project management tools and techniques

Essential Management Skills required to become successful project managers

Managers are responsible for the achievement of various business goals and targets by successfully completing a range of business actions. The primary responsibility of the manager therefore includes taking things right and fulfilling goals. Every manager with a responsibility as started above must therefore use basic management skills to achieve the stated goals. Here in this article we will have a look at the key skills that are required by the project managers in all domain including the construction domain.

Key Responsibilities of a Manager

• Schedule work

• Set up the team

• Guide the team to do the job and

• Check the progress towards effective work completion.

A manager can widely classify his skills as hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills can involve skills such as planning, management, engineering and business skills, while soft skills are primarily interpersonal and human resources.

Some of the basic management skills that every manager needs to have.

1. Planning and management

It is very important to design all the facets of the work, including its content, the duration of the work and the need for resources. Planning will also include planning quality results, team members’ skills, other planning of the physical resources, risk planning, management planning for stakeholders and vendor management planning.

Planning will also include planning how progress can be monitored and controlled, and deploying various control tools, etc.

The resources to successfully execute the plan also need to be identified and organised.

2. Team making& Team Management

Successful management focuses on team management and team building. The best potential of each team member is to ensure that they do as well as the team works as a cohesive unit with tremendous respect and confidence, which is critical to their success.

3. Leadership

This involves the self-management as well as the management of others. This will include influence, motivation, management of conflicts, decision-making and efficient transfer skills.

4. Communication

It is of utmost importance to communicate with all interested parties effectively to ensure that the correct information reaches the right player at the right moment, using written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Communication manages smooth inter-member collaboration. Listening and questioning are part of the communication.

5. Solving Problems

The ability to critically examine the problems and to find solutions to the problems is important. The manager must be able to think conceptually and abstractly.

Conclusion

The management of people and processes is a science and an art that requires a combination of technology and experience. The article above is an introductory overview of the necessary and significant management skills.

In all the fields including the construction sector, the above skills are important. It is vital for the construction project managers to acquire the above skills and carry out their duties efficiently.

Construction Project Management

What is Construction Project Management (CPM)?

Construction project management is primarily responsible for the planning, coordination and implementation of a construction project, whether for agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil or environmental purposes.

The management of building projects usually involves complex tasks that can vary wildly depending on the work in hand and requires strong communication skills, a thorough understanding of the construction process and the ability to solve a problem. Construction project management is a complex field that requires knowledge in a variety of areas such as finance, law and business.

The role of a project manager

Construction project managers are responsible for ensuring that the project moves according to plan. The objective is to manage the project in a timely and budget-driven way, but still to meet the codes, plans and specifications. A project manager could also be responsible for establishing parameters, finances, schedules, the vetting, and recruitment of subcontractors and local staff, the development of a possible conflict resolution strategy and much more.

Construction manager’s common responsibilities falls into these 7 categories:

• Project Planning

• Managing costs

• Management of time

• Managing quality

• Management of contracts

• Management of security

• Professional practises in construction management (manage the project team, define the role and responsibilities of each person…).

The role of a construction contractor

The design phase is first in every construction project, and the construction manager opens the bidding process to interested contractors when this is completed. Contractors must be able to demonstrate that they can manage public safety; decision-making, engineering, drafting, human resources, time, costs and management of the quality. The contractors that meet these guidelines are then selected by selecting low-bids, selecting best values and or selecting qualifications – all common actions.

How the project is won?

The owner will share project information with a large group of contractors, general contractors or subcontractors when a project owner is ready to begin. The process begins with a cost estimate, telling the owner how much the contractor should pay for the project.

Types of Bids

A contractor may expect two types of offers:

Open Offer: Offers are open and usually advertised for public projects. Any contractor may make an offer with an open offer.

Closed bid: A private project process begins with the closed bid, which invites the owner to submit a bid to a selected group of contractors.

Selection Criterion

The offer can be made and selection of a contractor can then begin based on a number of criteria whether the owner chooses an open or closed offer process for the project.

Selection based on Low bid:

The main focus for the project owner is the bottom line – also the price. The winner is the one who submits the lowest project price.

Selection based on qualification:

The project owner asks contractors to make an application for qualifications (RFQ) in this process, which summarises the contractor’s experiences, management plans, organisational flow and success in maintaining budgets and timetables. The owner of the project chooses the best qualified contractor.

Selection of best-value

In this approach, the project owner considers both the offer price and the qualifications of the contractor to find the most effective combination of cost and expertise.

