Planning: The Primary Component of Project Management

One of our previous blogs highlights the 5 stages of a construction life cycle. These are the initiation, planning, execution, performance and monitoring, and closing stages. Surprisingly, the most important of these five construction project phases isn't the initiation or the execution, but the planning.

Planning may not be the most pleasant stage but it is certainly the most critical. This is where a project manager plans how to curb risks and reduce the failure rate. It plays a great role in guiding all stakeholders through the remaining construction project phases.

Note, it takes 2 to 3 weeks to create a comprehensive project plan. Of course, there will be changes to be made later, as per the punch list items. These items are included in the plan during project monitoring, which is usually an ongoing process.

An In-Depth Definition of Planning

Planning is the second phase of a construction project. It is all about creating strategies and guidelines to be followed by your team throughout the project lifecycle. Plans made during this stage allow you to manage the budget, manage the time, and mitigate risk. Also, planning helps you to better manage the construction crew and vendors so you can deliver the project at the expected time.

construction project phases

A properly planned project has specific objectives and ultimately delivers results before the deadline. Without an effective plan, your performance as a project manager is likely to suffer.

Companies that use a more formal approach to project management have a 92% success rate compared to 32% of underperformers. This is indicated in the 2018 Pulse of the Profession magazine by Project Management Institute. To be a successful project manager, you must complete at least 80% of your projects on time and within the budget.    

Project planning requires you to do the following:

  • Break down a big project into smaller tasks.

  • Divide tasks into achievable goals. Make sure that each milestone is accomplished within the stated time frame.

  • Summon your team and communicate the projected timeline over which the job must be completed.

What Can You Achieve with Careful Planning?

When it comes to managing a project, lack of planning is essentially planning for failure. There’s no way you can tackle a huge responsibility without first determining how and when to perform particular tasks. Planning is the key to success. Here is why you shouldn't miss this important construction project phase:

1. Identifying and Curbing Potential Risks

There are always risks lingering in the background, both internal or external. Some risks might seem negligible but end up posing major threats during the execution stage. With effective planning, small tasks roll up into successful milestones, thereby mitigating risks.

2. Reducing the Failure Rate

During the planning phase, you have to lay out the scope of the project. This entails the deliverables, costs, project timeline, and other fine details. You will be setting up the expected returns and identifying the assumptions. If you skip this, your team could miss crucial details and things might fall apart.

Don't be the project manager who skips the planning phase because of impatience or lack of understanding how a project works. It’s never easy to create a roadmap, but you can make it easier with Synuma’s project planning software. Contact us today and learn how to become an expert project planner.