Businesses of all sizes sometimes find it necessary to manage construction projects on their own account or as part of larger contracts. Even smaller businesses may require an expansion of existing facilities or a new building. Planning for such construction projects and controlling costs and schedules are often challenging and require a thorough understanding of construction management techniques to bring the project to a successful conclusion.


Planning techniques for construction projects include a work breakdown structure; Program Evaluation and Review Technique, or PERT, charts; and Gantt charts. A work breakdown structure reduces complexity by breaking down the work to be done into individual tasks that are the responsibility of a particular employee. PERT charts put the tasks into sequence to establish what has to be completed before other tasks can start. Gantt charts are horizontal bar charts, with each bar representing the duration of a project; these give an overview of how the project has to proceed. Applying these techniques to construction projects allows you to reserve the required resources and assign responsibilities to ensure the smooth functioning of project management.

Cost Control

Construction project management requires cost control. Your planning activities have helped you identify the tasks that have to be completed and assign corresponding work. Cost control starts with distributing the total cost to the tasks and establishing reporting procedures to track costs as your company incurs them. You can achieve close cost control with signature rules for purchase orders and payments. If you have to sign all purchase orders, you will know what costs the project is generating. If your signature is required for payments, you have control over booking costs to the project.

Schedule Control

Controlling the schedule for construction projects is critical because tasks are mutually interdependent and delays can increase costs. Your planning has established the overall schedule and specifies when particular tasks must be completed. A good schedule control technique is to establish milestones that are easily observed and verified. Another technique is to use outside events like permits to check on progress. If you have scheduled a milestone like the raising of the building structure, you can go to the site on that day to verify whether the project team has met the milestone. If you know that the project requires a building permit at a certain date, you can check whether the permit has been issued.

Quality Control

An important function for construction projects is to control the quality of the materials and the work because it affect the value of the structure you are building. Quality control has three parts. You have to identify the level of quality you want, ensure that the purchase orders specify the quality and examine the finished product to make sure you received what you ordered. When you assign responsibility for a task in the planning stage, you also have to assign responsibility for the quality and for the required documentation. For each item, the documentation has to include the specified level of quality, the corresponding order and the resulting test or inspection report.