Agile Construction® Blog

How To Manage Projects More Efficiently Using Agile Construction®

Sep 10, 2020 4:24:04 PM / by Nicholas Aloisio

A critical part of the Agile process is the Process of Project Management (PoPM). Your
agility as a contractor is strengthened by employing a standardized Process of Project
Management. Every time you hire a new employee, there is a learning curve. Creating a
standard Process of Project Management followed by a useful procedure will help
improve and accelerate the learning curve and reduce the
onboarding time for the rotating workforce common in the industry.

Agile companies are not limited to the knowledge of a single stakeholder. They tend to
involve several departments in their project planning and value engineering. Agile
companies cross the boundaries of various departments in the company and involve the
field, project managers, and office staff in perpetual value engineering. By including
more departments in more processes, Agile contractors reemphasize the structured
communication flow as well as the wide communication bandwidth.
The outline below shows the logical steps in a common Process of Project
Management. Each of the following steps fall under the segments that define the level of
emphasis of management's attention.

Management Planning
  • Describe the Project
    • The Project description should be a very simple description of the project at hand and could include some of the following key points of information:
      • Project name
      • Description
      • Current Situation
      • Project Objective Strategy
      • Operational objectives
      • Assumptions and risks

  • Appoint the Project Team
    The project planning team will be assembled, including appropriate representation
    from customers/clients, and sometimes subcontractors and vendors. Initial roles
    and responsibilities will be defined.
  • Define the Work
    Both the project-related work and supporting work of the office, prefabrication,
    warehouse, and other departments needs to be identified. An appropriately
    detailed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) should be developed to ensure the
    project scope is properly agreed to and understood by everyone involved. This
    also allows the complete project to be split into appropriate sub-projects and/or
    phases.

    Project Team Planning
    • Define the Work
      Resources, time, and deliverables are added to the developed work breakdown to clarify the steps needed to create the project delivery schedule. This allows you to predict when activities will be complete, assess the feasibility of target dates, and identify the critical path for the project.
    • Estimate the Schedule
      In addition to the job-related scheduled plan, the project team should identify and
      estimate the schedule for every department and activity that supports the project.
    • Calculate the Schedule
      Based on the estimated schedule, the project team can create the actual project
      delivery schedule, calculated and optimized for the best usage of resources.

      Project Team Management
      • Start the project
        A kick-off meeting held by the project team should notify all involved parties that the project is about to start. This meeting should discuss the following topics:
        • Activity checklists for all involved resources
        • Establishment of a weekly standing meeting with a standard agenda to
          review all of the relevant weekly events.
        • The creation of a shared space where project information can be stored to
          help eliminate any communication issues or misunderstandings that could
          arise.
  • Track the Progress and Resolve Problems
    Project audits, monthly financial updates, work in progress (WIP), project
    schedule, JPAC®, and SIS® are all the tools you will need to track, correct, and
    project a job's progress, adjust the plan, and manage project change. Based on the
    analysis, and with the support of the project team, the project manager will make
    plan adjustments to help reduce risks, accommodate scope changes, or to
    compensate for activities that have not occurred on schedule. Once this has
    happened, the plan will re-published and the cycle repeated until the project is
    complete.
  • Complete the Project
    When the objectives of the project have been achieved, the project manager will
    close down the project. This will involve some financial closure tasks, as well as
    archiving of the project materials. A lessons-learned document will be developed
    to benefit future projects.

    The process of project management overlays and touches all project-related activities.
    By standardizing the process of project management, you will be able to flatten the
    learning curve of any new or replacement resource you add to the project team and
    bring them up to speed within the company much quicker.

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Nicholas Aloisio

Written by Nicholas Aloisio