Construction Cost Estimating Services

A Detailed Guide to CCIS or “Construction Cost Information System” ERP

Introduction

There are many terms which are trending in the present market and which are allied to software solutions related to cost management. Some of these terms are P2P, Procure to Pay, Cost management software and solutions and e-Procurement. Due to the crisis that the pandemic has created, these terms are searched more and more. These searches are trending in the search engines but they don’t represent the correct sentiments of the market. However, these terms indicate that there is more and more need of the advanced software and solutions which can help in the Cost Containment and Cost Control process.

There are businesses which are using legacy software as well as paper based solutions for Cost Control but most of them are unsatisfied with the performance of these systems and are looking for newer solutions which are more advanced and robust. With the present legacy software solutions they are not able to achieve good results and the reason for this is that these solutions were made a long time ago and they do not cater to the needs of the present times. The aim of this write-up is to provide you an in-depth understanding of cost management and how the cost management technology can help you in making huge cost savings. It will transform the way your business spend money as well as will help you in saving time and cost.

Spend Management

What is Spend management and Spend under management?

Spend management refers to all the tools and processes, which are used to control the money spending done by any business. This term not only covers the end to end procurement but also includes different aspects related to the cost of procurement. Purchase order creation, invoicing as well as data reporting are all included in this. All purchasing processes and vendor / supplier management is also involved. Spend management can be considered as an ongoing process which involves optimization of the ways the company or business is spending money.

• Collecting data related to the identification and classification of the different types of expenditure.

• This expends on, auditing and verifying, analysing, building and tracking the data within a single repository.

• Implement methods aimed at improving and achieving these activities

• The Spend management system aims to digitise these processes and integrate them into user-friendly processes.

• Ensuring the corporate practises and procedures are complied with efficient reports.

• An efficient approach for spending management includes acquisition, procurement and cost management.

• Automation of the reports and analyses of the expenditures on a single platform.

• Multiple systems need to be deployed in your company as the solution for spend management.

• Centralized feedback and platform for data collection

Spend under management refers to the condition that spends are not managed efficiently. All the processes which are used to manage the spending come in spend management but spend under management is a measurement or metric. It determines the portion of total expanses that is overseen by the business.

Spend management comparisons

Spend management v/s expense management

There are some key differences between the spend management and expanse management. Some of the key points are as follows:

1) A holistic picture of the payments is captured by the spend management, whereas the expanse management is related to managing the expanses on employees only.

2) The expanse management includes the payment made by the personnel for expanses to carry out the company’s business.

Spend management software V/S Paper-based systems

The purpose of spend management software is to digitise the management process on a single, centralised, cloud-based platform. However, many organisations may still have hybrid manual and traditional models or paper systems in place. Moving to a cloud-based software solution can seem daunting, but the advantages of this digital transformation and the risks that your processes will not migrate are important to consider.

Disadvantages of paper-based systems

The need to store physically

Paper-based systems collect a large number of documents to be stored somewhere. Older documents may need to be archived and stored while existing documents need to be kept in places in which procurement, accounting and finance teams can easily access them. For this physical storage necessity, larger office spaces are often required.

Vulnerabilities to security

If the facts are on paper, documentation is easy to forge or modify. It’s risky to rely on paper-based systems without further security measures.

Risk of loss or damage

Fires, floods or mishaps can damage paper documents. Documenting may also be misplaced — intentionally or by accident — and without the originals this data can be difficult to replace or recreate.

Issues of transport

It is not only when archived data files are moved to storehouses that transport comes into play.In general while creating a document it is important to take it to different part of the Bureau to have the document signed by different approvers and subsequently transfer it to the procuring division for submission.

Editing problems

Written or printed documents can only be effort-fully corrected or amended, and a person will normally need to re-create the content from scratch to make changes.

Higher costs

Paper systems are expensive not just for added salary of staff required to keep the data on paper but for actual materials – paper, printers, photocopying machines, storage cabinets, and other office supplies. Paper-based systems are costly.

Reduced opportunities for communication and collaboration

Version control in a paper-based system is very challenging, and there are cases when multiple employees work simultaneously on different versions that are not communicated for changes to mix. Moreover, these multiple copies which are distributed among several collaborative stakeholders may be forgotten while lying on someone’s desk in a stack of papers that defeat the purpose of collaboration.

Environmental damage

We have come to the point where organisations must be held accountable for their carbon footprint, in depleting our planet’s natural resources. Many companies have “greened” and digitalized a lot of their data to make them greener. But if you still print documents and use hard copies in files, not only does your company increase deforestation, but also provides great distances to your physical locations with the carbon emissions is required to transport paper based office.

Risks and inconveniences of legacy systems

There are also five main risks a business is facing when operating legacy technology.

