When you’re on the outside looking in, planning a construction project involves drawing up complex sketches and assembling a talented team of workers. While half of that is true, the planning stage for a construction project commences long before sketches are drawn up. Determining the project’s goals, team players, scope, processes, and budget all come before initiating the design phase.
Start By Setting Goals
Most projects will already have an ultimate goal, whether it’s constructing an entire home, adding an extension, or completely renovating an existing space. However, it’s important to codify the project goals to avoid running into unnecessary problems like the end result not fulfilling the need.
Before you get going, you’ll need to put together a list of anyone involved in the project including shareholders, workers, people in the surrounding areas, executives, financial departments, maintenance teams, and any other key players. The more people you can have present for the early stages of development, the better.
You will need to identify external partners involved as well, including architects, interior designers, engineers, and partner contractors. For example, if you don’t have enough clout to complete the initial earthwork, you may choose to outsource to a reputable team of experts.
After you’ve gathered together all parties involved in the project, it’s time to start coming up with some goals. Ask each interested party to hand you a list of needs, and then work together with your team to put them in priority order. In most cases, a list of needs will be a little questionable, which is why you’ll need to use the SMART goal system to define them properly.
Understanding the Project Scope
It’s now time to work out what elements the project needs to accomplish your goals. For example, if your stakeholders desire a sustainable building, you’ll have to list every quality the finished product will have. When you’ve lined up project elements and key player needs, it’s time to focus on the ‘how’, e.g., which construction techniques will you need whether you need forestry equipment at Boom & Bucket, and what will your daily operation processes look like? During this critical meeting, you will need to draw up a potential timeline that breaks down each stage of the project. As well as this, you should take time to consider the overall budget, which will help keep the project grounded.
Processes and Operations Planning
Before letting your designers get to work, it’s time to agree on what type of construction processes you’ll be using, such as earthwork. Even though your design experts will have insights, every member involved must be on the same page.
As part of this task, you have to break down responsibilities and roles for the entire team, which will allow them to keep on track regardless of how far along in the project you are. If there are any issues on the construction site, every team member has to know how to contact the relevant individual. Throughout the project, make sure you come together with your team regularly to provide updates and change up their roles if need be.
Construction work doesn’t come without risk, and this project will be no different. Even though you’ll never prevent all of them, you have to take action to prepare for any hiccups. One of the best ways to do this is appointing a risk manager, who will help navigate issues and get you back on track.
Now for the Design Stage
With a clear picture of how the overall project will work, it’s time to let your designers loose. In most cases, this type of work happens from behind a computer screen, but it’s essential to keep the lines of communication open. While the design team is hard at work, make sure you hold meetings regularly to make sure everything is coming along as planned.
During the design stage, your budget will become more accurately tied to the project, which allows you to begin looking elsewhere for financial support if need be. Alternatively, you can talk to your stakeholders and other parties to tell them the project needs scaling back.
The Finishing Touch
Now that all planning components are planned, and the project is cleared by relevant state or government bodies, it’s time to send it to bid. During the bidding process, you’ll likely come across parts of the project that need changing.
There’s a lot of work and players involved with planning a construction project, so make sure you’ve understood everything above and get ready to start setting a few goals.