the buildings’ future use.
    • reducing waste and avoiding pollution during the construction process. 70% of landfill is reportedly generated through construction activity.

  • Benchmarking: Benchmarking is a method of improving performance in a systematic and logical way, by measuring and comparing your performance against others, and then using lessons learned from the best to make targeted improvements. It means knowing the answers to the following questions “Who performs better?”, “Why are they better?”, “What actions do we need to take in order to improve our performance?”. Benchmarking focuses a company’s improvement efforts on its ‘success-critical’ issues. It ensures that improvement targets are based on what has actually been achieved by others. For organizations in the public sector, benchmarking provides quantifiable assurance that ‘Best Value’ is being achieved.

  • Supply Chain Management: Supply chain management is a relatively new term in the construction industry. It involves integrating the operations of all organizations involved with the delivery of a particular product or service. This extends from the primary producer all the way to the end-user. In construction this will include the primary material suppliers, component suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and intermediaries, installers, trade contractors, lead contractors, designers and the client organization.

  • Whole Life Costing: This is a method used to measure the costs of ownership of a building. It takes into account the initial capital cost of creating the building plus the cost of maintaining and servicing the building over its whole life. The reason why Whole Life Costing has become such an important issue is the recognition that the cost of maintaining the building often far outweighs the initial capital cost. Studies have shown that for every 100 rupees of capital cost there is Rs. 500 operational expenditure over the life of the building.

  • Health and Safety: There are two key issues with regard to health and safety in the construction industry.
    • The first is respecting people’s rights to be protected against risks that affect their safety and long-term health.
    • The second is that construction sites that are effectively planned and managed are more productive and profitable as well as being safe.

  • Lean Construction: “Lean” is an approach to managing production activity. It first focuses on understanding what value means for the client and then seeks to systematically reduce or remove any processes that add cost but do not add value. The five principles of Lean are:
    • specify value from the customer’s perspective
    • identify and integrate the processes that deliver value
    • make value flow by eliminating bottlenecks and disruption
    • produce only what is wanted when it is wanted
    • pursue perfection through continuous improvement

These are a few things that you must follow in order to get a smooth project completion.
 Top Comment : ahamed Nadeem   | 05 21 2008 23:48:09 +0000
Excellent article, crisp and covered whole project life cycle. more elaboration on lean efficient design and mechanizing construction(particularly in India)are expected.
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10 comments on "Construction: Tips for Successful Project Completion"
  Commented by  jps kumar, Project Manager, ECI ECC Ltd.    | 06 28 2009 04:39:45 +0000
Good and useful article for managers especially in construction in order to plan and execute works in time.
  Commented by  Rajesh Rastogi, CEO/MD/Director, Gravis hospitalities    | 02 10 2009 19:30:27 +0000
very useful points added in here. they give a gud insight to what is lacking and being overlooked traditionally in our style of construction.
  Commented by  Mallikarjuna Gupta Bhogavalli, Sr. Product Manager, Oracle India Pvt Ltd    | 11 11 2008 10:42:03 +0000
nice 1
  Commented by  ritesh pashuramji balpande, Civil Engineer-Other adlabsfilms ltd    | 11 11 2008 07:05:33 +0000
its use full in corporate culture,thats how to stand you?
  Commented by  japi, HR Manager, ACME Consultants    | 11 11 2008 04:30:15 +0000
nice artile..........
  Commented by  MD SHAHBAZ ALAM, Head/VP/GM-Corporate Planning/Strategy, BSC-C&C JV    | 11 08 2008 03:42:07 +0000
yes good article and very useful in such day .
  Commented by  ahamed Nadeem, Construction-General Building ITC Limited    | 05 21 2008 23:48:09 +0000
Rating : +1 
Excellent article, crisp and covered whole project life cycle. more elaboration on lean efficient design and mechanizing construction(particularly in India)are expected.   
  Commented by  shams-ur-rehman, Civil Engineer-Other al-hugayet estb.    | 05 19 2008 20:34:01 +0000
this is excellent article for civil construction engineers.

good article will be much useful if given elaborated in terms of planning, methodology,task management etc
  Commented by  Dulal Basak, GM-Civil Construction Projects SHA-SAN Group    | 05 16 2008 06:53:06 +0000
Good & useful article and points mentioned worth to remember. 
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