Sunday, August 9, 2020

A Beginners Guide to Construction Resource Management




Failing resources can cause you financial harm


Construction resource management may seem like an abstract concept, but it's not -- at least it wasn't for a homeowner and county locked in a battle over construction equipment left abandoned in an Atlanta-area community recently.

The Dekalb Roads and Draining Department reportedly were supposed to fix a retaining wall in 2018, but a homeowner claimed workers walked away from the job and left the equipment in her yard, tanking her home's value (Dekalb County claimed she was holding the equipment hostage).

Regardless of who's at fault in that situation, it's an illustration of what happens when resource management goes wrong. In this case, whatever plan was in place didn’t account for a snag like this, so equipment brought to the site was left unusable for months due to a dispute.

CONSTELLATION BRANDS, INC. As a construction manager, your resources are your project's lifeblood, so you must manage them properly to avoid major problems like this one.

You need a plan in place for each phase of your project describing what resources are needed and when.

This guide will help you understand what construction resource management is and how to use it to your benefit.
What is construction resource management?

Construction resource management refers to how a company tracks and uses equipment, workers, facilities, materials, funding, or anything else that might be considered a resource by a construction firm.

Effective resource management is necessary for construction companies that want to avoid waste and boost their bottom line. 

By managing their construction resources effectively, firms can avoid mistakes like hiring too many workers, not having the proper equipment available, delaying a project due to late delivery of supplies, and other resource-related problems that are common on construction sites.

Benefits of construction resource management Construction asset management is foundational to construction management as a whole.

It offers a host of benefits, but these three, in particular, should convince you to place a high priority on this part of the job.

Increases efficiency Good construction resource management results in greater efficiency, which in turn leads to lower costs. 

By effectively managing your resources, you're not facing a costly project delay because you underestimated the number of workers you'd need or overspending on extra excavation equipment that ultimately wasn't necessary.

Improves management You'll have an easier time managing construction projects by having a bird's-eye view of everything that's going on, and the only way to do that is to properly track and manage your resources. 

A project's resources are all the aspects of a project that make it come together, so by understanding where all your resources are and where they fit in, you'll be able to run the project better.

Lowers risk Construction projects can be thrown off track by debilitating delays and cost increases. These risks threaten to eliminate your profit margin and leave you scrambling to catch up. 

By properly managing resources, you will be able to spot these risks and take mitigating actions to either prevent them from ever happening or have a plan B in case they do happen.


Creating a construction resource management plan


Creating a construction resource management plan takes some time, but it is more than worth it in the end. Take these steps to get started creating your own.

Step 1: Use software. It's unwise to try to manage your resources without software. Construction project management software platforms have extensive tools that will help you with the complex process of resource management. 

This software can manage milestones, tie resources to each milestone, assign roles, and handle all of the other ins and outs involved in this task.

Trying to do it with a spreadsheet -- or worse, pen and paper -- is a recipe for disaster.

Tip: The Blueprint has reviewed the top construction management software options. Try a few of them out to see which work best with your business.

Step 2: Identify milestones Milestones are markers in a construction schedule that will help you figure out how to schedule your resources. These milestones will help you determine what resources you need and when you need them. 

List each milestone, even relatively insignificant ones, as long as they have resources attached to them. You will use these milestones as the basis for your construction resource management plan.

Tip: Create some wiggle room in your milestone schedule. Give yourself a few extra days and some extra resources rather than hoping for maximum efficiency. 

This will make you better prepared for any unknowns that may pop up.

Step 3: Identify resources With milestones identified, list each resource you will need to complete each milestone.

For example, if you must complete plumbing by a certain date and you plan to have a subcontractor do the work, list resources such as pipes, plumbing subcontractor hours, and the funding needed to complete the task.

Tip: List all resources, not just the big ones. It could be something as small as "five nails." Even the little things are necessary for the completion of a project, and they need to be on hand so workers aren't wasting time looking for things they need.

Step 4: Assign responsibilities. All key stakeholders should have designated responsibilities and should be accountable for how resources are managed and used.

