Engineering Project Management Highways 1920

Trends, Challenges and Practices for better Project Management in Construction

Trends, Challenges and Practices for better Project Management in Construction

This white paper examines project management in construction and in particular the trends that the global construction industry is grappling with, among them regional supply and demand issues.

The paper has a particular focus on the sector in the UK and Ireland. It examines the key challenges for Construction Project Managers, including the building process, costing, estimating, budgeting, capital improvements, equipment, complex scheduling, labor, legal issues, and dispute resolution. It concludes with several insights into how Construction Project Managers can gear themselves for the future, including best practices for the following processes:

  • Applying Good Project Management Practices;
  • Use a Project Management Office (PMO);
  • Budget Management;
  • Integrated Project Reports and
  • Risk Management.

Extract:

“One large criticism of traditional engineering and construction companies is that they are slow to adopt new technologies; indeed, many firms don’t even use project management software or still use archaic paper-based processes. In general, project planning remains uncoordinated between the office and the site. Construction projects by their very nature follow the traditional waterfall five phases of project management: initiation, planning, execution, performance and monitoring, and closure.

In 2002, the PMI published the Construction Extension for the PMBOK Guide, an extension to the PMBOK process for the construction industry. It describes the knowledge and practices that are “generally accepted” for construction over time. Despite many claims to the contrary, the construction industry has great difficulty in organizing work in any way other than the traditional.

There is some significant concern that the construction industry has not yet embraced new technologies and that considerable up-front investment is needed. A recent Navigant report states that R&D spending on construction is less than 1 percent of revenues, versus 3.5 to 4.5 percent for the automotive and aerospace sectors. This is also true for spending on information technology, which accounts for less than 1 percent of revenues for construction, even though a number of new software solutions have been developed for the industry”.