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Vital Cogs

Project Management Consultants have a definite role to play in the overall activity of construction. With the increase in the number of projects calling for comprehensive civil engineering and other technical disciplines, consultants with good track records are in hot demand.

The construction industry generally deals with various types of construction sectors, like real estate and infrastructure. Real estate is segmented into residential, industrial, corporate, and commercial sectors. The infrastructure sector as a whole comprises roads, railways, urban infrastructure like monorail, Metro rail, bridges, viaducts, ports, airports,. Nowadays, all the projects are not merely related to civil engineering' a number of projects involve many other disciplines like electronics, telecommunications, etc.

For example, the implementation of the CCTV surveillance system in Mumbai is not just a civil engineering project. For projects like these, Project Management Consultancy (PMC) plays a multifaceted part and provides services from inception to completion of these ventures.

At every stage of the project life cycle, the principles of pro-activeness and creating the win-win situation is necessary, keeping in mind the customer's or client's requirements. Use of PMC offers an effective management solution to increase and improve the efficiency and outcome of a project in construction.

Project Management Consultants manage the project by application of their knowledge, skills, and experience at various stages. However, at the same time, PMC also has to face various challenges like design issues, constructability issues, long lead material issues, inter-contractor coordination issues, engineering issues, safety issues, etc., which can be tackled only by a well-organised PMC approach.

A well-organised PMC approach also includes adopting various types of tools for higher management, like reporting dashboard, timely progress review and conduction of brainstorming sessions, on-field training, design construction interfaces, regular quality audits, quality diligence and team delivery sessions.

In addition to the above, PMC is most effective and efficient when it is involved in the total project life cycle ' from conception to closure of the project. Awareness of various processes involved in project management and detailed study of multiple project constraints like time, cost, risk, scope, quality, etc., are an integral part of any PMC process. In general, the job of the Project Management Consultant can be classified into three typical stages:

A. Pre-Construction Management
From the moment PMC gets involved in the project, it is necessary that it takes up the ownership of the entire project, right from its inception stage. This process includes advising, monitoring and reporting on pre-construction activities of the project. PMC is expected to initiate the project by preparing a project execution plan that will set out the cost, time and quality objectives of the project, and the systems and procedures that will be used to achieve these objectives.

Phases of Pre-Construction Management

  • Project definition
  • Project administration
  • Appointment of architect and consultants
  • Design management & coordination
  • Procurement management/tender and bid management
  • Planning management/forecasting management
  • Cost management
  • Risk management
  • Value management
B. Construction & Execution
During the preliminary design stage when project planning milestones are established, con-¡struction concepts are developed, and the overall plan is prepared. PMC will prepare a construction management strategy, procedure and manuals. It will prepare an overall plan for overseeing the general contractors'/sub-contractors' supervision team at site, monitoring their established processes and doing periodic quality checks at random.

During final design, construction management tasks include constructability and cost-saving reviews, consequent design changes and environ-¡mental compliance. The construction phase involves implementation of the construction plan by the PMC Manager, including day-to-day communications and coordination with contractors.

Phases of Construction & Execution

  • Appointment of contractors
  • Planning management/forecasting management
  • Cost management
  • Site management
  • Quality control
  • Environment, health & safety management
  • Co-ordination with client, architect and other consultants

C. Post-Construction Management
At the end of the project, it is handed over to the client in a controlled and disciplined manner. The overall handover will include all documents that will cover built drawings and approved O&M manuals by the contractors or vendors. The phases of post-construction management will include package closure ' technical and commercial, final cost report and co-ordination for handover.

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