Planning for Construction Projects | Steps Involved

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Planning for Construction Projects is the most important technique of management. Planning means “Looking ahead”. This is a procedure requiring the utilization of scholarly resources, creative mind, foresight, and judgment, to choose ahead of time with respect to what can anyone do, and where it is to be done, who will do it and how the outcomes are to be assessed.

Planning is, therefore, a very important action to achieve the desired results. The planning team for a project should take into consideration the past, present and future-the past failures, the present needs and future utilities are all given due weightage in the planning process. Planning is important to guarantee the correct use of human and material resources to accomplish the goals of the project.

Planning for Construction Projects

Since planning is done for a longer period, it has to be flexible. If at any stage of the project, the achieved results are not proceeding according to the early planning, then a revised planning approach is to adopt. Rethinking is an important feature of planning.

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In any project, the planning includes the estimates, the budget, time required and sequences of completion of each and every activity of the project, manpower planning and the location of RMC plant and types of equipment required for a project.

Planning for Construction Projects

 Planning for Construction Projects
Planning for Construction Projects

Steps Involved in Planning:

Following steps are involved in effective planning:

  • Crystalizing the opportunity or problem. The first step in project planning would be to find out the problems involved or identify the opportunity of which we can take advantage of, this is necessary to be able to formulate realistic and practical objectives.
  • Securing and analyzing necessary information. Adequate pieces of information are required on the course of action possible. It is necessary to understand the nature of the information and where this required information will be available. The data must be analyzed to build up the relationship and classify them for satisfactory understanding.
  • Establishing planning premises and constraints. An examination of the information so gathered will bring about the detailing of specific assumptions based on which the plan will be made through a procedure of predicting. Requirements, for example, government control will likewise exist. Planning will be in the setting of such premises and requirements which must be watched to distinguish changes and their impact on the plans.
  • Ascertaining alternative course of action or plan. Based on the above analysis, a possible alternative course of action will be identified and examined. Mostly, every condition will have more than one action. The exploitation of the right course will depend on a large content on more experience, ingenuity, and imagination of the planner.
  • Selecting an optimum plan. An assessment of the above interchange strategy can be done either by judgment alone or with the assistance of quantitative systems and staff colleagues, to best suit the interest of the association.
  • Determining derivative plan. The above-selected plan will shape the essential arrangement from which different plans will create to help it. For instance, an essential marketing plan may have been advanced which may bring about other subordinate plans, for example, the advertising plan.
  • Fixing the timing of introduction. The subject of timing-who will do, what should be chosen and a suitable time plan drawn up with the details of development work for correspondence.
  • Arranging future evaluation of the effectiveness of the plan. Since a definitive aim of the plan is to accomplish the target, result or objective, an assessment at the soonest possible opportunity is important to assess the sufficiency of cost and time and decide if the planned objectives are achieved as wanted.

Objectives of Planning:

The main target of planning is to execute the project most economically both as far as cost and time. Effective planning includes the following factors:

  1. Appropriate design of every component of the project.
  2. Proper determination of types of equipment and machinery; in large projects, the utilization of bigger capacity plants is discovered as the economical ones.
  3. Appropriate planning to fix equipment and machinery close to the site of work to keep them prepared to work.
  4. Acquisition of material well advance.
  5. Employment of well trained and experienced staff on the project.
  6. To give government assistance welfare plans to the staff and laborers, for example, clinical and recreational facilities.
  7. To provide an incentive for good workers.
  8. To arrange a constant flow of funds for the completion of the project.
  9. To provide proper safety measures such as proper ventilation, proper arrangement of light and water.
  10. Proper arrangements of means of communications and feedback etc.
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Principles of Planning:

  1. The plan is to be provided in a readily understandable structure, however, complex the situation it might portray.
  2. The plan should be realistic. There is no point for instance, in planning a structure to be finished in six months if the delivery time frame for the concrete is five months.
  3. The plan should be flexible.
  4. The plan should serve as a reason for project checking and control.
  5. The plan should be comprehensive.

Advantages Of Planning:

Advantages to the Contractors:

  • The fact that the job has been studied in detail in order to draw up a network or a bar chart means that the contractor knows more about the job.
  • A properly drawn up program in conjunction with cost control can prevent the loss of money and help to relieve the financial burden of the contractor.
  • The supply of labor required week by week for each operation can be gauged properly if a program has been drawn up earlier.
  • It is a simple matter to produce various schedules from the program.
  • The program provides a standard against which actual work can be measured.
  • A program lays down a preconceived plan not only for the whole job but also for the various stages in the job.

Advantages To The Clients:

The client will know exactly how long it’ll be taken to construct the building and for what length of time his capital is going to be unproductive, while involved in construction work.

