Construction project management

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The Construction Project Management is a method for carrying out planning and construction in the building industry . There are different ways of writing construction project management on the Internet, including Construction Project Management (BPM). In English-speaking countries, construction project management is known as Construction Project Management. Construction project management is not to be confused with construction management , which describes the methods for carrying out a construction project. Construction management is an integral part of construction project management and is referred to in English as construction management.

Origin and definition

Construction project management can be described as one of the archetypes of project management. The oldest major projects were construction projects, such as the construction of the pyramids , the railroad and the dams . The construction project management can be understood as the sum of technical and commercial project management and construction project control. The technical and commercial project management takes on the original tasks such as financing, project goals, design of the project structure, decision-making authority and responsibility. The non-original tasks can be carried out by a construction project control and other technical participants.


Construction project management is divided into the following areas of activity:

Project organization

The tasks of the project organization are the planning, coordination and definition of actions and processes and their relationships, the creation of project structures, the planning, coordination and definition of processes and organizational structures, the documentation, their management and control.

Communication in the construction project

For external and internal communication , professional communication management tailored to the industry and the project must be used . It is advisable, especially in the case of large projects, to set up a department specifically to handle these tasks. In particular, external project communication is to be given high priority. The communication management has to be considered within a project organization for a construction project, of a certain size, as a separate real organizational unit, equivalent to the technical and commercial planning. The communication management has to ensure that the "reputation" or the name of the project is understood as a valuable asset and capital and is thus communicated and understood to the stakeholders .

For internal project communication, especially within complex construction projects with many partial lots and a large number of processes running at the same time, a recommendation is to give oral communication top priority. This has the great advantage that it can be done very quickly if an appropriate decision has to be made on the construction site. Of course, this requires, on the one hand, a trusting and cooperative partnership between those involved, but also being equipped with the necessary skills. A decision taken can then be recorded in minutes. The advantage of oral communication is unrivaled. Declarations of intent that require a certain form are still z. B. for orders with effects on costs, deadlines, qualities and legal consequences with the appropriate form z. B. submit in writing.

Appointment management

The task of appointment management is to set up and coordinate schedules in order to be able to meet the specified deadlines. The following options for documentation, monitoring and control are used: schedule list , bar plan also called Gantt diagram , distance-time diagram, network plan, construction process simulation.

Construction process simulations are mostly used for presentation to clients and investors. Distance-time diagrams are mainly used for line structures, e.g. B. in tunnel construction , roads and railways.

Cost management

Cost management is made up of the areas of cost planning, cost monitoring and cost control. Cost control begins at the same time as cost planning, as costs can best be influenced in the early project phases. If the cost analysis is related to the entire life cycle, the goal of cost control, cost planning and cost monitoring can be defined as the optimization of the relationship between investment and building use costs while maintaining the desired standard and the required quality.

Profitability and cost awareness

The total cost consideration of buildings has meanwhile assumed a major role. Not only cost-conscious project design (construction) and project execution (creation) are currently required by the market, but also cost-optimized models that guarantee an economical usage time and cause low building usage costs. The total costs can be summarized as investment costs and building usage costs. The way to reach a planning goal with lowest total cost, can be described as a planning economy, it is important to ensure the total cost so (z. B. air conditioning, foundation design) the pro rata parts of the project assigned to the best cost-benefit ratio to achieve .

If a building project is used by the client himself after completion of the project, the building usage costs play a more important role for him than for an investor who is only interested in the greatest possible return on investment and who sells a building in full after the project has been completed. Nevertheless, for investor projects whose goal is a high return, the question of building usage costs has become a decisive marketing factor, because building usage costs can amount to up to five times the investment costs.

The profitability of construction projects is generally defined as the relationship between the benefits and the costs of a building or a component.

Cost forecast

COOR cost tracking method

“How much will the construction project ultimately cost?” This question accompanies every person responsible for costs from the beginning and through all project phases. Sure - because only when precise and reliable cost statements are available can the right decisions be made and the economic risk for the client kept low.

For a meaningful forecast - depending on the complexity of a construction project - all relevant factors influencing the costs are recorded and evaluated. And that as early as possible, ideally at the time you become acquainted.

