Construction Management – Performance Management of Build Time

This is primarily written about the Australian residential construction market.

What is Construction Management?

To understand how to manage something we must first identify what it is. The four main tenants of construction management are time, budget, quality and safety. Additional items that are also a central responsibility of construction management are regulatory compliance, supply chain management and reporting.

This article focuses on the management of construction time; in later posts I will discuss the other essential elements.

To manage the timely construction of any project you must ensure that all items are properly planned for, including materials, future labour requirements, regulatory and compliance requirements and construction difficulties identified and mitigated, amongst many other things. I am going to concentrate on measures of timely performance, and discuss their positives and negatives.

Construction Time Measurement Strategies

There are many methods of measuring construction performance, and they vary significantly in approach and emphasis:

Stage Timeframe

Reporting periodically (usually monthly) on duration taken from the start of a stage of construction to the end of the stage (e.g. frame, brickwork, fit out, etc.). These are averaged for each stage across all jobs where that construction stage has been completed, in that period.

This allows comparison across multiple supervisors, but is very simplistic as it assumes all contracts should take the same duration in the same stage. It is also prone to significant ups and downs due to the low number of contracts stage completions within a period (anything below seven stage completions makes the statistical average dubious). The other downside to this is that at a monthly average you don’t get the opportunity to resolve problems, you only report on them. It is a good reporting strategy for quarterly, half yearly and yearly supervisor performance charts, and to see the overall average movements across all the supervisors.

Progress Markers

This is about placing a theoretical weight against specific milestone tasks in the contracts construction program, and therefore, recording the completion of these tasks during a time-frame, rewards the supervisor of the job. This can be reported per contract, per supervisor or per construction manager.

As a relatively common strategy it aims at weighting different elements of the construction program and links reward accordingly. It is normally a numeric value associated with each milestone, and therefore easy to statistically analyse to identify figures such as sum of value per week and average weekly value for lifetime of a contract. The downside to the weighted markers approach is that it rewards progress on a small subset of the tasks, and therefore progress might be made such that the numbers look good, however significant other works may be left languishing and the numbers won’t tell you this story.

Baseline Markers

Laying down an ideal world expectation of the construction programme (baseline), allows for comparison at any point in the programme of current forecast against the baseline laid down at the beginning. You are then able to state whether you are ahead or behind the baseline, and give this a numeric value.

This is normally a base measure, which other statistics are gleamed from. Important things to consider are, ‘how realistic is the baseline?’, ‘does the baseline duration adjust with contract complexity and size?’ and ‘do delays outside the control of the construction team get adjusted into the baseline?’ You can also see slippage from the baseline, so that you can easily identify areas of construction issue to be improved. The down side of this is that it consists of a singular number recorded at a point in time against a contract, and therefore is difficult to use to identify trends and averages.

Days of Work Achieved per Period

This measures progress per week against the contract, by measuring the forecast number of days to completion at the beginning of the reporting cycle and then comparing against the same state at the end of the reporting cycle. This gives the metric of days of progress achieved per period, which is a measure of how much closer are you to the end of the project. It allows the complete construction programme to be performance managed, as forgetting items or delaying them will eventually push out the forecast and hence will reduce the number of days progress per period. The issues with this metric is that it can go negative in short periods, and that the construction programme forecast needs a level of accuracy, that can only be achieved with complex project management systems.

Revenue Achieved

At the end of the day, revenue needs to be achieved, and a very common metric is the measure of revenue achieved per period. This is an easy state to collect, and concentrates the supervisors on the important numbers.

The downside to revenue, is that it becomes a numbers game, pushing claims into different periods depending on requirements. This is then very visible to the client, when they check their home against the claim, but the roof isn’t on! Also the inverse happens where a supervisor might delay a claim by a day or two to smooth out for a bad month coming up, messing with important cash flow.

Actual vs Target vs Forecast

None of the performance measures above have included any target setting, and there is no measure of performance against targets. Targets are typically used to get team members to set realistic expectations and manage themselves towards them; a very powerful motivator! This process of target setting can be done on any of the above metrics (and others), but is a very powerful tool when comparing last periods’ target versus actual, then planning for the next week by creating targets from the forecasts (with minor adjustments agreed between the manager and the supervisor).

A powerful tool, but it requires good processes to ensure it works successfully. The method works best when interim reporting is available to the construction team so that they can measure their own tracking against the targets set for themselves.

Conclusion

I have highlighted some of the more common strategies for used construction time performance management, which hopefully gives you a taster of the different methods available. There is no ‘one size fits all’, but it is important to evaluate how to performance manage the most important part of the home builders process; the construction.

