Planning is the first step of construction project management philosophy of planning, organizing and controlling the execution of the projects. Construction project planning and project scheduling is two separate and distinct function of the project management. Here, we will learn about the planning phase of project management.
Construction project planning is the function in which project and construction managers and their key staff members prepares the master plan. Then this master plan is put into time schedule by scheduling people which is called project scheduling. A project plan is mostly responsible for the success or failure of the project.
Definition of Construction PlanningPlanning is a bridge between the experiences of the past projects and the proposed actions that produces favourable results in the future. It can also be said that it is a precaution by which we can reduce undesirable effects or unexpected happenings and thereby eliminating confusion, waste, and loss of efficiency. Planning involves prior determination, specification of factors, forces, effects and relationships necessary to reach the desired goals.
Planning PhilosophyPlanning should be done logically, thoroughly and honestly to have a chance to succeed. The previous experiences of projects provides basic planning logic. The difference between previous projects and current projects shall be known to make any exceptional features in the basic planning logic. These differences can be unusual client requirement, out of the way location, potential external or internal delaying factors etc. These potential problems shall have to be tackled in order to reduce their negative effect preparing master plan of the project and later scheduling of the project. Provide each aspect of the plan an individual scrutiny with input from past experiences and from experts.
Types of Construction Project PlanningThere are several types of project planning. The three major types of construction project planning are: 1. Strategic planning: this involves the high-level selection of the project objectives 2. Operational planning: this involves the detailed planning required to meet the strategic objectives 3. Scheduling: this puts the detailed operational plan on a time scale set by the strategic objectives.
Strategic planningThis is done by the owner’s corporate planners. In this they decide what project to build and what the completion date has to be to meet the owner’s project goals. The construction teams formulates the master construction execution plan within the guidelines set in the strategic and contracting plans.
Operational PlanningOperational planning is done by construction teams. They ask certain questions before making operational plan for the project. They are:
- Will the operational plan meet the strategic planning target date?
- Are sufficient construction resources and services available within the company to meet the project objectives?
- What is the impact of the new project on the existing work load?
- Where will we get the resources to handle any overload?
- What company policies may prevent the plan from meeting the target date?
- Are usually long delivery equipment or materials involved?
- Are the project concepts and design firmly established and redy to start the construction?
- Is the original contracting plan still valid?
- Will it be more economical to use a fast-track scheduling approach?