Construction Project Management Methodologies

Project management methodologies in construction are used to determine the scope of a project, identify project needs, and successfully complete the project. A methodology is defined as a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a trade such as electrical construction. Project management methodologies are essential to assist project managers with guidance throughout the project. Different methodologies have different strategies, and should be used according to the project delivery requirements.

There are many construction project management methodologies, but there is no such thing as the right methodology. Construction project management methodologies should depend on the situation and the team using the methodologies to complete construction work.

Here is a quick overview of some common project management methodologies in construction.

Lean construction management.

Lean construction management is a dynamic approach to project management. The value of lean management is its value to improve quality exponentially.

As waste is eliminated, production time and costs are reduced, which increases the quality of project management itself. Getting rid of waste in this case, refers to activities or processes that do not add value. Remaining activities can be re-evaluated and merged, in the attempt to eliminate variances in the workflow process at a scheduling and operation level, so that everything flows evenly. This is also known as finding bottlenecks in your processes and smoothing it out or adjusting manpower to meet the demands.

Optimizing areas of this workflow to remove burdens, helps ensure nothing slows down. Lean construction project management is best suited for a business or organization that is interested in transforming how they conduct business.

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Agile construction management.

Agile is best suited for construction projects that are incremental and where processes evolve through the collaboration of self organizing, cross-functional teams. Agile project management was originally created for software, however effective time management is vital in construction projects just the same. Construction managers team up with the whole crew and find cheaper faster solutions to fulfill their clients demands.

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Waterfall project management.

Waterfall project management methodologies create a linear, sequential design where progress flows downward in one direction, like a waterfall. Waterfall methodology originates in the manufacturing and construction industry. Due to the development process in construction, changes in the project later in the process become more expensive because of its physical structure.

Steps to follow in the waterfall construction project management methodology include Requirements, Analysis, Design, Programming, Testing and Operations. Waterfall methodology stresses the importance of documentation and the construction development process. This allows workers to pick up where others left off, easily familiarizing themselves with the documentation provided by previous construction workers.

Waterfall project management methodology sets strict schedules for the expected deliverable and everything is organized systematically on a clearly defined timeline.

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Critical path method.

The critical path method of construction management starts with establishing the shortest possible timeline for completing the project. Instead of focusing on schedules and tasks to realize project success like the waterfall method, the critical path method factors in margin of error such as resource constraints and other calculations. Critical path method is likely the most realistic and feasible project management methodology used in construction today.

Additional construction project management methodologies include

  • Six Sigma.

  • PMI.

  • Kanban.

  • Scrum.

There are many other project management methodologies for construction than what is listed here. In fact there is no definitive list of all the project management methodologies that could exist in construction. Methodologies used can be a guide or an example to help you decide which methodology is best for your construction project.

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