Higher operating costs and additional downtimes

Legacy systems are more cost-intensive in operating and maintaining and are known for crashing and inactivity. In fact, a 2011 survey carried out by senior IT managers in US federal agencies found 47 percent of Federal government IT applications based on legacy technology.

In addition to the maintenance of these legacy systems, almost half of the federal annual IT budget was allocated. When cloud-based spend management systems are used, the operating costs are much lower than the downtime of the hosting applications on site.

Outdated technology is vulnerable to attacks by cyber criminals as legacy systems are often not supported by their original versions. In 2019, the average cost of data violations was up to US$ 3.92 million per institution, according to IBM Security.

Inconsistency with newer systems

External heritage technology is generally incompatible with newer systems. This leads to numerous problems when trying to add modules to existing software or create APIs in our digital age.

Less support experts

Many developers and IT professionals who first developed and supported a certain legacy system may be retired. This decreasing skill pool may not allow certain types of legacy software to be supported by the new generation of software and infrastructure experts.

Cannot maintain competitor compliance

The digital transformation of our world is witnessed by all. We want to get information quickly and simply, at any given time, through a range of devices. Companies that understand this have adapted and supplied products and solutions for safe and remote access to apps and tools. Probably your competitors are moving to cloud services, which will leave you unfavourable when your company can not keep up with time.

More cyber-attacks are likely

The management software is designed to mitigate and even eradicate the disadvantages faced by legacy paper-based systems and quick investment returns. Any company migrating to a cloud-based expense management software system has several additional advantages.

Why you should go for a Cost / Spend Management Software like CCIS?

Accountability, decision-making responsibility and expenditure adjustments

A recent paper on the Chase banking news page said that, if the culture of a company is that of careful spending, it is a healthy company. One of its major benefits is that organisations that adopt it will see a substantial improvement in their spending behaviour and lead to confident decision-making and budget planning. The powerful trailing abilities and visibility of their spending habits are important.

Quick ROI

The deployment of software for spending management ensures fast returns on investment by reducing your time to value by automating a number of processes. The initial investment cost of a spending management software solution is rapidly recovered due to the increase in responsibility and visibility over all expenditures, to money saved in the daily business process.

The Aberdeen Group determined that 75% of best-in – class organisations, in the form of a spending assessment system, have put in place technological solutions compared to 43% of laggard companies.

Moreover, 88% of the top-of-the-range companies employed procurement-to-pay technology, compared with only 54% in other categories.

Benefits of CCIS or Cost / spend management software

Mobility, remote work activation and central control

Mobile compatibility and remote work is provided with a cost management solution, especially a cloud based solution. The user can access the software at any time from any device and from all over the world, thanks to its centralised functionality through a web-based browser application. These attributes are more important than ever in today’s uncertain times.

Quick and remote use

In the same way that users have access to spending management software from anywhere, this software is also quick to deploy and can even be done remotely.

An implementing team is not necessary to visit your facility because spending management software can be deployed via the cloud on a remote basis. User training can also be conducted via robust self-study articles, as well as video conferencing tools for training the trainer.

Enhanced visibility

The advantages of using software for spend management are digital technologies and capabilities, for instance advanced analytics, visualisation and cooperation nets, all of which are related to the visibility of procurement data.

A spending Management Solution provides visibility to enhance user visualisation of spending data to reach transparent agreements with suppliers, view and monitor transactions and optimise risk mitigation strategies.

The Aberdeen Group assessed companies and rated their performance as ‘best in the class,’ ‘average,’ or ‘laggard,’ in a competitive assessment. They found 71 per cent of the best class organisations, while only 33 per cent of laggard enterprises had the same visibility in every spending across categories.

Easy to use interface

Spend management technology allows users to easily navigate the actions they have at their disposal and enhance usability and successful adoption. V-Comply, the risk management and governance company, lists ten features that all technologies should have for user friendly use and should allow new technology to be adopted easily. All aspects of the software, from installation and updates to browsing, bug handling and IT support in a simple and easy way.

Scalable

Concept, an application development, strategy and design firm, defines the ability to maintain performance without re-design or reconfiguration despite increased workload.

Continue to optimise your business processes by increasing your company, from a small team of ten users, to a global team of thousands of employees — without compromising the performance of the application.

Auditability and compliance

A spend management software solution provides trailers through transparent transaction history views, both ensuring compliance with the company’s policies and providing clarity for companies performing regular spending audits.

Management of risks

Deloitte pointed to the widespread opportunity both internal and external stakeholders have to commit fraud throughout the procurement life cycle, in their 2014 paper on how to prevent procurement fraud. Possible risks identified as red flags are insufficient record keeping, without the right authority for transactions and without the necessary consent.

