Project Management


The cost control  of  job  is  the  responsibility  of  the  project manager  but  he expects the construction manager to make sure his day to day expenditure on all items is controlled to Produce the most economical job to the specified standards.

The quantity surveyor is to keep him informed on the current cost situation for the major items.

Factors which add cost to a job and which must be tightly controlled are: –

•    Preliminary site operations (Setting out, haul roads etc)
•    Indirect site expenses (Telephone, electricity, water etc.)
•    Unproductive work items (Fire-breaks, damage to utility lines etc.)
•    Final clean-up.

Fixed  site  expenses,  consisting  mainly  of  costs  of  establishing  and  maintaining  site facilities and the clearing of temporary works and access roads, have all to be controlled tightly.

The initial stages of the job require special control to achieve the desired rate and method of construction. Tight cost control in this phase is essential to see that cost escalation does not set in.

Time  (man  hours  and  machine-hours)  is  the  measure  by  which  all  the  productive  and unproductive effort is controlled against that estimated. It is also used to assess progress against the job program. Time means money. Reduce the time that men and plant spend on an operation and you reduce the cost of the operation.

It is essential that the construction manager/project manager maintains full communication with his quantity surveyor and ensures he is provided promptly with all costing and production information.

Project Management

Project Management – Materials Control

The effective material control is essential to the efficient management of resources and overall job control. Hence the site engineer must ensure that he: –

• Orders the correct type and quantity of materials.

• Has them in the right place at the desired time. Ordering material well ahead of requirement is essential to the job and assists personnel in Stores and Supply to satisfy the requirements of ALL jobs.

• Checks that the materials are of the specified quality

• Complies  with  all  project specifications(project management) as  to  the  taking  of  natural  materials.  Refer always to material engineer.

Very well material control factors in a project will enhance quality and profit to the project.

Project Management – Plant Control

A similar approach applies to the control of construction plant and equipment and a good supervision ensures that :-

• The  construction company is not being used merely because it is available when other plant, perhaps hired, would be more efficient. The construction manager/project manager, with access to the overall projects in specific area which are closed to perticular project plant needs, should be consulted if an item of plant is not the most suitable for that activity.

• The construction company is such that all items of plant are kept working as efficiently as possible.

• Plant is being skillfully operated and properly maintained.

There  are  occasions  when  the  use  of  a  particular  machine  is  unwise,  as  adverse  site conditions result in a poor job requiring corrective work later. This is undesirable, uneconomical and bad for morale.

Plant requirements are usually included in the works program.

Project Management

Project Controlling of Project Management

The next step of project management principles is  Project Controlling . Effective  project controlling  involves  seeing  that  the  job  is  being  carried  out  as  planned.  It  is,  in effect,  checking  regularly  to  find  out  what  has  been  achieved  and  comparing  that  with  what should have been achieved and taking action to correct any deficiencies.


The purpose of project control is to ensure that: –

• The work is carried out as specified. The plans and specifications should not be regarded as being completely inflexible and the site engineer is expected to bring to the attention of the consultant engineer any aspect of the job he feels may need change (e. g. raising a grade- line for economy when unrippable rock is encountered). However he must not make changes without the necessary approvals.

•  Construction  plant is properly used and maintained.

• The  programmed  rate of construction and expenditure is maintained or bettered.

• Treatment of job personnel and sub-contractors is just and fair.

• Conditions set down in the various Industrial Awards are implemented and maintained.

• Proper records of the work carried out are maintained.

• All safety requirements are observed.

The required standards and controlling factors are set out in the following documents: –

(a)  Working drawings

(b)  Specifications

(c)  Standards

(d)  Estimates

(e)  Job Program

(f)  Materials Schedule

(g) Safety Codes , Acts and Regulations


Project Management

Project Directing – Site Engineer’s Job

The next step of project management principles is  project directing . The  site engineer deals  with  people  and  he  is  required  to   organize ,  motivate  and  co-ordinate people’s actions so that they do their work properly.

