The 12 Elements of Preconstruction Planning
Written By Tyler Jones

Preconstruction planning establishes the practices that will be used throughout a project to ensure it maximizes the profitability of a project. The purpose of preconstruction planning, and standardization is to get key players in agreement on important dynamics and systems to be used during the project.

Preconstruction planning spans all aspects, from manpower to materials and accounts receivables to change orders. The plan—typically signed off by all leaders on the project—specifies the goals of the project including (but not limited to) the timetable, plan of action, and profitability targets. Then, these items remain at the forefront of the decision-making process throughout the job. The practices standardize functions and reduce confusion, leading to smoother operations, improved efficiencies and increased profit.

Let’s take a look at key planning items:

  1. Document management: Identify how the project will store, update and modify documents, as well as who has permissions to access what information.
  2. Organization: Agree to a schedule for meetings and reviews.
  3. Dashboards: Design dashboards used by the team with the optimal layout and data to benefit operations.
  4. Schedule: Align the various players’ construction schedules, including important benchmarks, for measuring progress.
  5. Process review: Designate the people authorized to make and accept change orders, and how those change orders will be reviewed within the team.
  6. Contracts: Establish the process for reviewing potential subcontractors and the terms of those contracts.
  7. Special risk assessments: Determine what unique challenges crews may face on the job and how those issues will be handled.
  8. Procurement: Create the process for requesting, ordering and receiving materials needed for the job.
  9. Materials management: Decide process for ordering materials or changing requisitions, as well as the parameters like minimum standards and cost variance that will be accepted.
  10. Manpower: Identify project’s expected manpower needs at various stages in the project and set a plan for hiring personnel as needed.
  11. Final review: Use your preconstruction plan to walk through a review of the project with your client and incorporate that review into your company’s future preconstruction planning to improve it based on experience.

The material covered in preconstruction planning provides a roadmap for project management. When each project leader signs off during preconstruction planning, the project starts out with a shared set of goals, expectations and processes. This agreement and collaboration improves accountability within the team from the first pencil stroke to the ribbon cutting.

Plan your next project with care. Contact an industry expert today!

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