The software for expenditure management can reduce the risk of fraud, collusion and misery or spending by preventing any such discrepancies. This applies in particular when the three-way matching is a technology feature that does not overpay or pay for goods not received.

Management of the Vendors

An integrated approach to vendor or provider management leads to better provider relationships and thus to better value for providers. The central management of suppliers through software for spending management allows companies to leverage supplier capacity to benefit from the fact that data is leveraged to negotiate more convenient terms. This results in longer-term profits.

Management of documents

A spend management solution provides a centralised place for input or uploading and downloading and viewing of data via different dashboards. Instead of printing documents which must be signed, approved and filed, the ability to manage documents electronically enables electrical signatures and approval and a streamlined, automated procurement to pay experience.

Document management and the management of knowledge in general has led to the use of expenditure management technology developing from the laborious and manual documenting and storage procedure to a dynamic business process that can create, analyse and act on a strategic basis.

Efficiency of the process because of less effort

Process efficiency is defined as the “consuming effort to achieve a business result” by Integrify, a company that supports organisations to be productive and efficient. Expenditure management software allows you to manage your expenses effectively with less effort, thus enhancing performance and achieving results.

Cost Check

Spending management software enables you without losing financial control to empower your staff. The Business Spend Management Benchmark Report for Coupa 2020 focused on three KPIs that assessed the maturity of an enterprise’s expenditure optimisation, especially with regard to savings and spending optimism. They found cost control particularly important in (i) contract spending by non-duty service providers (ii) accountable for 80% of invoices in an entire firm. In other words, reducing the management of long-term vendors’ tags), and (iii) structured spending (the proportion of spending that was responsible for 80% of the company’s total invoices).

Savings in time and costs

In 1748, the original version of the phrase “time is money” was coined by Benjamin Franklin. This adage can be overused today, but for most companies it is definitely true. The cost of order cycle cuts through expenditure management technology. If you decrease the cost of each purchase order — create and approve other activities like updates — your purchasing process is also simplified

Deloitte’s Globally Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) survey found last year, with 70% of the 481 CPOs from across 38 countries saying cost reductions were a “strong priority,” the top priority for CPO’s business strategy in2020 was cost reduction. If users can use an automated system to submit purchase requests, approvers are automatically notified, and are able to approve purchase orders from anywhere in the world, with minimum effort and no time or resources are required for end-to – end cost management. You can reduce your procurement and financial departments both in terms of staffing and office supply and your profits.

Accuracy

“60% of corporation strategists refer to sluggish strategy implementation as their main challenge for 2019”as was stated in the 2019 Gartner Strategy Agenda Poll. Spending management technology allows your company to be agile and implement strategy quickly, openly and quickly when adjustments are needed. In this way, corporate leaders can re-establish priorities, speed up decision making and reduce the cost of change in order to carry out key projects.

Any solution for spending management should offer most of the following features and features. The one-size approach for adopting spending management technology simply cannot be used by organisations. A good cost-management solution has an independent core platform with an end-to – end procure-to-pay solution that includes multiple modules, which can be added when needed — for example, paying for modules that are not used by you, such as an internal catalogue service, will not save costs. Instead, when your company develops and expands, you should be able to add modules.

Mobile and remote capabilities

We access information daily through several devices and several locations in this age of digital transformation. A solution for expenditure management should be mobile and allow users to access it remotely.

Roles and responsibilities in particular

There is a clear requirement for distinguishing between different roles. Spend management technology should ensure higher distinctions, for example in the CFO, Procurement and Accounting departments. Administrators, auditors, finance administrators or supply managers as well as process roles (e.g., Buyer, Cash Manager, Financial Assistant, Financial Administrator and receiver) should also assume administrative roles.

Key features of CCIS or Spend / Cost Management Software

Management of staff

Once an expenditure management solution has been initially implemented, the administrator of an organisation should be able, if needed, to additionally or remove its staff from the users list and adjust its roles and permissions as needed.

Classification of the expenditure classifications between different requests and claims

No expenditure can be lumped into ‘expenses’ in an organization. Actually, the differences between cost and expenditure are clear. A solution for spending management should clearly differentiate between different types of requests, claims and additional documents.

For example, purchase requests for office supply requests will be made and will lead to an order for the purchase. For example, travel requests may require an offer and lead to a route being sent to the provider of travel services. For capital costs under a register of assets, such as vehicles, property or furniture, Capex requests should be available. Costs for which out of pocket claims are made for corporate expenses by the employees should also be an additional category.

Moreover, each application type or document should make it possible to classify certain items within that category. Travel requests should, for example, be divided into lodging costs, flights, airport transfers and travel distances. For example, purchase requests should be subdivided into goods and services that may be received in quantities or costs.