The “most reliable” cost statement per trade is used for the prognosis. Due to the staggered execution of the services, all budget requirements, actual values ​​(such as order and billing statuses) and forecasts are included in the calculation. For a cost forecast, it is essential to include expected and submitted additional or reduced cost claims, changes in quantity, cost estimates for risk / unknown and any price escalation / valorisation .

Cost planning

Cost planning according to DIN 276

According to DIN 276, cost planning is the entirety of all measures for cost determination, cost control and cost control. Cost planning continuously accompanies all phases of the construction measure during planning and execution. It deals systematically with the causes and effects of costs. In contrast to DIN 276, in practice the term cost planning is understood to mean costing and the term cost control means cost monitoring. According to DIN 276, cost control is part of cost planning, but since in practice cost planning is understood to mean costing, cost control should also be considered alone at this point.

The ability to influence costs is almost 100% during the project preparation and basic determination, during this phase changes can be made and questioned with relatively little damage. During the pre-planning the percentage drops to 75% and at the end of the draft planning the percentage is just 35%. During construction, the costs can only be influenced slightly by planning measures of 5 to 10%.

Cost planning according to ÖNORM B 1801-1

The accuracy of the cost planning is neither standardized nor regulated by law. The percentages given in the well-known cost funnels often lead to controversial discussions. A fact that is obvious - these are heavily dependent on the construction project and the type of use. It is therefore advisable to agree these individually with the client.

The ÖNORM B 1801-1 provides to consult in the different planning phases corresponding parameters for cost planning. The common procedure of using these cost parameters from own, billed projects or from external sources (e.g. BKI), however, harbors some dangers. After all, they are dependent on various influencing factors:

  • Comparability of the projects
  • Market / economy
  • Topicality

Above all, cost parameters related to the property (based on usage units, areas, cubatures) must be examined for these influencing factors and adapted accordingly using adjustment factors. This "thumb bearing" with key values ​​EUR / m² and EUR / m³ is often intuitive.

Property-independent parameters (related to elements, service groups, service items) are significantly more suitable for secure cost planning. These can essentially be used independently of the type of project.

Scheme of cost planning with building structure
Method by means of building structure

Above all, the method of determining costs by means of building structure (element method, planning-oriented cost structure) is used more and more. Rightly so: This qualified procedure enables the level of detail and thus the sharpness of the estimate to be selected in every planning phase. In individual cost areas, the plans are available with varying degrees of accuracy and thus level of detail (for example, the details in the shell construction are more advanced than in the expansion). In addition, the spatial and component structure corresponds exactly to the picture that forms in the thoughts of the cost planner and the client.

Element method

Cost planning according to the "element method" has numerous advantages: comprehensible, exact results, meaningful cost comparisons of different constructions or design variants and, last but not least, service items and quantities for the tenders. The costs can be examined at any time from different perspectives, be it according to spatial / organizational structures (room book), according to building structure or according to trades. In addition, the comparability of the results from different planning statuses. In this way, the main reasons for increases in price or reductions in the project price can be quickly and easily determined.

Precise and well-founded cost planning provides every client with the necessary basis for qualified decisions and thus reduces their economic risk.

Cost control

The cost monitoring is the comparison of a current with an earlier cost determination, furthermore the cost monitoring is understood to be the representation of a cost situation at any point in time of a construction project. The actual costs are compared with the target costs and analyzed for deviations from the target targets. For cost forecasts, it is also necessary to prepare cost data for a cost analysis in order to be able to make projections about expected completion costs.

Cost control

Cost control is the targeted and proactive intervention in the development of costs. During the planning phase by checking the cost planning and monitoring and controlling the planning costs and during the execution phase by monitoring the construction costs and countermeasures in the event of deviations. If the control includes all areas of activity of construction project management, one speaks of project control or controlling .

Contract management

The legal matters of a construction project are covered by contract management. Legal measures are taken and sample contracts are drawn up, documented, checked and evaluated. However, according to German case law, only a lawyer who is a member of a bar association may give legal advice .

Market developments show that in this context the terms supplement management (supplementary claims from construction work) and supplementary claims management (counterclaim management , claim management ) are becoming increasingly important. In the construction project organization, there is a department for supplementary information i. d. Usually on the contractor side and a department for defense against additions i. d. Usually the standard project structure on the client side. The reason for this development is the very strong competition and the pronounced price war in the building industry, which is supported in Germany by the procurement and contract regulations for building services (VOB) Part A (Awarding regulations in the building industry, Part A).