In the next article I will be discussing Supplier Performance Management. What metrics are available and how they can be utilised?

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Types of Construction

Under the field of civil engineering and architecture, construction is a method that consists of assembling or building infrastructure. Usually, this work is managed by a project manager and supervised by a construction engineer, construction manager, project architect or design engineer. There are several types of construction projects such as industrial construction, building construction and heavy or civil construction.

Building construction is a process of adding small or big structures to land or real property. Most of the building construction jobs are small reconstructions like adding bathroom or reconstruction of a room. Often times, the titleholder of the property acts as a designer, paymaster and laborer for the entire job. However, all the building construction jobs include several elements in legal consideration, financial and usual design.

Building constructions are procured publicly or privately using different delivery methodologies such as management contracting, hard bid, construction management at risk, design & build bridging, and negotiated price.

Residential construction technologies, resources and practices should conform to the codes of practice and local building authority regulations. The materials used are widely accessible in the market. The common materials used are timber, stone and brick. The cost of construction is on a “per square foot” basis. This is since homes can vary significantly on local site considerations, conditions, and economies of scale.

Heavy or civil construction is a procedure of adding infrastructure to the environment of a building. The builders are usually government agencies both at the local or national level. These also have legal and financial considerations. This project primarily serves the public interest. They are undertaken and supervised by some large private corporations such as power companies, golf courses and whoever oversees the construction of access dams, roads and railroads.

Industrial construction requires highly specialized skill in construction, planning and design. Holders of this project are normally industrial, for profit or large corporations. This corporation can be found in industries such as chemical, medicine, power generation and petroleum manufacturing.

There are many reputable construction companies in the US. The Turner Construction Company is one of the most commendable. It works with a number of national sector groups that concentrate on a usual building type. Their famous clients include Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Justice, Healthcare and Breen Building as well as Aviation, Sports and Public Assembly.

Turner Construction Company also offers additional services of supply chain management, Turner Logistics, TCS or Turner Casualty and Surety that provides loss control programs and proactive safety. It is one of the largest construction running companies in the US.

Another company is Anderson Construction Group. It provides professional builds or designs, general contracting, wind mitigation, SoftPlan construction documents and construction managements. This company delivers a large variety of industrial, residential, medical, industrial, and specialty services and projects. It is one of the leaders in providing value added construction services to their consumers by making a successful partnership with them during the construction processes.

IHC Construction Company is another trusted US construction company. It manufactures concrete blocks packed by hydraulic pressure. IHC Construction Company has construction management, pre-construction, underground contractors and horizontal drilling. The horizontal drilling of IHC is the future of underground conduit and pipe construction.

It eliminates or reduces damages caused by the usual open cut trenching methods. The Design & Build division of the company offers construction services to offices, residential warehouses, industrial and commercial markets.

Construction Management Jobs for Felons – How To Get a High Paying Construction Job

Job opportunities for felons are often few and far between. To increase your chances of getting the best jobs for felons, you should choose an industry that is unrelated to your felony and where jobs are in high demand. It is also helpful to choose a profession, such as construction management jobs for felons, where you can be self-employed.

Construction administration jobs for felons are also known as project management or construction project management. Managers in this field are trained to oversee the planning, design and actual building of construction projects.

It is a very promising field of study right now because the employment opportunities for these managers is expected to exceed the number of qualified workers from now through 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This high demand and shortage of trained construction managers means that there are many job opportunities for felons available in construction management.

What kinds of jobs for felons are available in construction management?

Job opportunities for felons include construction estimating, construction safety, construction project management and building code compliance. The construction manager’s duties include keeping an eye on the big picture and making sure that the construction project is completed on time, does not go over the budget, meets quality standards and conforms to building codes. If the construction project is quite large, there will be many construction managers working on different tasks.

To be a good construction administrator, you have to like working with people. You will have to work not just with the owner-client but also with architects, construction workers, subcontractors, quantity surveyors, health inspectors, safety inspectors and other such people. Construction management may be a good choice for you if you are a good communicator who loves leadership roles. This is not the right career for shy people.

Also, since problems are bound to crop up with both large and small-scale construction projects, you need to be able to keep your cool while under pressure. Decisiveness and self-confidence are the two most important qualities that a construction developer should have.

Construction Management Jobs for Felons

Construction management is suitable for ex-felons because it is a job that is in high demand due to the shortage of qualified and experienced managers. This is also the type of job where people care more about experience and results than your felony.

Additionally, managers can be self-employed which is a good idea for ex-felons who are finding it hard to get employment. Most constructing managers work on a contract basis since construction projects are contract-based. However, it is also possible to get a salaried job within a construction company if you prefer a more stable type of job.

