Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Build Process - Your Project and the Project Control Cycle - Part 2

To bring order to the seemingly chaotic world of construction, a formal method is used to control, monitor, evaluate, support decision making, and allow you to understand how well your project is progressing once it’s underway. Your contractor’s goal is to meet each of the objectives you define and outline in your construction contract and those objectives are to:
  • Establish a realistic schedule
  • Work within a realistic budget
  • Identify resources/materials used
  • Define the project’s outcome
To manage a project such as a bathroom renovation, the method used to do all of this is called the Project Management Cycle. Basically, it’s a term used to identify the project’s performance criteria, allowing you to control and monitor the progress of the job.  Using a Project Management Cycle enables your contractor to establish short term goals and you to determine if these goals are being met.  
If project goals are not being met, the Project Management Cycle will show you how successful or unsuccessful your project is so action can be taken to get everything back on track, fast, or keep on making steady progress.
To do this, the Project Control Cycle allows you understand the who, what, when and how of your project to:
  • Control material and personnel resources
  • Organize trades
  • Direct activities
  • Decide on the use of resources and individuals
  • Control and direct trades toward a goal
  • Define a formal decision making process to achieve specific goals
You need to be able to understand how this is being accomplished because your project has the following characteristics:
  • It’s fractured
  • There a large number of disconnected people involved (craftsmen, subcontractors, suppliers, designers, and you, the owner)
  • Suppliers and installers need to be coordinated
  • A small mistake or oversight can have huge implications later on in the project
  • Everyone has an opinion
  • Decisions have to take into account the requirements, opinions, and attitudes of all those involved
  • The customer is rarely right (because of their limited experience and practical knowledge)
Here, in a nutshell, are the major steps used to ensure every activity performed for your project is successful.  Each project requires your manager to:
  • Set initial goals
  • Establish job plans
  • Monitor progress on work done
  • Compare progress to job plans
  • Look for deviations in the work
  • Take corrective action
  • Collect historical data
Now let’s take a more in-depth look at what this all means to you and how you will be able to determine the effectiveness of the manager in charge of your project.
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