Need for Project Management

Need for Project Management

In most construction contracts, the contractor is given only one opportunity to set its price (the bid). From that point on, profits are determined by the project managers ability to save money through better planning of daily operations and the skill to make good decisions. If a project is to be constructed within  its  established  budget  and  time  schedule,  close  management  control  of  field  operations  is  a necessity. Project conditions such as technical complexity, importance of timely completion, resource limitations,  and  substantial  costs  put  great  emphasis  on  the  planning,  scheduling,  and  control  of construction  operations.  Unfortunately,  the  construction process,  once  set  into  motion,  is  not  a  self-regulating mechanism and requires expert guidance if events are to conform to plans. It must be remembered that projects are one-time and largely unique efforts of limited time duration that involve work of a nonstandardized  and variable nature.  Field construction  work  can  be  affected profoundly by events that are difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate. Under such uncertain and shifting conditions,  field  construction  costs  and  time  requirements  are  changing  constantly  and  can  seriously deteriorate  with  little  or  no  advance  warning.  The  presence  of  uncertainty  in  construction  does  not suggest that planning is impossible but rather that it will assume a monumental role in the success or failure  of  the  project.  The  greater  the  level  of  uncertainty  in  the  project,  the  greater  the  need  for exhaustive project planning and skilled and unremitting management effort.

Under  most  competitively  bid,  fixed-sum  contracts  calling  for  construction  services  only,  the  general contractor  exercises  management  control  over  construction  operations.  Self-interest  is  the  essential motivation in such cases, the contractor being obligated by contract to meet a prescribed completion date and to finish the project for a stipulated sum. The surest way for the contractor to achieve its own objectives, and those of the owner in the bargain, is by applying some system of project management.

Serving the best interests of the owner is the primary emphasis of project control under other forms of contracts.  Field  management  under  design-construct,  construction  management,  and  many  cost-plus contracts  is  directed  principally  toward  providing  the  owner  with  professional  advisory  and management services to best achieve the owner objectives.

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