What Is Construction Project Management (CPM)?


Project management can be described as


“the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality, and participating objectives.”


Construction project management involves the planning, coordination, and control over the various tasks involved in construction projects.


This could include different types of construction projects, like agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil, and environmental. 


It typically includes complex tasks that change dramatically from project to project, and requires skills like strong communication, knowledge of the building process, and problem solving. 


Construction project managers help ensure the project is tracking along to plan. They manage the project so it finishes on time and on budget, and that their team completes it according to building regulations, plans, and specs.


Other functions can include specifying scope, budget, and schedules, selecting subcontractors and workers, developing communication strategy for resolving conflicts, and more.



Project Management Principles and Process



Before a project starts the Project Manager must make sure the project goals, objectives, scope, risks, issues, budget, timescale and approach have been defined. This must be communicated to all the stakeholders to get their agreement. Any differences of opinion must be resolved before work starts.



At the beginning of the project, you must create and evaluate the business case in order to determine if the project is feasible and if it should be undertaken.   Stakeholders carry out due diligence and feasibility testing if needed. If all parties decide to move forward with the project, a project charter or project initiation document (PID) is created, including the business needs and business case. 



Next, the project team develops a roadmap for everyone to follow. During this phase, the project manager creates the project management plan (PMP), a formal, approved document to guide execution and control.


The PMP also documents scope, cost, and schedule baselines. Other documents included in the planning phase include:

  • Scope statement and scope documentation: A document that defines the business need, benefits, objectives, deliverables, and key milestones.
  • Work breakdown structure (WBS): A visual representation that breaks down the scope of the project into manageable chunks.
  • Communication plan: This plan outlines the communication goals,objecti ves, communication roles, communication tools and methods. As everyone has a different way of communicating, the communication plan creates a basic framework to get everyone on the same page and avoid misunderstandings or conflict.
  • Risk management plan: This plan include Risk Assessment an Method Statements which help project managers identify foreseeable risks, including unrealistic time and cost estimates, budget cuts, changing requirements, and lack of committed resources


This is when the work begins. After a pre-start or kick-off meeting, the project team begins to assign resources, execute project management plans, set up tracking systems, execute tasks, update the project schedule, and modify the project plan. 


Performance and Monitoring

The monitoring phase often happens at the same time as the execution phase. This step is all about measuring progress and performance to ensure that items are tracking with the project management plan.



This last phase represents project completion. Project managers sometimes hold a post-mortem meeting to evaluate what went well in the project and identify failures. Then, the team creates a project punch list of any tasks that didn’t get accomplished, performs a final budget, and creates a project report.


Exercise 9.1 Please use your login to the Supply Chain Sustainability School and complete the one hour E-learning module on Project Management an upload your certificate HERE


Construction Design and Management Regulations


See CITB Information on CDM




Worker Engagement Reducing harm by learning from the best i


This toolkit has been developed by the construction industry's Leadership and Worker Engagement Forum to help contractors and managers learn how to make health and safety improvements in their businesses.


Key principles

There are 10 key principles that will help you to achieve successful leadership and worker involvement. These are:

  1. Don’t walk by
    It is everyone’s responsibility on site to prevent any unsafe acts and conditions that they witness from turning into accidents as soon as they see them. Talk to the person(s) involved and draw their attention to the risks.
  2. STOP
    All workers should be encouraged to stop working whenever they feel unsafe, no matter if their reasons for doing so turn out to be unfounded. Better to STOP than to have an accident.
  3. A safe working environment drives safe behaviour
    If you expect your workers to work in a safe way, you need to make sure that you do all you can to make the environment they work in as safe as possible.
  4. Don’t blame the worker until you have accounted for all causes
    The causes of unsafe ways of working, accidents, incidents and ill health do not always stop with the worker. The problem can often be traced back to less obvious causes such as decisions made by management and the wider organisation. Avoid blaming the worker without having considered the full range of possible causes.
  5. Use your workforce for ideas
    Your workers can have a more accurate idea of which efforts to improve health and safety may or may not work than you, your management or other experts. They have to deal with the issues every day. Use and include them.
  6. Change does not usually happen overnight
    Do not expect quick wins. Improvements are likely to emerge over time, but only if you stick with it.
  7. Knowledge is not enough
    Simply telling workers that something is wrong, or is a risk, is not enough. They also need to know why, and how to avoid harm if they are to act on the information that you provide.
  8. You lead by example
    Your behaviour sends strong signals to your workers as to how they should behave. If you carry out your job in a safe way, your workers are more likely to work in safe ways. If you do not then your workers will not.
  9. Encourage co-operation
    Treat your sub-contractors in the same way as direct employees. Encourage different sub-contractors and trades to proactively communicate with each other. Getting consistency in standards will then be that much easier.
  10. Don’t neglect occupational health
    If you look after the health as well as the safety of your workers now, you are less likely to store up problems for either you or your workforce in the future.



Exercise 9.2   Please complete a few questions to check your understanding of people management issues with regard to health and safety, by using this FORM.