The  effectiveness  with  which  they  carry  out  his  instructions  depends  largely  on  his ability to speak and write in a manner which can be under stood by the particular group to whom it is directed.

The  main  flow  of  information  to  the  job  site engineer  is  generally  in  written  form.  The site engineer  is  given  the  particular  job  requirements  on   plans  and  in  specifications  and it is his duty  to  correctly  interpret  this  information  and  then  to  condense  it  into  a  form  which  can  be readily explained to his subordinates and be understood by them.

Also  the  site engineer  will  often  need  to  obtain additional information from the engineer’s staff and others  to be able to properly direct his men.

He must decide what specific information should be given to his subordinate and to what degree this information should be expanded so that they can understand it.

Consideration should also be given as to whether this information can be given verbally or in writing.

The  site engineer must  issue  sufficient  information  to  his  subordinates  to  enable them to control their section of the job in relation to the overall job program.

The timing of the issue of such information is also important. To be early with certain kinds of information is as serious as being late.

In relating information it is essential that, if it cannot be given in written form, then it should be given in an explicit manner such that it cannot be misunderstood by the receiver.

An instruction which is not specific can lead to misunderstandings on the job site, as the following example illustrates.

A  truck  driver  directed  to  unload   drainage   pipes  “opposite  the  gum  tree  beyond  the bridge” did just that. However he choose the wrong tree because he went to the wrong bridge.

Effective communication is vital in  organizations  because: –

•    It leads to high job morale.  

•    Only by this are attitudes and situations changed.  

•    It encourages full communication and hence it increases understanding and trust.

The   site engineer   should  consolidate  his  communicating  skills  by  utilizing  the information that the segments on Human Relations.

Project Management

Project Management – Staffing

The next step of  project management  steps is staffing as the required. Organizing  is  concerned  with  the  division  of  work  and  setting  up  the  structure  of  the workforce,  whilst  project management staffing  provides  people  to  carry  out  and  supervise  the  work  within  that  organizing structure .

The allocation of supervisory staff is controlled by the Site Engineer, but otherwise the engagement of labor for the job is the duty of the job supervisor. Since the efficiency of the job  depends  to  a  large  extent  on  the  quality  of  the  men  employed,  the  supervisor  owes  it  to himself to be careful and critical in his selection.

Points to be remembered in engaging and transferring labor include:-

•    Preference clauses of the relevant awards must always must be observed when engaging men or transferring them from one class of work to another.

•    Labor is to be engaged through the Commonwealth Employment Service nearest the job.

•    Preference should be given to the men with the longest registration who are suitable.

•    Suitable men offering for employment, other than through an Employment Service may be engaged,  but  the  job  supervisor  should  keep  himself  informed  of  labor  available  by maintaining  contact  with  the  Employment  Service  to  ensure  that  wherever  practical  {and consistent with efficiency) local men are employed.

•   Next important factor of project management staffing is   Transferring men from job to job enables the project to retain capable employees and provides continuity of employment for the men. However consideration should be given to the costs involved and the availability of suitable labor in the vicinity of the new job. Plant operators are often transferred with their machines. Co-operation between foreman and co-ordination by the overseer or Engineer is necessary to effect transfers with the minimum of inconvenience to the jobs.

•    Newspaper advertisement stating the type of work, location of work and the relevant Award is useful for obtaining skilled personnel.

•    The  job  supervisor  is  responsible  for  ensuring  that  the  methods  of  engaging  labor  are honest and free from favoritism and bias.

•    Special attention must be given to owner-drivers and only bonafide owner-drivers shall be engaged. No truck owned by the foreman or ganger, or in which the foreman or ganger has a direct  or  indirect  financial  interest  is  to  be  hired.  Sub-contract  loading  and  carting  should always be considered as an economic alternative.

•    The engagement of labor for Main Roads works is subject to close scrutiny by interested people and it is therefore essential not only that sound and just methods are followed but that sufficient records of engagements are maintained to enable criticisms and complaints to be fully  investigated .

