Unit 17: Project
Management for Construction and the Built Environment
The purpose of this report is to
describe the processes of project management in the construction industry. For
the purpose of recruitment the report will look to advise Wakefield College on
what it takes to be a good project manager, looking at the roles and
responsibilities involved and the key characteristics needed. It aims to advise
the college of the benefits of using internal or external consultants, and the
advantages and disadvantages of each.
The report will give advice to the
management of Wakefield College in relation to the refurbishment of the Deeds
building in Wakefield which is part of the college’s ambition to expand its
Task 1.1 (LO1: 1.1; 1.2; M)
What is project management
The definition of project
management can most accurately be described as the organising of resources,
including people, to carry out tasks within certain timescales. Project
management aims to do this as efficiently and effectively as possible. It is
essentially the application of certain processes, knowledge, methods and importantly
experience to ultimately progress to achieving a defined end goal or objective.
It should be noted that a project, is defined as having a definitive start and
ending, and this ending can take days, weeks, months or years before it is is
History of Project Management
It has been noted that project
management can be dated back as far as 3000 years ago, when the Egyptians built
the iconic pyramids we can see still standing today.
Generation after generation have
been managing projects for hundreds of years, with different ideas to improve
project management emerging all the time. According to (mindtools.com), the
most significant ideas began to prevail during the 20th century and
much of our understanding of management practises today come from academics and
theorists from this period.
Fredrick Taylor (1856-1915) –
Fredrick Taylor is
best known as the “Father of Scientific Management”. The scientific management
theory (also know as Taylorism) is based around the idea that making people
work as hard as possible to get a job done was inefficient and work could be
better optimized by looking at how the job was done instead to improve
principles of scientific management theory are:
the “rule of thumb” mentality to work and use scientific method instead.
and assign workers to the jobs that best suit their skillset.
work between managers and workers so that the workers can get on with their
job, leaving managers to get on with planning and training.
Ultimately, Taylor’s theory of
management helped shape today’s relationship between the worker and the
manager, and this cooperation resulted in the teamwork enjoyed today. However,
it should be noted that the scientific management theory promoted the concept
that there is “one right way” to do a job, and this can take away a worker’s
sense of responsibility to make their own decisions which is different to
modern methods such as continuous improvement techniques which promotes decisions
to be made by all levels throughout an
Henry Gantt was heavily involved in
improving project management, starting work as an engineer and then management
consultant he eventually developed the Gantt chart. This was used to give a
visual aid to show activities and tasks against time within a project. Similar
to how a bar chart looks, the left side of the Gantt chart represents the
task/activity, with the top representing the timescale and date providing an
easy to understand guide.
However, when the Gantt chart was
first developed, it was drawn by hand and this was an issue as problems could
occur during a project which were hard to change in the chart itself. This is
not such an issue with todays technology though, as new charts can be easily
printed and changed on computers. A Gantt chart could have been used for the
construction of the ASIC building, giving the project manager and his team the
ability to see when tasks such as laying the foundations were to be carried
out, right through to painting the interior.
report (1994) – “Constructing the Team”
The Latham report, written by Sir Michael
Latham in 1994 did much to change the way construction works and has influenced
project management in the present day. It was commissioned by the UK Government
and it is said to be the first report of its kind to gain widespread industry
recognition. The report was commissioned to identify systemic failings in the
UK construction industry. Latham made 53 recommendations in total to change
industry practices and increase efficiency, and a key concept within the report
was that through better teamwork and communication the industry could delight
its customers more. The report also aimed to prevent unnecessary delays in
construction by emphasising the need for better communication between
contractors and the rest of the team. Latham argued that the traditional
methods being used were leading to problems which were a result of a lack of
co-ordination and communication between the design team and the construction
team. This report would have influenced the project manager on the ASIC
development for these reasons.
report – “Rethinking Construction” (1998)
Written by Sir John Egan in 1998,
this report built on the previous Latham report and its main outcome did much
to further drive efficiency and quality improvements for the construction
The report identified five key
areas for change:
on the customer
processes and teams
Overall, the Egan report said that
it was very possible like other sectors had already done, to improve the
construction industry. It emphasised the need to focus more on the
customer/client’s needs and the user of the buildings in order to improve house
building as a whole.
Review of current methods of project management
As discussed, history has shaped
the way project management is today and current methods have improved over the
last 30 years and have also benefited from advances in technology. Examples of
methods include; BIM (business information modelling), RIBA Plan of Works and
Critical Path Methods (CPM).
Critical Path Methods – widely used in
construction for project management, CPM is a great method for scheduling
projects on time. A CPM shows a graphical view much like a Gantt chart of
important activities for a project such as work specified in contract
documents, all work to be carried out by subcontractors including the suppliers
of materials and all the others teams involved in the construction process. A
CPM graph is basically used to calculate how much time and resources are needed
to complete a project, and also shows activities requiring attention.
RIBA Plan of Works – the RIBA Plan of Works is a
way of organising the different processes in construction from briefing,
designing, sonstruction and operating buildings. These are organised into 8
different stages which include details of different tasks at 8 different stages
of the building from design right through to handover.
