Project management is used in every organisation across every industry. The construction industry is no different. Construction management combines the responsibilities of an everyday project manager with the experience of someone part of the construction industry.

In this article, you learn about what construction project management is the differences between this type of construction management and normal project management, what a construction project manager does, what the phases of a construction project look like and how Sinnaps can help optimise construction project management.


construction project management


What is Construction Project Management?


Construction project management, often referred to as CM, is a professional service. It uses specific project management techniques that oversee the planning, design, and of course, the construction of a project from start to finish. The most important aspects to control in construction our time, cost and quality.

Construction project managers are the people that oversee building project management and will be discussed later in the article. Construction projects are usually high budget undertakings and are often involved in real estate, transportation infrastructure, industrial facilities and even military infrastructure. These types of construction projects are known as capital projects.

Specifically, there are seven branches of construction. These include:


  • Agricultural
  • Residential
  • Institutional
  • Heavy Civil
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Environmental



The Difference Between Construction Management and Project Management


Construction management and project management are closely linked. However, a number of key differences between the two types of management do exist.

Construction projects are usually carried out by large companies that have large customer base suits. Sometimes, these companies offer more than just building and managing a construction project. They can also offer services such as financing, options for purchasing materials and construction support.

Construction management often does not have a manager on the site at all times. Usually, the protocol is that a manager will come onto this site from time to time to check on progress.

Project management is usually involved with the management of a specific project. It oversees the project from beginning to end, whereas construction management is involved with the construction aspect of the project.

Project management allows for more scope in the owners having control over all aspects of the project. Owners, in turn, tend to feel more satisfied with this high level of control they possess over the project.

Construction management is beneficial for owners or clients that do not feel they would be qualified enough to be part of the decision process and therefore do not need to be. Construction management takes care of these decisions for them.


Construction Manager Vs Project Manager


Construction project managers and project managers are very closely related. Essentially, they are involved with overseeing the management of projects. However, a number of key differences between the two types of project managers exist.

Normally, construction managers will oversee the management of the construction part of the project. This is in comparison with a project manager that oversees the project from its conception to its end. Construction project managers oversee the day-to-day operations beginning from the pre-construction stage through to the construction phase of the project. Construction project managers have a specific area of knowledge which they apply to specific phases of a construction project rather than the whole thing.

A project manager is typically brought on at the inception stage of a traditional project. A traditional project manager has a deep understanding of the clients wishes and goals and will often work very closely with them. A construction manager is not as involved with the client as a traditional project manager would be due to their involvement with only specific phases in the project rather than the project as a whole.

The involvement of a construction manager in personnel management is high compared with that of a traditional project manager. A construction manager is responsible for ensuring that tools required are available on time, that resources are allocated correctly and that materials needed to complete the project or specific tasks are delivered on time.

Project managers are on the job site at all times whenever work is being carried out, whereas construction managers are not. Their main responsibility is to be available to solve any problems or issues that arise.

Construction Project ManagementThe main difference between a construction manager and a project manager is the level of authority. The construction manager is tasked with overseeing all activities involved in construction. A project manager would be someone that is in charge of the construction manager meaning that the project manager roles and responsibilities in construction are greater than those of the construction manager. The project manager has a greater responsibility in terms of the project as a whole as they oversee more than just the construction process.


Construction Project Phases


The stages of construction project work include the following:

Design: The design stage mirrors closely the planning stage of a traditional project. A construction design can be seen as a construction project plan. In construction management, programming and feasibility, schematic design, design development and contract documents are involved in the design stage of the construction project. A design team is allocated to this stage and it is their responsibility that the design is aligned with all building codes and regulations. Normally, a bidding process takes place during the design stage.

Pre-construction: If the client gives notice to the contractor that they have been chosen to the bidding process the construction project work can begin. A project team will be allocated and will include a project manager, construction project coordinator, contract administrator and construction project engineer.

During this stage of the project a site investigation must be carried out. This will allow the project team to discover if any specific steps need to be included on the job site. It is important to prepare the site before actual construction is begun. Unforeseen conditions are dealt with at this stage along with a soil test which is used to determine if the soil is in good enough condition in order to be built upon.