•    The  help  of  the  Driver  Instructor  should  be  sought  when  engaging  or  transferring  plant operators.

There may be occasions when he is not available and so it is then the job supervisor’s duty to discuss  the  matter  with  the  plant  inspector  and  to  ensure  that  the  operator  holds  a current endorsed license and certificate of competency for the particular machine to be operated.

•    All  new  employees  must  be  told  when  they  are  engaged  that  it  is  a  condition  of  their employment that they comply with all safety regulations, in particular those concerned with wearing of safety clothing.

Any  other  conditions  of  employment  should  also  be  brought  to  the  attention  of  job applicants.

Project Management

Road Construction Organizational Structures

We already discussed about organizing a road construction project and it is next step of the project management under project planing. These steps needed to carry out make project success. The  three  common   organizational structures   used  in   road  construction  projects   to accomplish effective project management are: –

(1)  Where employees are directly responsible to site engineer.

(2)  Where  each  road work gang  is  responsible  to  a  sectional  foreman  (who  is  responsible  to  the  site engineer).

(3)  Where several road work gangs are responsible to one sectional foreman (who is responsible to the site engineer).

A  good  organizational  structures are  essential  in  any  enterprise.  Any  organization  which cannot be charted is likely to be illogical and confusing.

These relationships are depicted below in simple chart forms.

(1)  All employees responsible to Site Engineer.


This organizational structure is suitable for small projects since there is a practical limit to the number of men one foreman can direct and, in the case of unskilled labor, instruct.

This  type  of  organization  is  simple  and  has  the  advantage  of  a  single  line  of  authority understood by all.

(2)  Each gang responsible to a sectional foreman

Here a sectional foreman controls all employees working in his particular field and he is himself responsible to the Site Engineer.
This  organization  is  suitable  for  larger  jobs  where  the  amount  of  work  warrants  a separate  foreman  to  control  each  type  of  work  or  where  the  nature  of  an  activity  requires
specialist skills {e.g. Bitumen gang –  Bitumen  foreman).

(3)  Several gangs responsible to one Site Engineer


This type of organization is used where the work load of the site engineer is such that he needs assistance.

Whether a sectional foreman or a ganger is needed depends on: –

• The time required to adequately supervise the operation.

• The difficulty of controlling the operation.
(e. g. It is very easy for a dozer stockpiling gravel in a pit to dig too deep and include in the stockpile undesirable material from the pit floor. Therefore close and continuous supervision of this operation is required -probably by an experienced pit ganger. )

• The cost of the operation.
(e. g. An earthworks gang would cost far more per day than a stone pitching gang. Therefore the  earthworks  gang should be given greater supervision. )

• Distance between operations. Spread-out operations may require additional gangers foremen.

Good organization is essential for efficient  project management  for it :-

(1)  Encourages  employees  and  staff  to  co-operate  so  as  to  achieve  high  productivity  and quality.

(2)  Gives the highest possible degree of job satisfaction to individual employee groups.

Irrespective  of  the  type  of  structure used, each man must know what he has to do and who his boss is.
Next step of the project planning of project management   in road construction project is, how to allocate peoples for particular job function and how to maximize effectiveness towards project progress.

Project Management

Organizing Construction Project

When all planning of project program is completed, the next step is to organizing construction project . Organizing  involves dividing up the work into various tasks, establishing their relationships and setting up an orderly means of carrying them out. Factors such as emergencies, absenteeism and resignations must all be allowed for it.

The following rules of  Organizing Construction Project should be observed:-

Split the job into various operations. Wherever possible one man or one gang should be given one operation to carry out.

Define the amount and extent of work in each operation to avoid over- lapping of duties.

Allocate duties so that the skills of the employee are best used.

Set out the way in which each operation is to be carried out.

Tasks which are similar should be allocated to the one person so that the job becomes specialized.

Set deadlines for the completion of tasks

Where a fast rate of  road construction work  is required, delegation of much of the detailed supervision of tasks becomes a necessity to allow the job supervisor to concentrate on overall management

Define the amount and extent of authority delegated for each task. This must be made known to all concerned. Note that when authority is delegated, responsibility is not relinquished.