Since this is a managerial job, the pay is higher than average so this is a good career choice for those who are looking for high-paying job opportunities for felons.

Jobs for Felons: How to Get a Job in Construction Management

Construction education comes in two basic forms: one-year associate degrees and four-year baccalaureate degrees. Nowadays, many colleges also offer online courses as well as on-campus courses.

Generally, managers will either start at entry-level or mid-level jobs after graduation. Another career path that is popular for ex-felons is to work in construction and then take night or online classes to get a management degree in construction. This helps them get a promotion to a management or supervisory position.

It is also possible to specialize in certain construction projects which may improve your employability if these specialties are in demand. For example, some construction companies specialize in the restoration of historic homes and buildings. Experience or expertise in a specialized type of construction is quite valuable and makes getting the best jobs for felons easier.

Construction management jobs are projected to grow rapidly in the next few years so it is a good career choice for people looking for job opportunities for felons. A degree in construction management will greatly help you to land a job in construction project management. These managerial jobs for felons pay well but they are suitable only for those who are willing to put up with the stress of leadership roles.

What You Can Do With a Construction Management Degree

A construction management degree plays a really important role as it offers the skills and vital knowledge whereby work experience alone is not able to provide. Nowadays, employers more than often seek candidates who possess some hands-on practical experience with a degree, either a Bachelor or Master in the construction field.There is in fact quite a plausible market for construction managers as then number of job openings should be sufficient to contain individuals with the appropriate qualifications to enter this field. Therefore, those who hold a degree would be highly in demand as the construction process in industries has been evolving over the years and sophisticated technology has been adopted. The continuous of laws setting certain standards for construction material, buildings, energy efficiency, environmental protection and as well as worker’s safety require the expertise of those who have undergone a degree for construction management.Besides, opportunities for advancement in career as an individual with a construction management degree vary. This, of course depends on your performance and also the type and dimension of the company or firm you are working for. If you were to work in a large scale company, chances are, you might be stepping up into upper-level management or even executive positions. If you are a degree holder while having a whole lot of experience in hand, you may even opt to become an independent consultant. If you have the necessary modal and cash flow, establishing your own construction management service or general contracting firm could also be in order.Moving on, you should also be aware of the fact that the size and nature of construction projects have an impact on its construction fee, thus the construction manager will also receive a different range of salary. Other factors which might affect the project’s pay would be its location and the economic conditions.To conclude it, an individual with a degree certificate can very well develop their skills in their career path which would certainly be beneficial to them in the future if they hope to establish their own business.

Construction Mortgages For All Purposes

If you are having a home built or are building one for someone else, you can get financing for:

Custom home, cottage, or vacation house construction
Land and infill lot development
Construction and building projects of all sizes
Demolitions, reconstructions, and rebuilds
Stand alone property development
The specialized mortgage consultants at private firms know where to look to get you the rates you want, the flexible terms you need, and a mortgage or loan that is tailored to your needs and budget.Financing Options for Commercial BuildersFinancing the construction or renovation of a commercial or residential property that will be resold when completed is more difficult than finding loans for other types of property acquisitions. And commercial builders need quite a bit more capital at their disposal to ensure the entire construction process is completed on time and professionally.If you are working on residential or commercial construction and remodeling, you can obtain first and second mortgages for your building projects through independent firms, and can find loans to cover 95% of the construction costs. You could even qualify for financing for projects that cost as much as $25 million.Be sure to look for brokerage firms that can offer you:

Complimentary consultations
Free application reviews
Feedback within 24 hours of applying
Accredited mortgage professionals with training and experience in construction and project financing
Self-Build Mortgages for Your Home Construction NeedsHaving your home built for you is a great way to ensure that you and your family will have all your housing and property needs met. But obtaining a mortgage for this is a little more complicated, so be sure to seek out private brokers that have experience with self-build mortgages.Generally, you will have two types of financing options: completion and progress draw mortgages. Whereas a completion mortgage grants you money upon project completion, a progress draw loan allots you money throughout the various stages of the building process.Look for lenders that can offer benefits and choices like:
Interest-only payments required throughout construction
Flexible amortization periods
Loans and mortgages worth 95% of the home or land value
Self-build financing
The accredited professionals at private firms often have experience with financing for construction projects, so you can get the loans you need and advice about:
What to look for in a contractor or builder
Things to look for when purchasing a new home
Warrantees and guarantees
Reviewing and altering construction plans
Cost estimates
Insurance
Make sure you find a mortgage broker that can offer you more than just great rates: also look for flexible terms and specialized mortgage professionals who will be able to help you through the construction process.