Every construction project is different, and has its own unique set of constraints, which combine to influence and drive the strategic plan for that particular site. The strategic plan aims to manage the site as effectively and efficiently as possible by coordinating a range of variables including the construction methodology employed, the materials used, the allocation of resources, time management strategies, the construction programme, and quality management processes.
Site constraints may result from a range of factors such as the geology and history of the site, specific town planning requirements, physical barriers on or surrounding the site, new or existing services and infrastructure, or even just a lack of proper planning of the works. They may have existed prior to the commencement of construction (and therefore have been taken into account during the tender process), or they may have become evident as a result of undertaking the on-site construction activities.
But these constraints can and do have a decided influence on the way in which project management techniques are selected and applied to a particular project, and the management of constraints becomes appreciably more complicated when it is applied to multiple construction projects.
Your assessment task requires you to prepare a comprehensive and professional management report based on your engagement with an active multiple construction site (or sites) which clearly demonstrates your understanding of critical project management techniques and processes.
To help facilitate your learning for this task, you will need to arrange access to a suitable site (see subject notes explaining what constitutes a multiple site), or two separate sites (ideally operated by the same builder), for the purposes of identifying, and assessing the particular constraints of your chosen sites, (and their surroundings), and developing an understanding of the strategic planning that has had to be implemented on your projects.
The site will preferably involve a commercial or industrial project, but alternatively can be a multi-unit residential construction site. An individual dwelling or dual occupancy site is not suitable for this task.
You are required to monitor and inspect your sites progressively for at least four weeks prior to submitting your final report, but the frequency of your visits will be determined by the nature of the activities taking place on the sites at the time, and your ability to gain regular access to the site. The primary objective is for you to observe as much as possible of the construction progress during this period. It is therefore strongly recommended that you find sites which are close to your home or work, to give you the maximum number of opportunities to observe the site operations, and interact with the site management teams.
Commencing in Week 1 of the Trimester, students should locate their project sites, make contact with the builder, and establish a contact person who is involved directly with the project in order to;
- Obtain permission to observe (and photograph) the site,
- Ask questions about the known constraints applicable to the project,
- Find out how these constraints have influenced the strategic planning for the project including resource allocation, time management techniques, construction programming, construction methodology, material selections, and quality management processes, and
- Discuss how the site management team has dealt with these issues. As part of your strategic site evaluation, you should firstly establish the background to the project such as the project cost, overall build time, names and backgrounds of the builders, and current status of the project. You will also need to find out how the construction team has planned for and dealt with their particular constraints, with a strong emphasis on how the multiple project aspect of the site (or sites) has influenced their thinking. This research should encompass the project management techniques the site has employed, the types and complexity of project scheduling, the role of quality management, and the use of time management techniques. You should also research other options which may have been available to the site management team.