Projects invariably comprise of thousands of activities, a large number of people and much complexity. If a project is to be successful, however, a Project Management Team must try and see the wood for the trees and focus on the things that really matter. The 5 priorities for effective Project Managers are:
Projects are important but, just like the airline industry, safety should be absolutely paramount. If any risks are discovered to people during construction or perceived to exist during the subsequent operation of the building, corrective action must be taken, even if it causes delay or additional cost. Prevention is better than cure, so the Project Manager should include Safety as an item on every meeting Agenda from the outset of a project, giving due consideration to the operation of the building as well as construction.
2. Client satisfaction
There is little point in delivering a project on time and on cost if it is not the project that the Client wants and needs. Customer requirements must be identified from the inception of the project and the Project Manager should:
- Take action to ensure that the Client gets what they ask for by checking that it is incorporated in the design.
The vast majority of cost problems on projects are caused by a failure to get the early cost estimates right. The Project Manager should always focus on ensuring that the Design Team and Quantity Surveyor do not undercut the budget just because they have not completed all of the design. The golden rule is that the size of the contingency sum carried through to each stage should be inversely proportional to the amount of design work that has been done.
It is very rare for things to be done more quickly than people estimate. Therefore, just as is the case with the project budget, it is the job of the Project Manager to be realistic about the programme. If an unrealistic programme is set, the inevitable effect on people carrying out the work on the project is falling morale as they face relentless criticism for failing to meet target dates. Conversely, if people get into the habit of achieving (or bettering) target dates, it is very motivating and drives them on to even higher performance. It is the job of the project manager to set the right environment for completion on time.
5. Smooth handover
Poorly run projects have a “rush to handover”. In order that the Client has beneficial use of the building, the Contractors have some of their retention released and the defects liability starts, whereby the final accounts are prepared and the Client can have any defects put right under the terms of the contract. In poorly run projects, the number of defects is too high and under these circumstances, it is difficult to get the Contractor to come back to put things right. Things work better when the Project Manager, Design Team and Contractor work together to ensure that every part of the work is completed properly along the way. Zero defects might be difficult to achieve in practice but very low defects is a prime objective of every effective Project Manager.
by Robert Davis
| 23/08/2016 16:26 |comments powered by Disqus