Punch Out

A solution for spending management should be capable of boosting — buying from a spending management solution directly in real time from a supplier’s website. The items should be available immediately after checking from the online catalogue of the supplier in the purchase application.

Catalogue of products

Internal catalogues should be also part of expenditure technology to allow organisations to negotiate with a supplier prices and contracts and to add items often purchased in the spend management solution to the internal catalogue.

Notifications and alerts

Automated alerts and notifications should be provided by spending management technology.

The expenditure management solution should also have the alarm policies available for configuration, not only should approvers receive action alerts and emails notifying them of requests to approve it. These policies should allow you to set up different types of alerts, such as a budget alert when an invoice amount exceeds the current budget for the financial year or a variance alert if the quantity of the invoice is larger than the quantity bought.

Proxies, helpers and assignments

Sometimes a CFO is too busy creating the purchase demand and requires an assistant to do so. Sometimes the customer is not in charge. Dispensing management technology should have the functionality to assign a user to a proxy or an aid, so that the process can be completed immediately.

Clear processes for approval

In a spend management application the user should be able to choose a specific approval workflow or one should be configured automatically. Moreover, multiple approvers should have the option to increase approvals based on value thresholds.

Compliance Audit Trails

Relevant stakeholders should be able to see the full history of a transaction. These audit trails provide accountability and follow-up on all transactions within a company within a spending management solution.

Functionality of quotation

Many organisations, especially with expenses such as the various types of travel, require quoting requests. Spend management technology should enable the user to send a quote request (RFQ) before funds are allocated via a purchase or travel orders for a particular request.

Management of seller / supplier

The spending management technology should provide the centralised management function of the vendor or supplier. Companies can thus supply the best service and suppliers at the best prices. The ability to streamline vendor or provider management in this way leads to better vendor relations and greater trust, while eliminating wasteful expenditure.

Orders to buy

In order to become fully visible in procurement, expenditure management technology should not only serve as a tool for streamlining the submission of electronic procurement orders and attachments in digital form, it should also enable users to monitor the status of orders and their requests on the Internet using a dashboard.

Facts and invoices for proforma

The automation of the paying accounts is essential in a software solution for spending management, because it allows firms to process invoices and proforma invoices quickly and accurately.

Matching three-way

Invoice matching refers to the possibility of connecting an invoice to a buying item. The goal is to minimise the risk of over-spending and ensure coherence throughout the workflow for expenditure management. A solution for expense management should be compulsory to match the invoice and should be capable of activating three-way matching for a specific purchased order, if an invoice item is matched to one particular receipt.

Workflows flexibility

The technology of expenditure management should make workflow flexible. For example, if your company has a policy on an application that passes a quotation step prior to approval, this workflow configuration should be provided.

Tools to analyse and report

As part of its software for spend management, organisations need complete budget insight and risk analysis visibility. These business intelligence tools provide a thorough analysis of end-to – end transactions and allow access to real-time data and expenditure analysis on a granular basis.

Seamless ERP integration

Your spending management software should integrate with an existing accounting system or ERP seamlessly, enabling accurate data flows through imports and exports between both, always updating your organisation’s daily expenditure.

Training and assistance

Use of a number of aftercare facilities, including an ability to communicate with a specific spending management support team and the access to a comprehensive base of knowledge about reference material should be supported following initial implementation and user training.

This technology is only helpful for your company because of the impressive number of features and functions that a solution for spending management software can offer. You will be able to remain competitive, classify the costs of your organisation and maintain visibility and control over where costs are incurred by means of the ability to digitally transform your business. When you consider and weigh against your basic health, the disadvantages of maintaining a paper-based or legacy software solution show management technology as the ideal alternative for running a cost-conscious business that protects working capital and improves cash flow.

Expenditure management technology enables your organisation to efficiently manage spending and increase operations to strategic functions.

Conclusion

Do you want more efficient business processes? Do you want to cut the effort, time and high costs caused by your enterprise by a paper based or legacy system? Would you like to remain competitive and technologically advanced? CCIS can help you achieve these and more objectives. Suvarna Consultancy can offer a complete spending management solution with more than 20 years of experience in the space management sector, with solutions for both on-site and cloud spending management from scratch to meet the demands of various market sectors. The features of our solution include purchasing, strategic procurement, expenditure management, expenditure analysis and the whole array.

The CCIS or Construction Cost Information System is a truly cloud based solution with a modern, easy-to-use and intuitive interface. It is fully scalable to achieve cost efficiency while addressing complex challenges in procurement.

