4 Tips for Effective Highway Construction Project Management
Construction projects can be complicated. There’s a lot going on, and if you’re not careful, it can be easy to lose track of what’s happening with each part of the project. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to stay organized: construction project management. With it, you can keep tabs on all parts of your highway construction project – from initial design to final completion.
Today we’ll provide a complete overview of construction project management as well as several tips to ensure it’s done correctly on your highway construction projects.
What is Construction Project Management?
Construction project management organizes all aspects of a construction project, from pre-construction to completion. The process manages everything from your construction crew to procurement in order to control the project’s costs, scope, quality, and time of the construction project throughout its life cycle.
Types of Construction Project Management
Construction project management is a broad field comprised of many different types of projects. A construction project manager then may be responsible for the management of many different types of construction projects. However, the most common projects include:
- Residential (new builds, renovations, additions to existing homes, etc.)
- Commercial (office buildings, malls, hospitals, and other businesses)
- Industrial (factories, power plants, mines, etc.)
- Engineering (roads, highways, bridges, and other infrastructure)
What are the Stages of Project Management?
Regardless of which type of construction project your team is taking on, it’s important to follow the six stages of project management.
During the design stage project managers and other key players outline the project’s needs, goals, and objectives. Once the company wins a bid for the project, they complete a feasibility report, which is a study that measures the practicality of the proposed project, to determine the time and budget. If approved, the project manager moves ahead by creating a site plan that includes the size and design of the project in addition to all the parts and materials required.
The planning stage is where project managers decide what they want to build and how they’re going to build it. During the planning stage, project managers collect all necessary permits as well as other documentation and begin to organize the project structure. They outline the risk management plan, create a work breakdown structure, and write a scope document. Each of these works to analyze the project's purpose needs and key elements to ensure everyone knows what the project involves. The planning phase is also where the project manager establishes a schedule, calculates a budget, and assigns roles to each member of the construction crew.
The procurement stage involves the process of identifying and obtaining the resources needed to complete the project. At this stage, project managers develop a procurement strategy, which includes determining whether to use internal or external sources for procuring materials, services, and equipment. Once a strategy is drawn up, project managers can begin to negotiate with suppliers and vendors to establish deliverables, timelines, and pricing.
The procurement stage is also where project managers put together a safety plan to ensure the construction crew follows all the appropriate safety protocols. It’s worth noting that, depending on the job, project managers can decide to complete procurement before or after other stages.
The execution stage is the step in which the project team brings to fruition all the planning and strategizing that went on in the previous steps. Team members can finally begin work on the ground with demolition or site clearance while project managers organize regular meetings to determine if budgets and schedules require any adjustments.
5. Performance and Monitoring
Often happening concurrently with the execution stage, monitoring is essential to measuring the project’s progress and performance. In this stage, all systems are tested, inspected, and once given the green light, turned over to the client. The purpose of this stage is to ensure that the work meets all contractual specifications and operates as intended.
6. Completion or closeout
The completion or closeout stage of construction project management is the final step before the project can be considered complete. During completion, the project manager must verify that all documentation has been completed, that it’s accurate and up to date, and that it complies with company policy in addition to industry regulations.
In this stage, the client also provides feedback on their experience with the project and its deliverables. The project manager then compiles a report on how it went, and how they can improve in the future.
Why is Construction Project Management Important?
The importance of construction project management can be found in the fact that it’s the only way to ensure that a project will be completed on time and within budget. Without proper construction management, a project can quickly spiral out of control, with costs going up and timelines stretching on for months or even years. Proper construction management ensures that these problems do not occur.
One of the most important aspects of construction project management is communication. It’s imperative for all parties involved to communicate clearly with one another so that they know exactly what is expected of them and when they need to complete certain tasks. This type of clear communication can help prevent misunderstandings that could lead to delays or additional costs later on in the process.
Another important aspect of construction project management is scheduling. When all parties involved are aware of how much time they have before deadlines come into effect, they’re able to plan accordingly so that everything gets done on time without having any major hiccups along the way.
4 Tips For Successful Highway Construction Project Management
1. Plan & Schedule
A successful highway construction project management plan is one that’s carefully executed. It starts with a thorough understanding of the scope of work and includes detailed planning for the project’s execution.
You can never be overprepared, so take time to ensure that you have done everything possible for your team to succeed. The more time you spend planning, the more you maximize efficiency by providing a detailed roadmap for your team to follow.
2. Communicate with all parties involved
One of the most important parts of a successful construction project management plan is communication. This not only includes your workers but also contractors, suppliers, as well as local residents. The project manager must keep all parties informed of current developments, as well as any issues that may arise that require resolution.
3. Monitor progress and adjust accordingly
As your project advances it’s important to monitor its progress and adjust accordingly. You should be tracking your progress in terms of total cost, percentage of work completed, and estimated completion date. By keeping close tabs on these metrics, you can make adjustments to your plan, if necessary, in order to stay on track and meet your targets.
4. Utilize NAT’s Portable Traffic Signals
Construction flagging plays an important role in the overall construction process as it works to ensure the safety of both workers and the travelling public. However, this often comes at the expense of the traffic control person’s personal safety.
Even with ample construction training, traffic control persons remain at risk of being struck by high-speed vehicles and distracted drivers. Fortunately, there is something that can help keep them out of harm’s way – Portable Traffic Signals.
Shield workers from these hazards with one of North America Traffic’s state-of-the-art Portable Traffic Signals! Whether you go with our PTL2.4x Portable Traffic Signal for long-term traffic control or the AWF2.8 Advanced Warning Flasher, you can expect reliable, versatile and durable solutions for construction safety.
Trust the top Design-Manufacturer of Portable Traffic Signals for Your Construction Project
As the leading design-manufacturer of safe and innovative traffic control solutions for over 25 years, North America Traffic provides a wide variety of Portable Traffic Signals. Whether you’re looking to maximize visibility for long-term or short-term applications, we can help you find the traffic control solution suitable for your next construction project.
Contact us today to learn more.