activity of managers in any field, as in the construction and built environment
sector, is based on knowledge of the management theory and its methodological
principles. Construction project managers have
to follow the basic principles and acquire skills and competence in order to fulfill their task and navigate through the project to meet client’s needs. Explaining
these principles one should begin with scientific management theory and
emphasize the monograph “Principles of Scientific Management” published in 1911
by Frederick W. Taylor.
In his studies and experiments F. Taylor proposed four general
principles that formed the foundation
fundamental research in the field of organization theory.
use the scientific
method in order to study the tasks and evaluate the most efficient way to
perform these tasks;
assign workers to the
jobs, which match their skills and abilities;
train workers to do
their tasks at maximum efficiency, monitor the working process to make sure
that all instructions are followed;
divide the job by
each task and each task by the smallest elements, provide the workers with
proper and precise instructions with efficient way to perform each task. (Taylor,
As we can see, the principles above are essential in the
manager performance in the construction company where the establishment of functional connection with the
numerous teams makes place and supervising of every task is required.
Construction projects have a continuous need for alterations and in that sense
efficient management is key to the stability of the whole project.
One can say that management process is getting things done through
people. In my opinion, precise interpretation was developed by George R. Terry.
“Management process is a distinct
process consisting of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling,
performed to determine and accomplish the objectives by the use of people and
resources”. (Terry, 1971)
encompasses 7 elements, or functions:
Let’s discuss in details how we can apply major management
processes to the construction project managing.
Planning is a mental process which aims to consciously determine
the course of action based on acts and considered estimates.
Koontz, H. and O’Donnell, C.
(1984), Management (8th Ed.), McGraw-Hill, New York
Planning involves looking into the
future, forecasting of the future course and decision-making based on these
forecasts. Planning, as a function of construction project manager, includes:
setting of the project
goals and objectives;
choosing the most efficient
construction method and strategies;
scheduling and documenting
all the jobs that must be completed;
cost estimation and
mechanism to establish an efficient information flow between all involved
parties ( client, architect, contractors and suppliers etc).
Planning of construction activities
helps to utilize the resources and avoid confusion, uncertainties and risks, visualize
the future problems and develop possible solutions
Organizing is process of forming administrative structure, bringing
resources together (personnel, capital,
machinery, materials) and developing
productive relationship amongst all resources to achieve organization goals.
Organizing involves grouping duties and responsibilities,
delegating authority within company, department or project structure. The
project structure defines the relationships among members of the project
management and the relationships with the external environment. Project manager
designs this structure which can be presented in organization chart (Pic.1).
Example of organization chart (2007)
of organizing in construction involves;
construction work to manageable departments;
tasks to teams and individuals;
developing the best way
to assign duties and responsibility in order for project’s working teams to carry
out the tasks efficiently and in time.
Directing is process of guiding and instructing
people through the means of motivation,
leadership, and effective communication.
In construction industry directing is especially important. A
project manager must develop the ability to supervise, command and direct people
at the construction site, influence them to complete tasks well to reach
project’s goals. For example, manager creates friendly atmosphere and inspire
subordinates; ensures that personnel understands the tasks, workplace has the
right resources and deadline will be meet. Effective communication involves
establishing communication channels between manager and subordinates as well as
between employees and managers of different levels.
Controlling is managerial function; its purpose is to check
the performance and results with agreed standards. Controlling helps to prevent
deviations from the plan or implement the corrective actions in case deviations occurred.
A construction project manager must perform
the following steps in controlling:
control whether all the
project requirements are maintained;
schedules and costs;
controlling subcontractors activities;
controlling the project
process and ensure that decisions are
always made in a time;
examine quality of work
and prepare evaluation reports;
deviations in schedule and take corrective measures.
Coordinating deals with bringing
the unity to all elements of the project structure, coordinating the work of departments,
groups and persons in order to maintain good communication. It is necessary for
each department and group to know their roles and collaborate with each other.
Construction project manager must coordinate:
supply of materials and equipment to the construction site;
work of all subcontractors and workers;
payments to contractors and workers;
claims in design requirements.
are characterized by the division of labor and task so as project components
have different specialization. Integration
is collaboration and understanding among the project elements required to
achieve project goals. The project manager is required to develop integrating
strategies to ensure that all groups and persons
integrated well and work efficiently and in harmony.