A recent KPMG survey found that 61 percent of construction project owners had at least one under-performing project in the last year. One of the main reason many projects under perform is poor planning.
You don't want your next project to be part of that group, right?
To prevent under performance, it's important to understand the four phases of construction for a standard building project. This information will help you stay on track with your project, which leads to happy customers and a better performance record.
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Four phases of construction
When starting a construction project, you first need to decide whether or not the project is even needed.
During the initiation phase, you and your team will obtain a feasibility report. The information in this report will help you identify whether there is a specific need for which the proposed project can provide a solution.
If you determine that there is such a need and that your project is a feasible one, you'll then move on to assigning people to different tasks. For example, you'll designate a project manager, and assign others to different work groups.
Once your project has been approved, you'll need to start planning how you're going to execute it. You'll work with a team to identify a number of things, including:
- The work and resources needed
- Estimated costs for all those resources
- An approximate timeline
During this phase, you'll also need to talk about hiring additional staff, such as designers and contractors, and make sure you have all the proper licenses and permits required to start building.
The project manager will be the one to put together a final budget and outline all the steps needed to complete the project.
Once your project is thoroughly planned, it's time to execute and start building.
During this phase, communication is essential. Clear communication will ensure that everyone is sticking to the plan and carrying the project out as intended.
It's also important for the project manager to carefully monitor the project to ensure that everyone and everything is on track. The manager will need to make adjustments to the project plan as needed and communicate these adjustments to the rest of the team.
Throughout the project, the manager will write regular status reports for the customer. He or she will also carefully review all aspects of it to the ensure that quality work that is up to the customer's standards is being done.
Once the project is finished and the customer is satisfied, it's time for the final phase: closure. Several things happen during this phase to wrap up the project, including:
- Handing over project documentation
- Terminating supplier contracts
- Releasing project resources
- Communicating information about the project's closure to all stakeholders
- Examining what worked and what didn't
The final point in the above list is perhaps the most important part of the whole project. Careful analysis helps everyone improve for future efforts and ensures that any mistakes made during the process are not repeated.