As the technology has seen a boom in the recent years, many innovations have taken place in multiple industries and sectors. Some of these are also applicable to multiple industries and sectors at the same time. Similarly, the methods of implementation have some interchangeable characteristics as well. Construction industry has also seen the boom of such methodologies for the implementation and completion of the construction projects. Agile construction management is one such method of taking on the projects and completing them. We are aware of the basics of the project management. It starts with a planning phase leading up to the design and then construction phase and eventually leading to the completion. In between these phases, there are multiple instances related to the bidding and estimating of the budget required. Construction estimators provide estimates for the whole project. All of these activities ultimately lead to the completion and closing. While there is nothing wrong with these methods, the technique of agile construction management is merely an update. An update that is effective and reliable and works best under different circumstances. In this article, we are going to discuss everything that is important and is related to the agile construction management. We are focusing on listing the methods that are helpful for the contractors and the owners when they start to plan their projects. Let us dig in the concept!
What is meant by Agile construction management?
It is defined as a system of methods of building which are adapted to jobsite and delivery changes. This method helps in managing the design and also in building efficient and low risk process and activities. As the process involves continuous revision of the plans and deliverables, changes are made each time. To put it simply, the project is divided into small parts for construction. The work is then carried out keeping in view the requirements of each chunk. This helps in reducing the time between the identification of the problem and its resolution.
There are several principles for agile construction management. Some of them include agile construction project management, labor productivity measurement and job planning and scheduling.
Flow of construction and Agile project management:
The process of carrying out any project has a definite flow. Starting from the project initiation, leading to the execution and concluding on the closing out, all these processes are carried out in sequence.
More steps are involved for construction activities. It involves planning, design, construction, testing, deployment or handing it over to the user and finally closing of the activities. In agile project management, these activities are planned at the strategic level and are executes at the tactical level.
The term that is used for each deliverable is called as a sprint. Sprints are delivered according to the planning and bifurcation of the processes in agile management. Sprints and deliverables in construction are made while carefully panning and analyzing the requirement of the process and later on inspecting the implementation and completion of that part. One thing that must be kept in mind while discussing this point is that once the delivery is made for any part of construction, it is not possible to change it altogether. Since the more level of physical development is involved in construction, the careful identification and resolution of problem must be done at the early stages of construction.
In construction sector, agile management translates into the continuous improvement in the project. It places emphasis on this, is a good technique for implementing the improved, and updates plans. Contractors and sub-contractors job are made comparatively easy with this method because of the volume of work for each phase of construction. Since the activities are divided and the timing is planned for their construction, on-time completion and delivery is possible which helps the contractors better understand the process and the levels of coordination.
Speaking of the coordination, agile method improves the communication and coordination levels among the teams. As the implementation is being carried out, teams are required to conduct meetings frequently and discuss the plans and requirements carefully. These meetups result in more tactical solutions for the problems that may arise expectedly or unexpectedly. This eliminates the possibility of miscommunication among the teams and the process of construction runs smooth.
This makes the re-planning and adjustments easy to be carried out for the project. It is a good practice to update the practices and follow them while performing certain tasks. Since agile management provides you with an opportunity to first divide and then perform the tasks, the adjustments are easy to carry out and hence improvements are made easily.
It provides you with a space for prioritizing your work activities. Individual contributions are made in terms of ideas and feedback and it opens a way for learning and improvement. This is also an important aspect of agile construction management. The tasks and duties are assigned and the goals are clear.
Agile construction management also has a margin of discussion. The discussion can be carried out in between the construction of the project. This is convenient in terms of effectively carrying out the activities.
Points that you should be conscious of regarding the agile construction management:
We have heard everything good about the Agile construction management so far. It is a fact that this method is helping revolutionizing the process of construction and the industry. The methods are helping in carrying out the task effectively. But there are certain points that you must be ware of regarding the agile method of management. These points are important to know when choosing this method for your project.
- In software development, agile method is used because it allows you to change the requirements of the project at any time. The requirements are not fixed and iterations can be done at any stage of the project development. Whereas, in construction sector, this is not the case. Iterations at the later stage are not possible and changes cannot be made to a sprint that has been delivered.
- Construction with this method can also cause delays to the project if careful planning is not done. Frequently reviewing the finances, delays and improvisations can cause the finances to rise which can increase the project cost and budget. Construction estimating services are helpful in this regard.
Agile construction management has both positive and negative aspects. One thing to keep in mind is that carefully planning and implementing your project can reduce the possibility of the negative aspects taking effect. This is certainly a helpful and efficient method for construction and is easy to implement.