Managing a project in the commercial construction game requires skill sets, contractor knowledge and most importantly, recognition as to what gets investigated and implemented when. Whether it is 100 or 1,000 square meters of office space to be fitted out, the timeframe to carry out construction is generally around 6 weeks, leaving little to no room for error once on site.
Every site is different and with it comes certain restrictions and conditions that can potentially impact on design and space planning. It is important to gather as-built drawings, services diagrams, fitout guidelines, etc. The earlier these are sourced the better, as they assist to ensure a layout that works with the building. Visiting the site yourself and with contractors, may also slightly alter the design to negate potentially expensive or other issues further down the line.
ENGAGE YOUR CONTRACTORS
Investigation, foresight, pre-empting and planning are required from the outset. This is where experience can play a major factor, not only with the project manager themself, but also with each of their trades, contractors and engineers whom we rely upon for each job. By involving resources as early as possible means that all parties involved have sufficient time to assess, plan and communicate.
Two forms of good damage control is having clear and precise documentation and as much information as possible prior to beginning the job so that any unforeseen issues can be dealt with appropriately before the hectic on site schedule begins. That said, knowing what areas to deal with in what order is the main objective – for example, liaising with a core hole driller before the structural engineer wastes time, money and resources.
Keeping the client well informed of any foreseen or potential issues will help them to make quick, on-the-go decisions should any on-site issues occur. Naturally the client may not have the technical knowledge, but they will know their own company and its people, so all attempts to bring them up to speed and armed with as much information as possible should be made from the outset. It is simply good client care and could prove beneficial if unforeseen circumstances arise.
Inevitably something on site within any given project may go wrong, however with careful planning, use of resources and pre-emptive measures, the impact can be minimised to negligible and quickly rectifiable issues, resulting in little to no uncontrolled variations to the client. It is a project manager’s primary objective to liaise with the right parties at the right stage, from the client to in-house staff, external contractors and everything in between.
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