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In this blog, we’ll explore the specific steps a project manager takes when approaching planning on a construction project. While I’ve discussed the details of the planning process in previous posts, this blog will focus on your role as a project manager. With so many responsibilities, it’s crucial to know where to zoom in and how to balance duties between you, the superintendent, and other stakeholders. Let’s dive in. 

  1. Overseeing Project Scope Definition

As a project manager, you must ensure you thoroughly understand the project scope, the owner’s expectations, and the conditions of satisfaction. During the pre-construction phase, your role involves:

  • Creating a proposal and interview plan.
  • Setting up a macro-level Takt plan and overall project strategy during the concept and schematic design phase.
  • Conducting real-time budgeting, constructability reviews, and scheduling during design development.
  • Ensuring all deliverables are vetted and finalizing the Prime agreement before the notice to proceed (NTP).

Your primary responsibility throughout these phases is to ensure the team captures the complete project scope.

  1. Brokering Project Resources

You’ll broker the necessary resources to put together the project plan at various stages:

  • Using VDC resources and general superintendent perspectives during the proposal phase.
  • Involving builders, superintendents, assistant supers, general foremen, and early design assist trade partners during design development.

Ensure all planning documents, such as the Takt plan, logistics plan, zone maps, and risk and opportunity register, are developed to provide real-time information.

  1. Reviewing General Conditions and Requirements

You must align the general conditions and requirements with the overall project duration and strategy. This involves:

  • Reflecting the overall duration in general conditions and requirements.
  • Incorporating special needs and budget considerations into the project scope and pricing.
  1. Anchoring Development Plans to Other Projects and Mitigating Risks

As the team develops the production plan, you’ll anchor it to other projects and help identify and mitigate risks. This involves:

  • Conducting reviews and iterations to identify and abate risks.
  • Curating experiences and facilitating feedback to refine the plan.
  1. Aligning the Supply Chains

Throughout the project planning phase, you’ll align supply chains and procurement with the overall plan. This involves:

  • Working backward from phase start dates to determine buffer times, delivery times, fabrication times, and overall lead times.
  • Managing submittal and buyout timelines to ensure timely procurement.
  1. Managing Project Resources

As a project manager, you’ll continuously broker resources throughout the project. This includes:

  • Procuring VDC and marketing help during the concept and schematic design phase.
  • Conducting conceptual estimates and comparing initial plans with other projects.
  • Ensuring the team has the necessary software, trade partners, services, third-party reviews, and other resources.
  1. Overseeing Quality Planning

Quality planning ensures the project meets the owner’s requirements. Examples include:

  • Allocating time for high-quality installations, such as exposed concrete columns with type III cement.
  • Considering specific forming systems and plywood types for exposed concrete edges.
  1. Ensuring Plans Are Visually Formatted

Ensure that all plans are visually formatted and accessible on screens or walls. This helps stakeholders understand and engage with the planning process.

  1. Keeping Stakeholders Informed

Keep stakeholders informed and ensure the plan is in a format they understand. Regular briefings and visual formats help maintain clear communication.

  1. Securing Necessary Permissions and Approvals

Ensure all necessary permissions and approvals are in place. This includes:

  • Obtaining permits and financial approvals.
  • Ensuring the work can flow properly without delays.

These ten items may seem extensive, but they are crucial for effective project management. Implement these steps during the pre-construction phase to ensure a smooth planning process.

I hope this blog helps you understand where to focus in the planning process. If you found this content valuable, please like and subscribe, and share this blog to help others.


If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!