Project Management

PART 2 of 6
Project management principles, project balance and project life cycle

A memory note from Plan Your Dream Home


Project phases

The management of your home buying or building project should be focused on three main phases, namely:

  • Project planning, which covers every preparation aspect that is required before construction can commence. From the first dream about a new home through to the completion of every design detail;
  • Procurement meaning the identification and appointment of the appropriate services to fulfill the implementation of the project; and
  • Implementation that is focused on constructing the works in order to arrive at a turnkey solution within budget and the shortest possible time.

It is so often found that even with the strictest of building contracts, projects are not completed one hundred percent, which is mostly caused by in-complete planning, lack of finances, bad appointments or slack supervision. With this in mind, managing your project should be structured to enable you to:

  • Plan, monitor and control the project professionally in order to continuously maintain a healthy balance between cost, time and technical performance;
  • Avoid un-timely and fruitless expenditure by means of a well-phased project flow with appropriate decision-making steps until completion of the total project; and to
  • Mobilize suitable financing at an early as possible stage.

The meaning of project

Understanding the definition of the word project, you will realize how often the meaning of project management is misunderstood (often confused with contract management) and realize the importance to manage all the aspects of a project and not only for instance the technical parts thereof.

Any project comprises a single defined end product or objective, the accomplishment of which is specified in terms of the required technical performance, time and cost.

It further comprises a unique combination of activities to achieve the set objective. These activities will in our context include aspects such as the architectural planning, detail design, cost planning, brickwork, roofing, flooring, cupboards, plumbing systems, electrical power supply, power outlets, lighting, security systems, communication systems, emergency power supply, and many more.

All the above activities require certain resources in terms of material and/or labour to be properly planned, procured and executed up to full completion, thus reflecting sound project management. Should any one of these activities not be well planned or managed and executed as planned, it will cause certain parts of the end product to be unfinished or late and will thus have a negative effect on the functionality of the total project, resulting in losses that could become exorbitant - a project manager's nightmare.

It is for this reason that monitoring and control measures must be built into the development process, such as well-defined specifications, strict time control with perhaps penalties for delays as well as fixed price structures – controlling technical performance, time and cost.

Project balance

The three pillars of any project, namely:

  • The required technical performance;
  • Time; and
  • Cost

are equally important and should always be in balance and executed within sound client and project team relations, reflecting sound project management. This balance must be achieved in every single activity and sub-activity of the project down to every detail, such as a cabinet, plumbing outlet, power outlet, light point and so forth. From a project management point of view, it is therefore important to ensure that this balance be diligently controlled throughout the planning, procurement and implementation stages of a project applying professional design, accurate time planning and realistic costing.

In any request for quotations from contractors it is thus important to ensure that they:

  • Are provided with clear drawings and specifications subdivided into the various trades - defining the technical performance required of them;
  • Have a clear understanding of your required starting and completion dates - defining time schedule; so that
  • They will have a clear understanding of their own costs and are then able to tender well-presented prices and allowances competitively - defining cost.

Further, along with good client and team relations, there should be no reason why the project will not be successful.

The success of all projects, big or small, heavily depends on relaxed mutual cooperation between you as the owner, the professional team and later the building team and must be maintained at all costs.

A well-planned and managed project creates an environment where everyone develops a good understanding of his or her responsibilities and so creates relaxed mutual cooperation.

Turn your dream into reality

Nick Oosthuizen

Plan Your Dream Home

Plan Your Dream Home is an easy to follow, step by step guide to assist you in planning and managing the creation of your very own dream home. Whether you are thinking to buy, renovate or build, the book provides all possible aspects you need to consider and manage.

Read more about the book Plan Your Dream Home ……

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Project manager responsibilities, project activities and project planning

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