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What is Construction Management – an Overview

According to the Construction Management Association of America, ‘’construction management is a professional management practice consisting of an array of services applied to construction projects and programs through the planning, design, construction and post-construction phases for the purpose of achieving project objectives including the management of quality, cost, time and scope.”

It is a service that implements professional and effective project management techniques via thorough analysis from construction to post-construction phases with the aim of achieving the project’s objectives. Some of these techniques include coordination, mobilizing, organizing, and completion of a project.

Good construction management for a capital project typically involves the owner, the construction project manager, the subcontractors, and the architect. For the successful completion of a capital project, there needs to be a constant and existing chain of communication between these three stakeholders.

Functions of Construction Management

Construction management is essential to the success of any construction project. It encompasses a vast array of responsibilities that can be subdivided into various functions which are pivotal to the success of the whole operation.

Project Planning

A crucial aspect of construction management is meticulously outlining the project’s goals, aims, and objectives in a well-designed plan. For a construction project to be successful, its stakeholders must develop a plan that encompasses its entire scope.

An ideal project plan should cover a broad range of responsibilities, including cost estimation, duration of each activity, and worker responsibilities. With a solid construction project plan in place, achieving the project’s objectives becomes simpler.

Cost Management/Budgeting

Construction management facilitates the creation of a cost estimate, total expenditure, and budget for a building project. By effectively managing construction, project stakeholders can obtain an outline of the cost plan and an expense breakdown for the project.

In addition, it facilitates the allocation of financial resources and provides a metric for ensuring financial checks and balances throughout the building project. In collaboration with the owner and designer, the project manager can also use the budget to determine when progress is made and steps are completed.

Time Management

Effective time management is essential to reducing the estimated total cost of a project and is a fundamental aspect of construction management in general. Having mapped out the project’s timeline, all project stakeholders will want to ensure that every task is completed on time to avoid overspending.

Therefore, a construction project manager must effectively schedule the project and ensure that all task deadlines are met in order to effectively plan the project. Oftentimes, project managers utilize data visualization tools such as construction scheduling software in creating an effective schedule and proper task distribution among workers.

Safety Management

Safety management is concerned with protocols and procedures that ensure the health and safety of workers and the construction site as a whole. In construction projects, it covers a wide spectrum of the education of construction workers, safety practices (the dos and don’ts), compliance with construction regulations by government agencies, and the identification of potential hazards.

Utilizing construction technology is one of the best ways to mitigate risk when promoting workplace safety. For instance, drones and wearables can be used to survey sites with hazardous substances and predict worker injury.

Quality Management

The quality management of a construction project must not be overlooked. It is the process of ensuring that a project’s quality standards meet or exceed the owner’s expectations.

This can be accomplished through construction management by drafting an assurance plan alongside the Project Initiation Document that assures the client of the steps required to produce high-quality results.

Contract Administration

This is usually done between the owner/client and the construction management team. It entails meeting legal obligations with project stakeholders such as construction project managers, architects, suppliers, and subcontractors, among others.

This function brings about the role of a contract administrator, who is responsible for establishing strong communication channels for gathering information among all project personnel.

Phases of Construction Management

Despite maintaining the core principles of management, managing a building project can be somewhat different from traditional management. Construction management requires a strategic framework that consists of 5 steps:


Initiation or Pre-planning is one of the most important stages in construction management. This level typically highlights all necessary steps and procedures a Construction Project Manager (CPM) must take before the building project begins.

The CPM provides a feasibility report or business case that specifies project aims and objectives. The feasibility study often includes construction space, room count, and building size. All project participants must determine whether to proceed forward after submission. Upon agreement, the CPM creates a Project Initiation Document.

Planning Phase

The planning stage is the most challenging, all key guidelines are established in this phase. However, they tend to be primary as they are bound to the alterations or changes as the project develops. The project manager creates a Project Management Plan (PMP) and details it with key aspects of the project including budget, documentation, and execution.

Documentation is a principal aspect in this stage as there are four documents needed in the planning stage: a communication plan for effective communication in executing the project, a Scope Document for analyzing the goals and needs of the project, and a Work Breakdown Structure, and Risk Management Plan.

Construction Phase

This is where the actual work begins. The construction work begins at this phase and the CPM alongside their team constantly evaluates progress by ensuring the project plan is followed to the latter and every aspect of the construction process is covered

The CPM, architect, and contractor approve technical proposals, acquire operational licenses and permits, react to information requests, and conduct a quality all-round inspection.

Monitoring Phase

The monitoring phase is the penultimate stage of construction management and is usually characterized by the project manager’s close supervision of the project. At this stage, it is also common for an existing schedule to be readjusted. The project manager further aids in the faster coordination of onsite workers’ actions, primarily through the use of construction software.

Post-Construction Phase

This is the last stage of construction. After planning and executing the project, the work comes to a close. At this phase, the CPM examines the project to ensure if it tallies with the stated goals and objectives if its first budget estimations were successful, and if not, how far off it was.

Ultimately, the CPM writes a report that details the project’s conclusion and serves as a valuable resource for future construction projects.


Construction management is a broad concept that entails planning, budgeting and coordinating a building project. For a successful construction project, you require professional construction management service providers who can provide you with the necessary expertise necessary.

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