What is Construction Planning?
Construction Project Management Planning is a crucial process for the completion of the project. It is about creating a time-based project plan to achieve the assigned goals and to complete the project in time and a specified budget with minimum rework and wastages. Planning and scheduling are different functions and are to thought of separately; Construction plans are to be developed by breaking the work tasks among various activities and estimating resources according to the activity durations. Construction Planning involves the study of various project-related documents such as design and drawings, quantity estimation, contract documents, construction methodology, etc.
Importance of good construction planning and scheduling
A good construction plan can help you get the confidence of creating a precise construction schedule by measuring the required resources at each phase of the construction; thus maintaining quality, efficiency, and avoid sudden surprises by getting complete control of the project. This control over the project helps to avoid extra costs and time delays.
Types of Construction Project Planning
- Strategic Planning
- Operational Planning
A strategic plan involves the steps to be taken to achieve the desired goals. This is a high level planning which has to be inline with the company’s mission. For example: Timely delivery of the project, Construction process standardization, Customer centricity, Usage of the data on-site, Staff training and development etc.
Before the construction schedule is created by the Project team to meet the company’s strategic objectives; a set of questions has to be answered by the construction management team:
— Performance Measurement Baseline:
Any projects construction approved starting point includes a detailed description of constraints on the project schedule, scope specifications, and budget during the planning phase of the project.
— Baseline Management Plan:
It is the plan to adjust various project baseline and is as such not the component of PMBOK. It includes how and when the baseline will be reviewed and changes to be authorised.
— Project Documentation:
Proper documentation in the planning stage enables to represent what exactly is going to be constructed. Blueprints drawings and specifications, Submittals and approval, scope documentation, Permits, fees and licenses.
To meet strategic objectives, the Project Manager needs to create an optimal operational plan basis for a realistic time frame.
Construction planning is divided generally into two types
- Cost oriented construction planning: it is generally cost incurred as a direct expense to the activity performance and indirectly for the completion of the project (which also includes financial overheads)
- Schedule oriented construction planning: In this, the focus is on scheduled project activities which are important. The importance of planning is to efficient scheduling of resources, this results in critical path scheduling – maintaining seamless workflows and job shop scheduling process – efficient resource utilization.
6 steps in order to create an effective construction project plan
- Involve key stakeholders to discuss various aspects of the project: Often, the project timeline is considered as a project plan by the stakeholders. It is very important to get them involved in the planning stage, as it will result in getting project approvals and commitments. While we involve stakeholders, documentation is important.
- Defining the project plan as per activities: To define appropriate work tasks is crucial in the scheduling of framed activities. It is very important to understand the resources required as per the critical path sequence of activities. Once the task is defined, a hierarchy of activities to be visualized using charts.
- Derive relationships with the critical flow of activities: Once the precedence relation is set up between tasks and activities, which means that activities must happen in particular sequences.
- Usage of historical data for estimating activity duration: As the schedule is prepared with reference to the actual duration of each activity, a projected estimation with historical records is critical to avoid delays.
- Estimating resources for work activities: Looking at the entire project, resource requirements can be estimated for each activity in coordination with procurement to avoid resource allocation issues.
- Usage of the coding system: A proper coding system helps you to standardize definitions and categories of items between the project team and stakeholders. Also, historical data basis productivity will enhance the efficiency of activities.
For the successful completion of the projects, Effective project planning and scheduling would result in adhering to the scheduled timelines. Both planning and scheduling are equally important prior to the start of the project. It is a time-consuming activity, but will definitely save the time required for the actual work.