Anyone who has tried to solve a Rubik's Cube for the first time is likely to be in for a frustrating experience. There are 54 facets to arrange, each in the right place, and a single one being wrong will affect many others. Working at random, successfully solving one will be time-consuming at best, and impossible at worst.
Construction project planning is at least as complex as solving a Rubik's Cube. It requires effective scheduling, achievable deadlines, and an enormous amount of cooperation from all parties involved. When one part of the process is delayed, it creates a ripple effect that can disrupt the entire schedule. With this is mind, it’s not surprising that—according to one study—fewer than 10 percent of all projects are actively managed and completed on time.
Effective project planning is a critical component of the project management process. Late projects can affect the reputation of businesses, affect governmental efficiency and make the difference in winning future bids.
Knowing the solution to a Rubik's Cube makes solving it a matter of following logical steps; similarly, adhering to best practices in construction project management can make a daunting project achievable. I have developed five key considerations to implement that can dramatically improve an organisation's planning capabilities.
There is a lot of truth to the old saying that failure to plan is a plan to fail. But even the most complex construction project becomes more clear and manageable through effective team communication, and intelligent tools such as mind maps and project charts. Concrete planning fosters increased team accountability, which leads to on-time projects and more productivity, making the job more organised and less of a puzzle.
Ken Wilson is the Director of Content Marketing for SmartDraw Software. He has more than 30 years experience in commercial and residential real estate as a developer, investor, and advisor. In those 30 years he learned all about surprises in construction projects—and how to do everything possible to avoid them.