For example, assign someone to be responsible for equipment usage -- i.E., they will know where equipment is at all times, what time slots are available, what workers are approved to use them, and so on.

Tip: Don't dictate -- ask your workers for help in dividing up responsibilities. Find out what they have experience in and what they'd be most comfortable managing. This will increase your chances of success.

Step 5: Review and analyze You won't nail construction resources management on the first try, and that's OK. Even if you didn't, your project will go better than it has in the past just by implementing these measures.

Once the project is complete, do a thorough review and analysis of how you performed. Hopefully, you have construction management software that does this data-crunching for you.

Then you can answer some questions:

  • Were you accurate when you listed the resources needed to complete a milestone?
  • Were the correct people made accountable for the right resources?
  • What could you do differently next time to improve your resource management?

Armed with this knowledge, you'll be able to get better with each construction project.

Tip: Experiment on a small scale based on the results. If you spot some opportunities to do things differently based on the data but are afraid to take the leap, institute a small pilot program to try things out, like using two workers on a task where you might usually use three (but suspect that not that many workers are necessary). 

Keep that third worker on reserve just in case.

Become a construction resource management expert


When it comes to good resource management, it's all about being willing to learn. Research innovative resource management techniques.

Study other firms for resource planning examples to get an understanding of how they do things. Invest in training for yourself and your team so you can learn more about resource construction principles.

The Blueprint has plenty of articles on how to be a better construction manager you can start reading now.

Comprehensive software for Project Management




Sunday, July 26, 2020

What does a Project Manager do?


What does a Project Manager do?


It might sound like a strange question for those who know the answer but for a lot of other people, it is a valid question. That is why I will try and answer that question for you.

Are you entering the job market and you're interested in a career as a Project Manager but you are not aware of the functions and responsibilities associated with the position?

Most people would likely be enticed by the project management salary on offer. This goes for people already employed and is considering a job change into a different industry.

Project Management Jobs can be very rewarding if you join the right organization. This is because if you look at the bigger picture of the position you will see the project management skills required is specialized and much focused on experience.

Not being aware of the requirements to make a good project manager can be detrimental to your career success or at least the level of enjoyment you will get out of it.

The reward is high in this profession if you are looking at monetary value and benefits. This will also depend on the organization and the level of projects that the organization takes on.

Some of the international projects can run into a value of millions while smaller businesses will focus on local projects which are more suitable to their capacity.

It does not matter as the role of a Project Manager remains a pivotal part of the organization and the responsibility for success totally depends on the ability to plan and organize. 

It is, therefore, the main reason that a Project Manager salary can be slightly above what you normally would expect from other management positions at the same level.

DUTIES OF A PROJECT MANAGER

The main duties and responsibilities of a Project Manager are to strategize, implement, and maintain programs and projects based on the values and goals of the organization.

The Project manager will develop assessment tools to measure and evaluate improvements and outcomes of company projects and other initiatives.

  • Oversee projects to see if the required quality standards are maintained.
  • Maintain organizational standards through measurement and feedback.
  • Set and define infrastructure goals and deadlines.
  • Develop and set standards for high-level organizational expansion.
  • Collect, analyze, and present performance information related to projects.
  • Manage conformance with legal requirements and best practices.
  • Monitor the application of health and safety requirements where required.
  • Manage and inform team leaders on various aspects and requirements for the duration

 In order to become a good Project Manager, you would require some special skills that you might get away with in other management positions should it be underdeveloped.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Some of the most required Project Management skills that you definitely have to sharpen up on will be:

  • An eye for detail
  • Self – discipline
  • Above-average organizational skills
  • Excellent communication skills at all levels
  • Negotiating skills
  • High level of financial acumen

Depending on your level of entry into the Project Management market you will also require some form of certification, diploma, or even a Bachelor’s degree to start off with.

Normally the cost of such a qualification will put you off this employment option but as we said the remuneration of a Project Manager is so good that it will pay back the initial cost in a short time.

SUMMARY

If you have the skills to make it as a Project Manager it is worth your while to invest some cash into obtaining a qualification to match your ambition.