Planning in the construction industry refers to the process of developing a plan for project management and execution. A construction management plan lays out how the team will handle resources, budgets, timeliness, quality, hazards, and communication. In simple terms, planning for construction can be divided into two basic types: strategic and operational planning.
Strategic planning is a large process that identifies and defines the organization’s goals. The organization’s owner planners must determine how the projected development connects with their company’s objective at this stage. They should be well aware of the commercial opportunities and risks that may arise as a result of the project, and whether the organization has the necessary resources to effectively accomplish the project.
There may be innumerable other aspects to consider in strategic planning, depending on the company’s business, economic condition, and project type. Finally, the planners must create a master building plan that takes into account the project’s objectives. The project team in operational planning, on the other hand, picks up where the first-level planners left off and lays out how they will achieve the owner’s strategic goals. The team then relates their operational strategy to a forecasted timetable and deadline.
Project Planning in the construction industry is a process that begins long before the design and architecture process is started. Here are eight steps that you need to follow in order to complete your construction project plan.
1. First and Foremost: A Project Plan
The Project Manager determines the scope and tasks that are necessary to complete the job in the project plan. These are mostly defined by the project goals established previously, as well as the project design and site conditions that you need your team members to know.
The project manager organizes these activities into a work breakdown structure for each team, then determines task relationships, identifies key milestones for teams separately, and creates the project timeline. The latter should include the project’s preconstruction and construction phases so that the client has a transparent overview.
2. Create a Resource plan
The Project Manager must identify the resources required to complete the project using the Work Breakdown Structure. Also, the project manager must evaluate the types and amounts of materials, manpower, and technology that will be used during construction while creating a proper resource plan. This plan should also include strategies for avoiding and dealing with labor and energy shortages. The resource plan, once completed, will form the basis for accounting and resource planning.
3. Create a Financial plan
A project’s financial plan closely follows its resource plan and anticipates the cost of the resources required to complete the entire project. Apart from the direct expenses of construction, the financial plan must account for other costs, including soft expenditures, finance, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, as well as all administrative and overhead costs. Risks that cannot be minimized or managed should be factored into the financial plan. Unexpected site conditions, for example, a set sum reserved aside to cover any additional expenditures that may arise during the project timeline. The amount of the emergency funds is determined by the project’s circumstances.
4. You Should Always have a Risk plan
Unlike site conditions, which are unknown, there are some risks that can be anticipated and addressed ahead of time. Situations like labor and material shortages, shifting costs, environmental dangers, fire, fraud, and vandalism are just a few of them. The risk plan is a document in which the PM describes all of the threats as well as their mitigation techniques. This will entail insurance coordination depending on the client’s and project stakeholders’ risk tolerances. The plan also lays out the methods for monitoring and responding to new threats.
5. Maintain Your Quality plan
Besides the cost and schedule, excellence is an important factor in the success of a project. However, while your contractor is only responsible for adhering to approved quality standards, the Project Manager’s quality plan establishes the foundation for quality management. Your plan’s strategy must include the following elements in order to be effective:
- Define unquestionable quality standards
- Designate the quality incharge in each team
- Describe the techniques for evaluating the quality of a product
- Identify processes for communicating and correcting quality issues up the command chain.
6. Create a Checklist and Acceptance Plan
The client must assess and approve the project’s deliverables before it can be considered “complete” and filed away. The acceptance strategy must establish a clear acceptance procedure, prohibit either side from distorting the deliverables, and verify that quality requirements are met.
7. Communication Plan
Construction projects require a well-established and smooth communication flow to prevent crucial information from sliding through the cracks, as they include hundreds of processes and dozens of stakeholders. A well-established communication strategy has to be in place in order to accomplish this.
You must first identify and comprehend your target audience before beginning to develop a communication strategy for your project. Different types of information are required by your consultants, field team, design team, project owner, and others. The web of stakeholders becomes less convoluted and easier to manage by identifying each of these team members, the information they will require, and the frequency with which this information will be provided. Determine the means by which data will be disseminated.
These may include the following:
- Software that is hosted in the cloud
- Email video-conferencing
- In-person meetings
As a result, everyone of your users will access their communications in a variety of ways.
8. Create a Procurement Plan
The procurement strategy specifies how the project manager will obtain all the necessary resources to finish the project. A proper procurement plan is required to ensure that the desired supplies, personnel, and equipment are available when they’re needed. The lack of planning and delays can result in missed deadlines and additional expenditures. A sourcing schedule and procedures, as well as reduction and recycling measures, should all be included in your procurement strategy.
However, more vast and intricate projects may necessitate the creation of several plans before construction begins. On the other hand, smaller initiatives may not necessitate as extensive preparation. Construction projects necessitate a meticulous plan to ensure that no feature or attribute is ignored. A change in one aspect might have a cascading effect, slowing down the project’s development. As a result, managers must work hard to build a full-fledged project plan.
Ed Williams is the Senior Team Lead at ProjectPro, an integrated construction accounting software. He holds a massive industry experience and is a Microsoft Dynamics expert who is focused on successful implementations. He is a visionary leader and always aim to deliver the best to the construction and project-oriented industries.