WHAT IS CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGEMENT (CPM)?
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), project management is “the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality, and participating objectives.” You can extend PMI’s definition to construction project management, wherein a construction project manager uses the same model to achieve the same goal, only in a construction context.
At its most fundamental level, construction project management handles the planning, coordination, and execution of a construction project, whether it’s agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil, or environmental.
Construction project management typically includes complicated tasks that can shift wildly, depending on the work at hand, and it requires strong skills in communication, deep knowledge of the building process, and the ability to problem-solve. Construction project management is a complex field, requiring knowledge in many different areas like finance, mediation, law, business, and more.
THE ROLE OF A PROJECT MANAGER IN CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
Construction project managers shoulder the responsibility of keeping the project moving according to plan. The goal is to manage the project so that it finishes on schedule and within budget, while still meeting building codes, plans, and specs. A construction project manager may also be charged with setting the parameters, finances, and calendar; vetting and hiring subcontractors and on-site workers; developing a strategy for potential conflict resolution; and more.
The Construction Management Association of America, a U.S. construction management certification and advocacy body, says the 120 common responsibilities of a construction manager fall into these seven categories:
- Project management planning
- Cost management
- Time management
- Quality management
- Contract administration
- Safety management
- Construction management professional practices (manage the team working on the project, define each person’s role and responsibilities, etc.)