BIM (Business Information Modelling) – BIM has
been around in various formats since the late 1980’s and is becoming
increasingly popular in project management. In fact, it is expected to play an
important part in the UK governemnt’s key construction strategy targets of
reducing costs and maintanence, reducing time from inception to completion,
reducing greenhouse gas emissions in construction and reducing the importing
and exporting of materials by 2025. BIM is essentially 3D design. Although 3D
design has been used in software such as CAD for a long time, BIM differs in
that it creates a virtual mock of an entire project, including the design and
the tasks involved to complete the project. BIM could have been used on the
ASIC building and a particular benefit of doing this would be that should any
problems happen during the project, BIM enables these changes to be made to the
3D model with ease which saves a lot of time and complications.
Role of the project manager
A Project Manager is a key person
in the team and their role in construction is to take overall responsibility at
a high level on behalf of the client for the given project. Any project,
whether it be a sky scraper or a small house needs someone to take the role of
making sure the project is completed on time and to budget. However, some
clients decide to take on the roles themselves, but this can lead to problems.
Essentially a project manager will take the role of the success of a project
but he will also be responsible if it fails too.
Specific roles of the PM for the
ASIC development would include:
Prepare cost estimates, budgets and plan working
Use construction methods such as BIM as
The PM would be there to explain any contracts
and technical information to clients and workers
Continually update the client such as wakefield
college on progress and financial updates
They also have strong links with the design team
such as the architect, and also engineers
Deal with any problems that can arise during a
project and deal with them accordingly
Involved in procurement – finding and
instructing appropriate trade staff and other professionals for the project
Make sure all practises are carried out safely
and to any building regulations
One of a project managers main role
is to supervise a wide variety of projects, including buildings such as
residential, commercial, industrial structures, roads and bridges
To maximize efficiency and
productivity, construction managers often use various cost-estimating and
planning software to effectively budget the time and money required to complete
specific projects. Many managers also use software to determine the best way to
get materials to the building site. Most managers plan a project strategy and
must identify and solve unexpected issues and delays as and when they arise.
Construction managers address budget matters and are involved in looking at
whether the project is feasible. They are also involved in looking at where the
money will come from for the project, and if the project can make a return in terms
of profit. For the ASIC building, funding would be coming from central
government and although this is a school, it will still likely make profits
from the tuition fees – the project manager would look at these things
Advantages and disadvantages or project management
The advantages of having a project
manager is that they are great for the larger project such as the HS2 rail for
example as they can organise and lead if they are experienced. They also
provide a great relationship between the client and the construction team,
leading to better communication. However, some issues with using project
managers is that they are very costly, with some earning over £50,000 a year.
This can limit their services to larger projects and isn’t suitable for small
jobs. Also, many project managers are inexperienced, as they haven’t worked in
a trade role for example prior to obtaining relevant qualifications. Although
most project managers lead to better communication, it could be argued that
inexperience can cause divisions on site especially if they have bad personal
Task 1.2 (LO2: 2.1; 2.2; MD)
Evaluate the key characteristics of a project manager
Wakefield college is looking to
recruit a project manager to oversee the development of the Deeds building.
This is a refurbishment job, and so experience in this sector will be paramount
to the success for the college. This report will aim to assist the college by
writing a job advert for the position to give the college a good idea of what
Wakefield college is looking
appoint an experienced project manager for the development and refurbishment of
it Deeds college campus in Wakefield.
As this is a refurbishment project,
a minimum of 10 years experience is desired in this field of work.
List of requirements for this role:
Develop and monitor strategies to deliver a
quality build in accordance with the requirements of the project.
Develop and monitor project strategies in order
to achieve the company’s sustainability objectives.
Maintain the highest standards of health, safety
and environmental management.
Manage the client expectations and adopt a
professional and considerate approach to maintain good working relations.
Adopt the principles of the Considerate
Constructor’s Scheme and manage community relations.
Develop and implement project strategy and
delivery programme. Ensure effective Communication and implementation to
deliver the project on time. Ensure regular monitoring and reporting on
progress and instigate corrective actions as required.
Maintain continuous professional development of
yourself and your team to ensure appropriate technical awareness.
Ensure consistent implementation of standard
Manage project handover and ensure defect /snag
Ensure robust strategy for the closure of
defects during defects period and obtain certificate of Making Good Defects
within targets set.
Implement best practice and drive continuous
improvement within the team.
Qualifications needed for this role
Bsc degree in construction project management
HND project management
PRINCE2: foundation or equivalent
Minimum 5 years experience in project
An internal consultant was used for
the ASIC development by the college. Like an external consultant, internal
consultants are professionals that are hired to solve any organisational
problems and implement the solutions to improve the efficiency of an
organisation. The difference between external and internal consultants lies in
the relationship with the client organisation; internal consultants are
employed directly by the organisation and are on their payroll whereas external
consultants are separate to it altogether. One of the main reasons for using
internal consulting is that organisations want to avoid advisory firms that
charge large amounts of money. Therefore, some organisations decide it is
cheaper for them to build up their own internal consulting team. The use of an
internal consultant is not only done with the aim of saving money however.
There are other reasons why organisations build up internal teams, or give
preference to internal over external consultants.
Advantages of internal consultants
Internal advisors are generally
around 4 to 6 times cheaper than external advisors, although this is not always
the case. As internal consultants work for the company already, they have the
added benefit of having first-hand knowledge of the company they advise. Having
this good knowledge of their company make internal consultants very valuable
and as they already have good working relationships with existing workers, this
only serves to improve communication across the board.