Unless you want your project to end up like the bridge in the photo, you would be wise to plan on pre-planning. All humor aside, failure to focus on every aspect of a project before you begin can be extremely costly, dangerous, and even embarrassing for the manager responsible or damaging to the company’s reputation. A well-known construction firm published the following article outlining the benefits of pre-construction coordination*:
“The pre-construction methodology differs from the traditional approach for completing construction projects. The traditional approach relies on seeking out bids and then ultimately choosing the best bid and beginning the building process from there. Pre-construction services differ in that a design team which includes not only the general contractor, but the architects, engineers and designers, will work collaboratively to outline the construction project from start to finish. Pre-construction services and are becoming more mainstream due to the obvious benefits to both the client, as well as the company providing the services. And while pre-construction services can happen at various levels of the design phase, it is recommended to implement these services early in the concept design phase of the project to ensure seamlessness throughout.
Benefit #1: Creating a Big Picture View
During the pre-construction phase, the project scope is defined, which includes determining the feasibility of the project as a whole. Details are also reviewed and a plan is developed that includes all of the various phases of the construction project. This provides the client and the team with a big picture view which helps to envision the finished project. It also assists in determining if everyone is on the same page at each stage of the project.
Benefit #2: Increased Buy-in
During pre-construction collaborative meetings take place that include the team of designers, contractors and engineers who work together to plan each phase of the project. Many meetings are held round table style allowing each team member to openly discuss ideas and get feedback from the others on the team. Any concerns can be addressed at this time to help prevent unexpected delays. Because teamwork and collaboration are emphasized, the likelihood of buy-in is increased.
Benefit #3: Avoiding Re-work
When a cohesive team works together from the planning stages to the project’s completion, it builds a platform for regular communication. When the transfer of information and ideas is a collaborative effort this will often eliminate the need for re-work. With a formal plan in place that includes budgets, schedules, and designs there is little to no need for any member of the team to second guess during decision making processes.
Benefit #4: Keeps Project on Budget
A thorough budget estimate is developed during the pre-construction phase as well, which is reviewed by each member of the team. If any alterations need to be made to the budget, then the team will meet and go over potential changes and make determinations.
Benefit #5: Keeps Scheduling Goals on Target
Scheduling goals are completed during the pre-construction phase in order to provide the client with a detailed timeline of the projects’ start, progression, and completion estimates. Again, due to the collaborative nature of the pre-construction team, everyone is able to review and determine the best timeline for the project at each phase, as well as the time to complete the project from start to finish.”
In the end, people commonly hesitate concerning pre-construction planning, because it inherently causes an initial delay. But consider the bridge pictured above. Think the workers standing around wished they had planned better?
OSA Marketing | Ops Team