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Project Management Huts

A Project Management Hut is a collection of articles, covering the whole process to manage a project, from project initiation to project closure, including all the necessary templates, and written by one or more elite project managers.

Below is the list of available Project Management Huts on PM Hut. More on the way…

Project Management Process by John Filicetti
A Project Management Primer by Nick Jenkins
A Quick Guide to Project Management by Manjeet Singh
Project Management for Construction by Chris Hendrickson
Project Management Handbook by Wouter Baars.
Introduction to Project Management by JISC infoNet.


More Articles

Read the Complete Article

What Is Construction Project Management?

What Is Construction Project Management? (#1 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

The management of construction projects requires knowledge of modern management as well as an understanding of the design and construction process. Construction projects have a specific set of objectives and constraints such as a required time frame for completion. While the relevant technology, institutional arrangements or processes will differ, the management of such projects has much in common with the management of similar types of projects in other specialty or technology domains such as aerospace, pharmaceutical and energy developments.

Generally, project management is distinguished from the general management of corporations by the mission-oriented nature of a project. A project organization will generally be terminated when the mission is accomplished. According to the Project Management Institute, the discipline of project management can be defined as follows:

Project management is the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality and participation satisfaction. Read the Complete Article

Types of Project Information in Construction Project Management

Types of Project Information in Construction Project Management
By Chris Hendrickson

Construction projects inevitably generate enormous and complex sets of information. Effectively managing this bulk of information to insure its availability and accuracy is an important managerial task. Poor or missing information can readily lead to project delays, uneconomical decisions, or even the complete failure of the desired facility. Pity the owner and project manager who suddenly discover on the expected delivery date that important facility components have not yet been fabricated and cannot be delivered for six months! With better information, the problem could have been identified earlier, so that alternative suppliers might have been located or schedules arranged. Both project design and control are crucially dependent upon accurate and timely information, as well as the ability to use this information effectively. At the same time, too much unorganized information presented to managers can result in confusion and paralysis of decision making. Read the Complete Article

Bid Estimates in Construction Project Management

Bid Estimates in Construction Project Management (#16 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

The contractor’s bid estimates often reflect the desire of the contractor to secure the job as well as the estimating tools at its disposal. Some contractors have well established cost estimating procedures while others do not. Since only the lowest bidder will be the winner of the contract in most bidding contests, any effort devoted to cost estimating is a loss to the contractor who is not a successful bidder. Consequently, the contractor may put in the least amount of possible effort for making a cost estimate if it believes that its chance of success is not high.

If a general contractor intends to use subcontractors in the construction of a facility, it may solicit price quotations for various tasks to be subcontracted to specialty subcontractors. Thus, the general subcontractor will shift the burden of cost estimating to subcontractors. Read the Complete Article

Types of Construction Cost Estimates

Types of Construction Cost Estimates (#14 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

Construction cost constitutes only a fraction, though a substantial fraction, of the total project cost. However, it is the part of the cost under the control of the construction project manager. The required levels of accuracy of construction cost estimates vary at different stages of project development, ranging from ball park figures in the early stage to fairly reliable figures for budget control prior to construction. Since design decisions made at the beginning stage of a project life cycle are more tentative than those made at a later stage, the cost estimates made at the earlier stage are expected to be less accurate. Generally, the accuracy of a cost estimate will reflect the information available at the time of estimation.

Construction cost estimates may be viewed from different perspectives because of different institutional requirements. Read the Complete Article

Approaches to Cost Estimation in Construction Project Management

Approaches to Cost Estimation in Construction Project Management (#13 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

Cost estimating is one of the most important steps in project management. A cost estimate establishes the base line of the project cost at different stages of development of the project. A cost estimate at a given stage of project development represents a prediction provided by the cost engineer or estimator on the basis of available data. According to the American Association of Cost Engineers, cost engineering is defined as that area of engineering practice where engineering judgment and experience are utilized in the application of scientific principles and techniques to the problem of cost estimation, cost control and profitability.

Virtually all cost estimation is performed according to one or some combination of the following basic approaches:

Production function. In microeconomics, the relationship between the output of a process and the necessary resources is referred to as the production function. Read the Complete Article

The Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) for Building Projects

The Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) for Building Projects (#12 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

The Construction Industry Institute has developed rating indexes for different types of projects to assess the adequacy of project scope definitions. These are intended to reflect best practices in the building industry and provides a checklist for recommended activities and milestones to define a project scope. The rating index is a weighted sum of scores received for a variety of items on the scope definition checklist. Each item in the checklist is rated as “not applicable” (0), “complete definition” (1), “minor deficiencies” (2), “some deficiencies” (3), “major deficiencies” (4) or “incomplete or poor definition” (5). Lower scores in these categories are preferable. Some items in the checklist include:

  • Business Strategy for building use, justification, plan, economic analysis, facility requirements, expansion/alteration consideration, site selection issues and project objectives.
  • Owner Philosophy with regard to reliability, maintenance, operation and design.
Read the Complete Article

Pre-Project Planning in Construction Project Management

Pre-Project Planning in Construction Project Management (#11 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

Even before design and construction processes begin, there is a stage of “pre-project planning” that can be critical for project success. In this process, the project scope is established. Since construction and design professionals are often not involved in this project scope stage, the terminology of describing this as a “pre-project” process has arisen. From the owner’s perspective, defining the project scope is just another phase in the process of acquiring a constructed facility.

The definition of a project scope typically involves developing project alternatives at a conceptual level, analyzing project risks and economic payoff, developing a financial plan, making a decision to proceed (or not), and deciding upon the project organization and control plan. The next few chapters will examine these different problems at some length.

The danger of poor project definition comes from escalating costs (as new items are added) or, in the extreme, project failure. Read the Complete Article

The Design and Construction Process in Construction Project Management – Design and Construction as an Integrated System

The Design and Construction Process in Construction Project Management – Design and Construction as an Integrated System (#10 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

In the planning of facilities, it is important to recognize the close relationship between design and construction. These processes can best be viewed as an integrated system. Broadly speaking, design is a process of creating the description of a new facility, usually represented by detailed plans and specifications; construction planning is a process of identifying activities and resources required to make the design a physical reality. Hence, construction is the implementation of a design envisioned by architects and engineers. In both design and construction, numerous operational tasks must be performed with a variety of precedence and other relationships among the different tasks.

Several characteristics are unique to the planning of constructed facilities and should be kept in mind even at the very early stage of the project life cycle. Read the Complete Article

Key Factors for Successful Construction Project Management – Perceptions of Owners and Contractors

Key Factors for Successful Construction Project Management – Perceptions of Owners and Contractors (#9 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

Although owners and contractors may have different perceptions on project management for construction, they have a common interest in creating an environment leading to successful projects in which performance quality, completion time and final costs are within prescribed limits and tolerances. It is interesting therefore to note the opinions of some leading contractors and owners who were interviewed.

From the responses of six contractors, the key factors cited for successful projects are:

  • well defined scope
  • extensive early planning
  • good leadership, management and first line supervision
  • positive client relationship with client involvement
  • proper project team chemistry
  • quick response to changes
  • engineering managers concerned with the total project, not just the engineering elements.

Conversely, the key factors cited for unsuccessful projects are:

  • ill-defined scope
  • poor management
  • poor planning
  • breakdown in communication between engineering and construction
  • unrealistic scope, schedules and budgets
  • many changes at various stages of progress
  • lack of good project control

The responses of eight owners indicated that they did not always understand the concerns of the contractors although they generally agreed with some of the key factors for successful and unsuccessful projects cited by the contractors. Read the Complete Article

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