Advantages to the Architects/Engineers:

The program will ordinarily be set up by the contractor in close discussion with the architect. After the contractor has arranged a brief image of the development in the form of a program and the objective has been set down for the different activities, at that point, a draft should be submitted to the architect or technical person (Engineer) for his approval.

The plan may be different from one another where their objectives and mode of operations are different from each other. The technique of preparing a plan has no effect on that.

In this way, the difference between the two plans will be decided by their objectives and method of execution of the activity and not by the technique approved to make them. For example, the difference between the goal of setting up a sugar plant and developing a residential structure is clearly observed.

Limitations of Planning:

The following might be claimed to be the obstructions of planning:

  1. The efficiency of the plan relies on the precision of assumptions.
  2. Planning is expensive.
  3. A Planning delays action.
  4. Planning strengthens a false sense of security.

In order to avoid such limitations and to form planning more practical, the objectives must be clearly defined. The plan should be simple to know by those implementing it. It should be flexible to provide for undiscovered probability. It must be moldable and feasible enough to attain the necessary goal.

Stages of Planning:

The various steps involved in the planning system are:

  1. Preplanning: This is the phase of planning before the call has been taken to take up the project. During this stage, the objectives are to be clearly spelled out, a general framework of the project is to be formulated, the justification for taking up the project, cost-benefit analysis, and investment alternatives are all to be given.
  2. Detailed Planning: This stage incorporates the preparation of elaborated design, detailed working drawings, specifications and accurate bill of quantities. Also, the project breakdown i.e. breaking up of the whole project into small component jobs and also establishing the sequences of different operations and allocation of your time duration to the various activities within the project.
  3. Checking and Control: This stage includes observing the advancement of the task as per the proposed plan. Also, this includes updating the schedule, taking into account the actual progress of the project and preparing revised forecasting regarding the availability of the various resources.

Types Of Plans:

  1. Standing Plan: These are the plans which are utilized frequently and incorporate the administration’s policies, systems, and rules.
  2. Siupiease Plan: These are used for a single purpose and are designed to accomplish a specific objective within a relatively short period of time. Examples of the single-use plan are budgets and programs for a specific project.
  3. Strategic Plan: This is related to the broad matters that may naturally affect the development of an organization. The elements incorporate the economic, technological and environmental elements. The emphasis is placed upon predicting the future behavior of external variables and the formulation of alternative types of action in the light of the expected events.
  4. Administrative Plan: This is less subjective than a strategic plan. It focuses on how to accomplish the objective of the project or the organization. This type of planning is concerned with factors within the control of the organization.

Stages Of Planning By Different Agencies:

Planning by the Owner:

  1. The owner of a project may be an individual or a group or central or state government or other agencies. In case, the owner is an individual or a group of individuals, they appoint an engineer to investigate and plan the project for them.
  2. The engineer after proper investigations prepares an approximate estimate and determines the quantum of money required for the completion of the work.
  3. In case the owner is government, the detailed plans and estimates are prepared by the Government agencies.
  4. After the approval, contractors are invited to bid for the completion of the project.

Planning By The Contractor:

A contractor has to plan for the work at the following two stages:

  1. Pretender Planning
  2. Contract Planning

1. Pretender Planning:

The planning undertaken by the contractor after receipt of tender notice and before submitting the bid is called pretending. At this stage, planning involves the following steps:

  1. A careful study of tender documents and drawings to find out the quantities of each item of work, time limits and other conditions of work.
  2. To work out the quantities of material required in different items.
  3. To understand the availability of required labor, machinery and equipment and any other facilities such as camp office, repair of machinery, testing facilities.
  4. Examining the mode by which the work is going to be carried out viz., manually or mechanically.
  5. To decide the amount of the bid and submit the tender document.

2. Contract Planning:

After the acceptance of the tender, the contractor needs further intensive planning. This stage of planning is known as contract planning.

This planning involves the following steps:

  1. Studying alternative methods of construction.
  2. Working out the quantities of materials required at each stage of work, locating the sources of their supply and their comparative cost.
  3. Working out the requirements of the construction labor, supervisory and managerial staff at various stages of work and arranging their selection and recruitments.
  4. Working out the details of the requirements of machinery and types of equipment at various stages of work and arranging for them.
  5. Arranging repairs and maintenance of machinery and types of equipment and servicing facilities.
  6. Planning for the location and other details of camp offices, service roads, the layout of sites, etc.
  7. Planning and arranging for transport for labour to the project site and back and other related matters.
  8. To study the interdependence of different items of work and to decide their proper sequence of operation.
  9. To finalize the work program of difficult items of work and to decide the dates of their starting and operations.

Review Questions:

  1. What is planning and why planning is very important in construction management?
  2. What are the steps involved in planning?
  3. What are the objectives and principles of planning?
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of planning?
  5. What are the stages and types of planning in construction management?
  6. Enumerate the stages of planning by different agencies?

Planning for Construction Projects (Woldon)

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