Project Management in Construction

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The Evolution of Project Management discipline, its Values and Importance of the Strategic and Operational Dimension which exist within the Project Management Function

1.0 Introduction

The history of project management has being in existence since man started erecting building. The main attention was given to the erection of the building itself, the management of the people and material were given less interest. This paper would look at the evolution of project management as a discipline in the construction industry, the functions and values would also be evaluated.

2.0 Evolution of Project Management Discipline in the Construction Industry

Project management has been in the construction industry since man started erecting buildings; little attention was given to the management of people and activities within the project. The main aim then was to get the building erected until recent times the management and organisation of people started being taken into consideration. It has being noticed in the past that people use the title project manager in a project without having the fundamental knowledge of the profession. The Architect, Quantity surveyors and Engineers have taken the title of project management. The Architects has been known traditionally to be close to the client there by acting as a project manager, a survey carried out by Matheous (1993) showed that Architect has been taken to be the ‘client’s friend’ by project managers and quantity surveyors. Schon (1983) showed the danger which could come about when a quantity surveyor or an engineer is placed with the role of a project manager, he expressed how project management is a discipline with a special expertise and people involved in project management must undergo the necessary training. If this wasn’t cleared it leaves the client in a state of confusion on who reports the progress of the project, someone must be held responsible for the failure/progress of a project. A project manager has foundation knowledge not necessarily an expertise in all fields concerning construction, but a basic understanding of what each aspect of the construction team is providing. Gameson (1992) concluded that the number of construction professionals has gone up in number, this professional offers various services to the industry, and one of the many services offered is the project management service.

In the 1960’s and early 1970’s various project management organisation were formed e.g the international Project Management Association, the Australian Institute of Project Management and the Association of Project Management (APM), the APM was the UK based. In 1996 the Chartered Institute of builders (CIOB) published a code of practice for the construction project management, the code focused on providing guidance on the project manager’s role. As the construction industry got more advanced the need for a specialty in the management of a project was needed. Barnes (1988) “considers that project managers need to have specialised training and /or expertise and to be able to apply modern techniques in their field effectively just like any other professional person.”

2.1 The Values of Project Management

The values of project management are of great importance in the construction industry of today. Project management ensures that the objective of the client are met, keeping in line with the progress of the work. Project management entails that the project is achieved within the time, cost and quality. The time, cost and quality will be met by ensuring that all parties involved in the project are properly supervised and every conflict are resolved in time to avoid delay. Project management ensures that the functional satisfaction is met in all aspect of the project. The functional requirement particular refers to the project being built for what it was meant for, are all facilities installed to the required specification, will the building fit it purpose....
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