You can access our web application from any device, anywhere, anytime. The software of Suvarna Consultancy can be used as an independent spending management solution, or integrated fully with your ERP or accounting solution.

You can talk to us about your requirements for expenditure management.

Project Control

Existing problems of project control practice

Project control is mandatory for a successful of a successful construction firm. This article will discuss the current difficulties of project control practice and find solutions to mitigate the issues.

Before going to the details, it is essential to clear some of the basic understandings:

What is project control?

Project control refers to gathering and monitoring the project data to keep the costs on track. The different steps of project control include initiating, planning, monitoring, and controlling, communicating. The last step refers to the finalization of the project costs. Project control includes developing the work breakdown structure or WBS.

Different components of project control:

The project control will consist of the below components:

• Developing a risk management plan or a contingency planning

• Project budgeting

• Monitoring the project costs

• Checking the project strategies so that you can expect a better tomorrow.

Problems of project control practice:

Now that the project control’s basic concept has been clarified, it is essential to know about the problems in project control practice. When you are in the construction domain, a good project control plan will help you give long-term benefits. But often, people face a lot of problems in project control that become a significant hindrance to the success of the project. Hence let’s check out the existing issues in project control practice:

Inadequate risk management: Risk is a part of every sector, and construction projects are no exception. Poor risk management could lead to significant losses, even if you did well in the other things. Hence it is imperative to have a good contingency plan for your construction project. A risk contingency plan will help you do better change management and prevent cost overruns.

Lack of proper structure: An appropriate control of the project must have a transparent system. If your project lacks an appropriate structure, then your employees may feel demotivated. Ideally, as a project manager, you must keep them informed about your objectives. You can also display the objectives on a dashboard so that the employees can get motivated every day. You can also consider monitoring all the workers’ performance and reward the workers who worked better than the others. This week everyone will be motivated.

Poor communication: Communication is essential in all sectors, and the construction sector is no exception. As a project manager, you must enable effective communications in your team. It would help if you kept everyone motivated by communicating about the goals and also the deliverables. It would help if you worked as a team to achieve a common goal.

Forecasting gone wrong: As a project manager, you must be able to do the forecasting properly. You must not set unrealistic goals for yourself that you cannot achieve. Instead, you must set smaller goals and strive hard to attain them. Daily targets can also be helpful. Bad forecasting can involve many other associated things of the project.

Delays in cash flow: The construction project requires timely cash flow. Sometimes there can be cash flow delays due to technical errors or communication gaps. You must identify this early and take necessary precautions so that delayed cash flows cannot impact your work. When payments fall behind, then many things can get delayed and can overall impact the project. You can also miss the project’s delivery deadline, and hence it can be very dissatisfying for your clients.

Insufficient skills: The construction sector required skilled labour. If some skills are missing, you need to identify the gaps quickly and fix them before it is too late. You can train the labour and people involved in the construction work so that the gaps can be addressed. The inadequacy of skills can lead to compromises in quality and can impact the ultimate customer satisfaction. Hence if you have insufficient skills in your team, then that can cause you significant business loss.

So what are the Solutions?

Now that you know about the problems, it is essential to know about the solutions.We will discuss some of the effective solutions that will help you solve project control practice problems. Let’s take a sneak-peak into the list:

Preparing a good contingency plan

A contingency plan is nothing but the back-up plan which will be required if the initial plan fails. To have an effective contingency plan in place, you must check out the identified risks. As you can see from the list above, the absence of a good contingency plan can cause significant project control practice problems. If you are wondering how to have the best contingency plan for your construction project, then follow the below steps:

1. Identify the situations for which you may need the contingency plan. Unless you identify the problem, you cannot think about a solution. Once you have listed all the possible situations, then you need to list out the possible solutions. Remember, you must think of many answers so that you can use the other one if one fails.

2. As a next step, you identify who all will be involved in your contingency plan. It may not be a good idea to involve everyone in the contingency plan. Instead, you can have some trust worthy people of your team to be a part of your contingency plans. You must identify the specs to be more alert during risks, and they can motivate others to follow their footsteps. You also need to know what these people will be required to do for the contingency plan. You must have the roles and responsibilities defined so that in case of need, they are not confused about what they should do and what they should not.

3. Think about informing the internal and external stakeholders during the time the contingency plan needs to be implemented. You must identify who will do the communication part and what needs to be communicated

4. Once your plan is ready, you must monitor that regularly. Since construction projects are subjected to changes, so it is possible that your contingency plan may not work in the changed scenario.

Most of the project managers give a very low priority tie contingency plan. They may think that they never need the contingency plan. However, this is a wrong perception. It is always prudent to be prepared with a robust contingency plan to manage changes in a better way.