Organize the supervision and quality control of the work so that each operation is controlled in proportion to its importance and cost.

The size and nature of the  road construction project  will determine the actual number and type of personnel needed to manage and control of the project and also will determine the organizational structure to be adopted.


Project Management Road Construction

Project Appreciation of Project Management

Project appreciation is the next part of project planning which will be  the  project manager  should  discuss with the consultant engineer all aspects of the project including those things noted during the site inspection. The following factors should also receive attention :-

•    Availability of skilled and unskilled labor
•    Availability of plant and equipment
•    Availability of materials
•    Weather expected during the construction period
•    Industrial problems likely and possible corrective action
•    Work to be done by sub-contract and availability of suitable sub-contractors
•    Engineering and supervisor staff requirements like Plant Managers, Quantity Surveyor, Laboratory manager, Site managers etc. )
•    Limitations imposed by other bodies (Power Authorities, Local Authorities,  NWS & DB., Railway Department, Telecommunications etc. )
•    Availability of Public Utility service personnel to carry out service alterations.

The  Consultant Engineer and   Project manager   need  to  work  in  close  co-operation,  each  contributing his ideas, knowledge and skills to the planning operation to formulate the most likely and practical work plan.  Decisions are needed at this point to establish the details to be used in the  project program ,

•    Starting date
•    Organization to be used
•    Construction methods to be used
•    Plant, material and manpower requirements
•    Sequence to be used for job activities.

These decisions are closely related to the desired rate of construction.

Project appreciation is the structural process that analyse all the possible angles to success of the project. 

Project Management

Site Inspection of Project Management

The next stage of project planing of project management is the site inspection. The  project documents  should be examined on the ground in relation to the site conditions, noting special features which will affect entire project progress or cost.

Some of the key factors to be considered during this site inspection are:-

• Possible camp sites and details of any alternative accommodation facilities.
• Access to the site by road and rail; rail unloading facilities.
• Access to the actual working areas.
• Disruption of private accesses.
• Alterations to utility services {Check details on plans).
• Availability of public facilities – ambulance, medical and hospital services, telephone, postal, gas stations, fuel and oil depots.
Traffic control during construction (side tracking, detouring).
Sources of  water  and power.

Features requiring special  attention 

(a) Grades, ground shape and stratification.
(b) Places where construction problems may occur,
– steep sloping ground
drainage and seepage areas
– nearby  buildings  likely to be affected by job vibrations.

(c) Possibility of in-situ or nearby material suitable for:-

– selected fill,  shoulder or pavement 
pipe bedding
stone pitching
– side track paving.

Project Management

Project Planning by Project Management

The road construction project planning must be carefully do so that it may be successfully carried out with regard to Quality, Time, Cost and available Resources.

The four stages of  project planning  can be identified and are:-

(1)     Study of project documents
(2)     Site inspection
(3)      Project appreciation
(4)     Preparation of a project program


The first step of the project planning is to be study of project documents, These documents are prepared during tendering process. The original condition can be slightly  changed when constructions are are going on( overall 10% max of bidding Value). it should not be vary too much and conditions are made during the bidding stages. Project management specialist are having sound knowledge about project plannings and cost variation rather than original. you can get an idea that how to prepare contract documents for a new project.

The following document are considered as project documents

•    The Project scheme (Plans, specification, quantities, estimates)
•    The commencement date
•    The target completion date
•    Details of funds to be allocated.

It  should  be  noted  that,  during  the  design  stage,  comprehensive  materials  surveys  are often carried out on imported and in-situ materials. The purpose of this is to ensure that, as far as possible,  construction management  problems  are  foreseen  and  allowed  for  in  the  design  and  estimated and analyses by various  project management  tools for the any scale of projects.    The construction  manager or project manager should  avail  himself  of  any  such  information  before  making  the  site

Aspects of the project requiring special attention during the site inspection should be noted.