Procurement: The procurement stage of a construction project is when the labour, equipment and materials needed to complete the project successfully are purchased. The construction company can do this themselves or this work can be subcontracted.

Construction: During the construction stage, a preconstruction meeting is held. This meeting decides on aspects of the project such as work hours, quality control, site access and material storage. After everything involved in the project is moved on to the construction site and set up construction can begin. A schedule known as a contract your progress payment schedule specifies at which project milestones contractors and suppliers will be paid.

Owner-occupancy: After construction is completed, the owner can move into the building. This is when the warranty period begins. During this period, it is insured that all the equipment, materials and quality meet the expectations agreed upon during the design and pre-construction phases of the project and that are outlined in the contract between the project team and client.


Construction Project Manager Responsibilities


A construction project manager is tasked with a number of specific responsibilities in the same way that a traditional project manager is also responsible for certain areas of the project. The main responsibilities of a construction project managers include:

  • Project planning: All projects need to be planned. It is an essential part of any project, especially in construction. A construction project manager needs to plan out the project carefully so that everyone involved is aware of how the project will progress.


Lesson 3: How to go from ideal to realistic planning.

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  • Cost management: Construction costs are normally very high and need to be managed carefully so as to not go over budget either for the client or for the organisation itself.
  • Time management: Construction projects are usually carried out for a client. Time is a crucial aspect in construction and durations need to be kept optimised. Before the project begins, a time limit is set and it needs to be adhered to so as to keep the client happy and for the project to result in success.
  • Quality management: Quality standards need to be monitored and controlled very carefully. Construction is involved in the creation of infrastructure for the general public, quality standards are therefore often set by the government and if it is found that they are not met first time round certain areas of the project will have to be re-done, which will take up a significant amount of time.
  • Administration of contracts: Contracts form a major part of any construction project. An organisation performing a project for a client will often have contracts with other organisations from which there are outsourcing certain products or services. These contracts need to be managed carefully and kept track of. This is the responsibility of the construction project manager and also forms part of assistant project manager construction work.
  • Safety management: Safety plays a key role in construction. Construction workers must all go through specific safety training and qualification tests. The safety of the construction site and of the construction project itself needs to be monitored carefully by a construction manager so to later avoid any issues.
  • Construction Management professional practise: This professional practice has to do with the general management of the project team. Before a project begins, the construction project manager needs to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each of the project team members. This needs to be done in very high detail and monitored very closely, all of which is done by the construction project manager.


How Sinnaps can Optimise Construction Project Management


Sinnaps is an online web application used for project management and that can also be used as construction project management software. This software is applicable across all industries and organisations. Sinnaps includes several tools that can help optimise construction projects.

Project Duration Optimisation: When a construction manager chooses to plan the project with Sinnaps, the duration of the project is optimised through the use of PERT and CPM technologies. This is an affective to especially for industries such as construction where time needs to be monitored and controlled carefully.

Test Mode: Test mode is a feature available in Sinnaps that allows any project manager to test out effects of any potential changes before actually implementing them. This reduces the scope for error in the project and adds to overall project efficiency.


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Critical Path: The critical path of a project and plans the tasks or is most critical to the project’s completion. On the app, the critical path serves as a visualisation of the tasks that have the most interdependencies and weight within the project. Understanding this critical path is crucial to completing the project on time.



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Document sharing: Sinnaps allows users to create and share documents within the app. This means that everyone involved with the project has constant access to the required documents. This is a crucial aspect especially in a in industry like construction.

Cloud-based: A key feature of Sinnaps is that it is cloud-based, meaning that all information relating to the project will not be lost. All that is needed to access the project is a web browser. This means that the project can be accessed at anytime, anywhere by anyone involved with the project.

Overall, construction projects are probably one of the most common types of projects due to the fact that most construction work is performed through projects. Construction project managers carry a lot of responsibility and need to be experienced and organised in the field that they are working. Generally, construction project management follows the same basic steps as project management, however is met with the specific skills and construction expertise that is needed.


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  • Abaeze Musa

    I see you have explained the difference between construction management and project management very effectively. I am mesmerized by the work a construction manager really does. I really learned a lot from your article. Thank you for sharing this informative article with us today. I will definitely share this article as much as possible.

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