As a project manager, you must set aside some amount of money as a contingency to cover any unexpected costs during the project. This fund should be reserved, and as the project manager, you must never spend this budget under any circumstances. Determining the contingency budget is a skilful act. You have to balance one hand. You can keep a low contingency plan to have more budgets for your on-going project.

On the other hand, you may have more budget planning budgets and have less budget for the existing project. It would help if you chalked out your plan well I advance and may decide on the budget to have a robust construction plan.

Your contingency plan must be approved, and while preparing your contingency plan, you must be aware of the owner’s contingency and the contractor’s contingency. Both of the terminologies can mean different things. The owner’s contingency refers to the amount kept aside for the additions and modifications in the work scope. Whereas contractors contingency refers to the amount reserved to face any risk or unforeseen situations.

The contingency funds should be easy to access so that it can be used efficiently during risks.

Solutions to budget overruns

Budget overrun is another major problem in project control practice.

To prevent budget overruns, you can follow the below list:

1. Project planning is essential. It would be beneficial if you pay a lot of attention to this.

2. Check the skills and capabilities of your vendors before appointing them; you can also check the vendors’ records and do a attend analysis. If a vendor has been a consistently poor performer, then there are chances that he will fail to deliver in your project. Hence it would help if you refrained from hiring those vendors.

3. Utilize tools and chars while planning. Charts and graphs create vital visual impacts and helps to draw to easy analysis. Hence it would help if you utilized the recent technologies to prepare good visuals to impress your clients.

4. Consistent monitoring is also required.

Now that you know about the problems and the practical solutions, it is essential to measure your project’s success.

Your project plan can be termed successful if the below conditions are met.

• Your project will be successful if it is flexible. Last-minute surprises are common, and hence you should keep your plan so that last minute changes will not impact any deliverables. You must always plan for the worst and think of ways to come out of the bad situations quickly. Remember, your good plan today will help you shape a better tomorrow and help you earn huge revenues on your construction projects.

• Your project will be successful if you can manage the timely delivery of your construction project. This can sometimes get very difficult. Ad a construction project manager, you must focus on this point to impress your clients.

• You can consider your construction project as successful if the delivered quality meets your end client’s expectations. Your clients are most dissatisfied, and it is crucial to impress them. They will not leave any scope to pinpoint your errors; hence you need to alert and must on the tip of your toes so that your clients get no changes for complaints. Complains can escalation can spoil your credibility and reputation.

• A successful project will be completed within the estimated cost. As a project manager, you need to ensure no overruns.

Hence, the above article will help you have a solution to the existing problems of project control practice.Project control is a difficult task and requires a lot of skills. Some good project management consultancy like Suvarna Consultancy can be contacted for expert support. They have an ERP named CCIS or construction cost information system that can help you in different tasks related to project control. If you follow the above steps, meticulously then you can gain success quickly and maximizeyour ROI.

Project Cost Management

How do you manage project costs?

Managing the cost of the project effectively is a challenging task and may require a lot of skills. There is no silver bullet for effective cost management in the construction sector. In this article, we will have a look into some of the tips that will help you in efficient cost management in your construction projects.

What is project cost management?

Project cost management refers to the process followed by the project manager to plan and manage the project budget. This may involve the usage of technology to measure cost and productivity. The appropriate estimation, allocation and the control of costs determine the success of projects. Project cost management also involves the cost associated with procuring the projects related to project completion.

Let’s understand this through a simple concept: Your mother is getting older, and you decide that she must move into your house however you may not have ample space in your house, and hence you decide to build up a spare room for her. The first question that will cross your mind is, how much is this project going to cost? Well, this question can be answered through project cost management.

Now that you have a fair understanding of the definition, let’s look into why it is important.

Why is Project cost management important?

Project cost management is important to set a budget. Through project management, the project manager makes sure that the project cost remains within budget.

The project managers compare the original project cost status with the targeted project cost and use it as a baseline to determine the future course of the project plan. He may change or realign the project structures if needed so that he can meet up the cost target.

This comparison helps in determining the success of the project.

A project can be termed as successful if:

• The project follows the scope

• If the project completes within the deadline

• If the project is completed within the budget

• If the project completes within the stipulated time

Types of Project costs:

There are generally five types of the project cost

Fixed cost: The costs that generally remain fixed throughout the project lifecycle are termed as the fixed cost. Examples may include the salary of employees or licence cost.

Variable cost: Variable cost is the costs that vary. An example may include supply cost, labour cost etc.

Direct cost: The costs which are directly related to the project work are called as a direct cost.

Indirect cost: these costs are not associated with the work of your project but may be incurred during the business.

