Finding the word agile in front of the words construction management seems a little strange to many people, especially since the word agile in project management means to frequently reassess and adapt plans as necessary. While changes are always present in the world of construction, the adaptations that are made in that field are normally quite different. After all, no construction manager is going to want until the project is almost completed before tackling the changes that may be needed. Therefore, agile construction management can take some time for a person to get used to.
Here are the six basic things that agile construction management is all about:
- Aligning the project deliverables to meet the customer requirements – this ensures that the customer is aware of what is being done when, and when each part of the project will be completed
- Defining the clear goals for the project at hand – these goals will ensure that everyone involved in the project knows what the final result should be
- Breaking the project down into smaller tasks to be completed with the higher priority ones listed first – these smaller tasks are much more manageable than the larger ones
- Continually reviewing the progress and eventually the improvements from those reviews after they were applied to the project – every review will ensure that the person in charge knows what has been completed and can allow them to make necessary changes to get things back on track if necessary
- Clearly defining when a task or activity has been completed
- Developing a team that has the intelligence and know-how to work together and collaborate across all parts of the project – everyone should always work as a team, as that is the only way that any project can be successful
There are many benefits to using agile construction management and those benefits are spread out between different parts of the project.
Here are the 4 benefits that construction companies will see from agile construction management during the pre-design and design phases of a project:
- Increase the involvement of a customer, while encouraging them to participate in the definition of what the finished product will be
- Reduce the amount of uncertainty of project risks and improve the management of the project by breaking up larger sections into smaller ones
- Increase the accuracy for cost estimating in construction while improving the confidence of those costs at the same time
- Use more prefabricated assemblies to ensure that weather or other factors do not attribute to delays
Here are the 3 benefits that everyone will see when utilizing agile construction management during the execution phase of a project:
- Breaking down the larger sections of the project into smaller ones, ensuring that items that are not necessary are not reordered to complete the task at hand
- Complete focus on both time management and the regular reviews that will be used to improve productivity, profitability, and the overall financial management of the project
- Continue to improve the work of the employees by allowing them to work together and collaborate as to how each job can be done more efficiently and with better quality
The good news is that everyone who utilizes agile construction management for their projects will see better results in their work and the timeframe in which they deliver. As the customer is providing feedback, construction companies can see what is working and what needs to be changed much faster than if they waited for feedback at the end when the work was already finished. At the same time, this method allows every employee to consider what the customer might want or need next. This can save valuable time and money, for everyone, which is definitely helpful in the long-term.
Construction companies can then use this information from each job and utilize it for future jobs. While there is never going to be a perfect job in the field of construction, agile construction management can get any job close enough to perfection.
After all, when any construction company can do the following, it is good for them and their customers.
- Improve labor productivity and the amount of work completed within any time frame
- Improved procurement management
- Utilize prefabrication measures when possible
- Improved job scheduling and planning
- Determine the financial management of each project successfully
- Reduce the costs of labor by ensuring that each employee is working efficiently instead of wasting time waiting for materials or equipment
- Accurately estimate the pre-start for every part
Agile construction management is quite different from what many workers in the construction industry are used to, but with a little patience, everyone will see how valuable this type of management is to them, their customers, and their business.