According to a report by KPMG, over 50 percent of engineering and construction professionals report one or more underperforming projects in the previous year. Let that sink in. Despite these statistics on project failure, companies continue to minimize the importance of proper project planning when developing a timeline and budget for an upcoming project.
Road and bridge projects often rely on experienced construction management teams to lead the planning and scheduling of projects. While this sounds great in theory, effective project management is a completely different skillset, with principles that can be applied to any project type. Comprehensive planning allows project managers to define the scope of the project, establish dependencies and adjust to keep projects on schedule and on budget.
The road to completing tasks on budget is never an easy one. Project managers use a number of different programs and cost tracking methods. One key element is calculating the “point of total assumption.” The Project Management Institute defines this as the point on the cost line of the profit-cost curve determined by the contract elements associated with a fixed price plus incentive-Firm Target contract above which the seller effectively bears all the costs of a cost overrun.
Throughout construction, project managers set and redefine goals with a focus on resource allocation. Monitoring how much time and materials are spent and where becomes a crucial point of project success.
Objective reporting is a valuable aspect of contract project management. Teams are likely to fall into familiar habits with biases on “the way things have always been done.” Project managers are familiar with the phases a project team goes through, and have the benefit of looking at the project objectively to determine the next move based on project timelines and budget.