Sunk Cost: Sunk costs refer to the costs that have already been lost and they fail to produce any outcome

Total project cost: Total project cost is the summation of all the costs mentioned above.

Now that you know the basics let’s focus on the main aspect which is how to do cost management Project cost management consists of four important steps. Once you are familiar with the steps, you can do the cost management easily.

Let’s look into the four steps of cost management:

Project resource planning:

Through resource planning, you identify the resources that are required for the project execution. This can refer to people like employees and contractors and equipment like vehicles, tools tec.

Resource planning is done even before the project commences. To begin with, the project manager must know about the work break down structure (WBS). The WBS will have many subtasks. It is the job of the project manager to look into each subtask and check how many people, what skills or what equipment needed etc. to finish the project.

Cost estimation:

Cost estimation is the next important step. Here the project manager calculates the approximate cost, and he tries to quantify everything so that it can help him in the cost estimation process. This is an extremely difficult step and requires the project manager to know all nitty-gritty associated with the project. He must be aware of all costs, including the fixed cost variable cost sunken costs etc. The cost estimation process forms the baseline of the planning stage. In some scenarios, the project managers come up with multiple ways of executing a project, and the cost estimation acts as their guideline and help them to choose the right path.

Cost estimation methods are of the below types:

Parametric estimation: This estimation technique utilizes the historical data and is mostly accurate as trend analysis is also done in this process.

Bottom-up approach: This approach asks you to break down all the activities associated with the project. This is an accurate technique but is time consuming and may require a lot of budgets as well.

Three-point estimation: this is also known as the Program Evolution and Review Technique. Here you check all the possibilities, assumptions and uncertainties related to cost.

Cost budgeting:

Cost budgeting is more detailed as compared to the cost estimation. Here the project manager needs to fix a budget for each component involved in the project. This is an important step, and it determines the future cash flow of the project.

Cost control:

If there is any variance from the baseline, then cost control helps to correct the variance so that the cost can be aligned to the plans. This is a continuous process and must be done throughout the project lifecycle if the costs exceed the budget, then it is the job of the project manager to get the costs realigned to the budget.

Let’s look into some of the tips that will help you do cost management like a pro:

1. Consider utilizing project cost software: Project cost software aims in automating the calculation process, and hence manual errors can be prevented. Also, with the project cost software, you can have all the data at your fingertips and the dashboard will also help to portray the data and hence it acts as an efficient reporting tool. This software also helps in multicurrency cost management in case you are dealing with international clients. Hence these software’s facilitates benchmarking and standardization. To run a project smoothly, a cost manager must have the project cost management software.

2. Set up the project budget from the beginning: Once you have the budget ready from the beginning, then you know what to spend and where. After doing the cost budgeting, the project manager needs to get it approved as well.

3. Monitor the project budget now and then: It is important to set up the budget properly; however, it is also important to check from time to time and ensure if everything is happening per plan. If at any point you notice any variance of the cost during implementation, then you must make needful alterations so that you can stick to your budget. You may consider displaying the budget in the dashboards so that everyone is aligned and does not exceed the budget. You may also consider having regular meetups with your team to understand the challenges and constraints. It would help if you did not stop inspecting at any time. Timely inspections and supervision can prevent budget overruns.

4. Have the facts and figures in your fingertips: It is important to have the reports handy when you want to do successful cost estimation. The reports should be detailed and should have a visual representation of the facts and figures so that everyone can understand it easily. This will act as a motivation factor as your team members will know about their strengths and weaknesses as far as the project is concerned. Hence they will take the necessary steps to do better.

5. Look out for the problematic spots and find a quick fix: For doing successful cost management, you must be aware of the problematic zones that can lead to overruns. It would help if you made a sincere effort to control them from the beginning. For instance, one of the major problems on most construction sites is the large amount of materials wastage due to varying circumstances. Wastage of materials can usually happen during the procurement process, storage, and during utilisation. This can happen due to the buying materials of wrong specifications, buying more than what is required and in some cases, due to some unplanned and unrealistic circumstances. Wastage of materials also happens during transportation. So if you monitor this from the beginning, you can take the necessary steps to prevent wastage. You need to be proactive and neglect careless attitudes. Also, pay importance to the appropriate storage of materials. The relationship between time and cost is an important aspect in the control of costs on-site as any variation in time will have an automatic implication on cost.

Cost management is a continuous process and is important throughout the life cycle of the project. This may require you to pour your blood sweat and tears, but the result will be highly motivating. Successful cost management will improve the prospect of the project, and you can expect a better ROI through a proper cost management mechanism. Hence follow the steps mentioned above to do project cost management like a pro and expect rewarding results that will be valuable for a lifetime.