Thousands of construction projects occur every year, and some fail. Arguably the most critical factor in the entire construction process is the planning. Without maintaining a plan and sticking to targets, you are setting yourself up to fail.
As a project manager or business owner, you need to be capable of effective communication with other project members, including stakeholders and employees. This will mean ensuring that sufficient documentation is in place at all times alongside any adjustments to timeframes and plans. It you are looking to ensure that your project runs smoothly it is important to take precautionary measurements and read up on currently industry circumstances and ensure that you are accounting for those in your project time scales – this article will tell you how to make your next construction project a smooth success.
Construction projects rely on several contracts to ensure work is completed on time and remains compliant. Arguably the most important contract to consider is the JCT contract, which lays out the agreement between the contractor and sub-contractor. A JCT will outline everything from materials used, timeframes, payments, responsible individuals, review dates, and the sum of the contract. There are many other stipulations in the agreement, but the ones listed are the most important.
Although not truly a contract, you need to ensure that you’ve got adequate construction insurance in place. This will protect yourself, staff, and any shareholders in case anything goes wrong. Until you have insurance in place, you should not proceed with the JCT agreement. Covering yourself across several bases will allow you to minimize issues along the way and hopefully the teams you decide to work with will be even more so reliable knowing that contracts are drawn up in the right way and insurance policies are in place.
Most people forget about their key performance indicators (KPIs) and perform inadequately because of it. Before you start your next project, make sure you’re aware of all KPIs. You need to take the time to completely understand KPIs before creating a process for tracking progress. Once you have a system in place, you need to share KPIs with any other relevant bodies on the team.
It is also important to remember to be realistic with your KPIs, before outlining them yourself based on your own understanding it would be worthwhile talking to collaborating parties and outlining what they need to be factored in to deliver on their KPIs. Doing this should also mean that your project is not halted as a result of certain delays or factors not being taken into consideration. If you can plan ahead, you can hopefully ensure that all parties are happy and that the project will be finished in a timely manner.
Cash Flow and Payments
Cash flow sits at the heart of business construction, and without it, the project will fail. You need to follow contract agreements and ensure that payment applications are processed on time. Alongside initial applications, you should write up backup applications in case of variations. When you’re setting up a project, you need to ensure that there is a solid cash flow management system on-site that will account for any delays. You don’t want your contractor to run out of cash when they need it.
There are countless project management systems out there to suit all types of projects. In the early days, you need to do your research and make sure you invest in one that matches your needs. At the start of your project, you need to onboard a skilled team, minimize unexpected delay impacts, and develop budgets. Further, you need to be ready to adapt to the needs of the project.
It is also important that if you are personally managing a project that you ensure that you are making the right decisions. It can be worthwhile having a second opinion before the project starts from someone that can offer an alternative perspective or support your outlook for the project.
Updating the Plan
You need to have a solid construction program in place to stand a chance of succeeding. As time goes on, you need to come back to your plan and make sure work is going to plan. If you end up missing a deadline, you need to update the plan and let shareholders know.
In the construction industry, change orders and variations are extremely common. Change orders typically come from clients when they have decided to use a different material, for example, or alter any other aspect of the plan. As the subcontractor, you need to be ready to take these on board and implement changes effectively. When variations and changes are made, you need to make sure you keep documentation to get paid.
There are many different parties involved in a construction project, and you need to know how to communicate between them all effectively. Typically, first contact will be made via email and regular meetings. However, there may be some instances where a phone call is necessary. If you’re unsure whether your phone call was understood, you should follow it up with an email to cover your back.
There are plenty of other factors to consider when planning a smooth project, but those outlined above are the most important. You need to communicate effectively, be flexible in your planning to account for variations, and always process payments on time. If you fail to create an effective plan, you are setting your project may appear to be in-effective. It is worthwhile also learning to look at things with a glass half full approach rather than empty. Construction projects can be challenging and learning to be resilient and adaptive is a good way to survive upcoming hurdles. Best of luck with your next project!