Emerging Project Management Principles in Construction

The construction industry has been evolving as it adapts to technology and modern demands. To be as productive and efficient as possible, it helps to consider different ways of managing projects. Emerging project management principles can help with typical construction challenges, such as sticking to budgets and deadlines. Let’s take a look at some construction project management methods you should have on your radar.


Lean Construction

Lean construction has the goal of reducing waste and keeping projects on track, created in response to the abundance of projects that go over the deadline and budget. It pulls principles from Agile methodology in software development as well as lean management from the automotive industry. The idea behind lean construction is that you find ways to streamline the project by shaving downtime and resources to the bare minimum. Rather than wasting, you find ways to be more efficient. This method relies on improved collaboration between team members, a better process of planning and decentralizing decision-making. It has a big picture focus rather than goals being disconnected. For example, team members can work together to create standardized processes that improve workflow. They can adapt the processes to fit the variables of each project. 
Also, instead of asking team members to individually work on optimizing their roles, a contractor would ask the team to see how the roles are interrelated and to look for optimization within the entire system. Each person sees how their role is affecting the rest of the team and where they fit into the system. Plus, mistakes and realizations can be shared with the rest of the team, so everyone learns and adapts.
Another example is the Last Planner System type of lean construction, which uses pull planning to work backwards in identifying project end goals and figuring out every step needed to achieve them along the way. Pull planning includes input from various members of the team from the start so everyone is on board, working toward the same goals and working to overcome hangups that could get in the way.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)

The IPD project management method is also based on collaboration. Integrated Project Delivery features an integrated approach between members of the team. It uses multiparty agreements or other methods to create collaboration, which helps lead to better results on the project. This approach works on improving the performance of the team to get projects done within budget and on time while meeting high-quality standards. This helps create an efficient process that satisfies clients.


Project Management Digitalization

The lack of technology in construction is the main culprit for wasted time and resources within projects. Similar to when other industries want to move forward and improve their methods, digitalization in project management can create better results. While digitalization requires an investment upfront, it pays off in the long run. Some emerging methods for construction project management include artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality and drone technology.
AI can help analyze data to improve management and workflow, virtual reality provides enhanced ways to look at project prototypes, and drones can improve surveying to reduce delays from the geology of the area. These are some ways technology can improve construction project management, while a management system will also help you and your entire team collaborate and stay on track.
The construction industry needs to continue moving forward if it wants to keep up with the advances of other industries and improve the success of its projects. These emerging project management principles can help projects cut down on time and resources to streamline projects and satisfy clients. 



Lean Construction: What is Lean Design Construction 

IPD: Performance, Expectations, and Future Use 

Epic Flow: Project Management Trends in Construction 

Lean and agile with Lean Construction 

Building Lean: Lean Construction in Practice