The Role of Project Management in Construction

Understanding the five major stages of construction projects is a must for successfully managing them.

Planning and Development

Determining whether to pursue a project is the first and most important part of the construction process. Halting projects after they’ve begun is costly, and the further they progress, the greater the potential losses become. Feasibility studies, capital budgeting, pro-con lists, and extensive input from stakeholders are staples of this stage.


Once you’ve decided on a project, it’s time for the creative juices to start flowing. The design phase involves developing everything from the basic concept of the project to detailed blueprints that show the final design. Your design will evolve from initial sketches to finished drawings and specifications, but each iteration should meet the project’s requirements while keeping the timeline in mind and costs under control. Once the design is finalized and approved, it’s time to move on to the preconstruction phase.


Preconstruction involves creating a roadmap that will guide you through the construction process. It’s about building a game plan for the project that shows everyone what they need to do, when they need to do it, how they should accomplish it, and what it should cost. If all parties stick to the plan and execute their roles to perfection, they’ll deliver the project on time, to standard, and within budget.


You’ve made your plan, everyone knows what their jobs are, and you have the resources you need to get started. Now construction can commence. All your preparation and planning pays off in this stage, helping the construction process move along smoothly and finish successfully. Even the most thorough plans can’t anticipate every hiccup along the way, of course, so regular monitoring and evaluation of progress during this phase is vital for staying on course.


Procurement encompasses sourcing, purchasing, and transporting the materials and services you need to complete a project. Procurement and supply chain managers should provide input in the planning stages to keep unexpected cost overruns to a minimum during this stage. Even so, some volatility is inevitable, as prices are subject to shifts in the market. You should account for this risk to the extent possible through robust preconstruction planning.

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