CO-ORDINATION IN SELF-BUILD PROJECTS
By R.W.Pope, CEng, MIMechE, M.A.Cost E.
Pathfinder Site Management (PSM)
Project management in self-build projects need not be expensive. A Project Controller, or co-ordinator, needing less responsibility and less authority than a project manager, can assist in implementing the project by preparing the programme and its associated Cost Plan and progress monitoring the work as it proceeds. In fact project controlling is a sub-set of project management.
In order to implement project controls for the self-build a budget for the project has to be prepared. Assuming that a plot, with planning permission, has been purchased and a conceptual design has been prepared, “top down” building costs can be estimated using the “£s per square metre” figures available from the popular building magazines.
The required project programme and detailed (“bottom up”) budget for the build are achieved by employing the classical methods of project control; i.e., identifying and listing the tasks that need to be accomplished, defining the categories into which each task falls, assigning priorities to each task and allocating a coding structure to these categories. This coding structure is called the Work Breakdown Structure or WBS.
Each element or sub-task in the WBS should be of sufficient detail so that it may be given a budgeted cost and a duration.
Identifying and listing the tasks
- Initial project budgeting
- Appointment of architect or designer
- Applying for detailed planning permission
- Approving/ratifying designs
- Contracting for materials
- Contracting for all building trades
- Submissions for Building Control
- Building Construction
- Budget and schedule control of building construction
- Hand over/occupancy
These are a few of the tasks which may be described as “summary” tasks capable of being broken down into more levels of detail.
Defining the categories into which each task falls, and allocating a coding structure to these categories, i.e., preparing the WBS, and prioritising the tasks will be the subject of my next blog.