Contract planning

In this context, one can speak of contract design or contract planning. This special area of ​​activity can be split into two basic types of contract, the engineering contract and the construction contract. Both types of contract are usually a work contract i. S. d. §§ 631 BGB ff, which means that the success of the service is owed and not just the service. The drafting of the contract in particular is a considerable creative achievement of the creator, it requires a good knowledge of the intended construction techniques, the possible construction operation, the existing interfaces, the risks, the building law and the relevant current case law.

Contract monitoring

As a project manager you have to know your contracts and their service content; only the service that has been contractually agreed can be requested, but this must be requested. If the target performance does not match the actual performance, countermeasures should be taken, either by adjusting the performance accordingly or by adjusting the performance content accordingly.

It is advisable to keep contract lists that are constantly updated. Especially with larger projects, " contract corpses " quickly accumulate , e. B. because the final invoice is pending, which are dragged along in the control. For a clear control of the project, it is therefore advisable to constantly monitor the contract status and to adjust it at regular intervals.

For a meaningful and clear contract management, we recommend a number of between 10 and 20 contracts during the planning and construction period, depending on the project size. The number of contracts must already be taken into account during project organization and contract planning.

Building cybernetics

The Baukybernetik is a specialized field of construction, which is used for planning and implementation of construction processes or design of building structures cybernetic methods. It can be viewed as a branch of corporate cybernetics.

Quality management

According to EN ISO 9000 , quality is the totality of the characteristics of a unit with regard to its suitability to meet specified and required requirements. The quality management causes the thinking in systematic business processes and interdisciplinary action in pursuit of the economic quality of the construction project. Due to the loss of engineering skills among the parties involved, quality management will in future be a focus of construction project management.

Construction project management

The project management as Controlling is designated in technical and commercial aspects of a fundamental element of the construction project management and is one of the most important tasks of the construction project manager. In general terms, project management means making decisions and initiating measures to achieve the objectives. The project management team must prepare the decisions and submit a decision proposal to the project management team. A trend towards outsourced cost and schedule control can be seen in construction project management. It is important in project control that goals are set that are measurable, because only when you can measure can you control. It should be noted that every control measure has an impact on other areas of action. Possible types of control measures in the event of deviations from the target are:

  • Resources (increase of the project team (attention: familiarization ties up old team), external resources)
  • Service effort (outsourcing part of the service, eliminating unnecessary work, concentrating on the critical path, improving processes)
  • Project scope (quality change, rejection of additional work)
  • Productivity ( motivation , qualification , spatial consolidation of the project team)

Approval management

This involves planning and executing approval processes during the planning phase and the construction phase of a building project. In Germany, the licensing system plays a major role, as the legislature provides for time-consuming and costly licensing procedures, especially for larger construction projects. One example is the plan approval procedure , which is part of the planning phase and ties up considerable planning capacities.

For every structural intervention to be carried out, a large number of permits must be obtained from various authorities and, if necessary, from public bodies . On the installation side, this requires a well-equipped team with a focus on construction technology, the environment, noise, public law and various other specialists.

Training in construction project management

Classically trained in construction project management are civil engineers or architects who have completed and preferably also completed the specialization of construction operations or construction economics during their studies .

The area of ​​"construction project management" is taught in several training courses and courses. The construction project management is part of the training scope of the real estate agent or the certified real estate specialist IHK / TÜV .

Individual evidence

  1. T.Mathoi,
  2. Oliver Steeger, Seizing the opportunities in risk management, PM Aktuell 1/2011
  3. as cooks villages, JH Liebchen, MG Viering: Construction Project Management: Principles and Practices. 4th edition. Vieweg + Teubner, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-8348-0496-9 .
  4. M. Frahm: collections of cost parameters for construction projects. In: GPM magazine PMaktuell. Issue 2/2007, p. 37ff.
  5. ^ P. Greiner, P. Mayer, K. Stark: Baubetriebslehre, Projektmanagement. Vieweg Verlagsgesellschaft, Braunschweig 2000, ISBN 3-528-07706-9 .
  6. Michael Frahm: Basics for efficient cost management of new construction and renovation measures in building construction. GRIN Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-638-71332-0 .
  7. T. DeMarco: What cannot be measured cannot be controlled. 2nd Edition. mitp, Bonn 2008, ISBN 978-3-8266-1488-0 .