Construction Management Can Improve Accountability

Brian Kroksh, Field Services

February 18, 2019

Greater accountability.

It’s what owners, architects, engineers, and contractors agree is essential to complete more projects on time and on budget. At Olsson, I work to ensure our clients get the accountability they deserve both on and off the jobsite by incorporating advanced construction management services.

I joined the firm last year with an extensive background in turnkey engineering procurement construction (EPC) project management. My experience includes leading complex, large-scale projects for the commercial, industrial, rail, civil, and energy markets. Now I enjoy working alongside the same field services professionals at Olsson whom I formerly found myself in the trenches with on a variety of schedule-driven projects.

At its most basic, construction management creates a clear plan and a finely tuned schedule for a project, while providing a trained individual to ensure both are followed. The construction manager acts as the owner’s representative throughout the process. Having that single point of contact creates accountability.

In addition, construction management can produce significant improvements in the following areas:

  • Resource allocation
  • Planning and coordination
  • Project controls
  • Construction leadership
  • Accounting and billing
  • Procurement
  • Inventory
  • Work flow

Building a master schedule is one of the most important elements of construction management, and it does more than any other tool to keep a project functioning on time.

Schedules I’ve created for complex projects can involve 1,000 or more individual line items. A well-crafted schedule directs attention to the tasks within a given construction phase that matter most, when they matter most. Without a master schedule, clients can easily find themselves distracted by jobsite issues before the issues are critical.

I’ve seen scheduling improve key aspects of Olsson projects such as a crude-by-rail terminal in North Dakota, a wind farm in Missouri, and refined fuel terminals in Texas and Mexico. Projects large and small can benefit from scheduling services.

Any project that involves significant complexity in design, client relationships, internal communication, or construction should include a schedule. The schedule can provide better predictability, as well as improved accountability, than a project without it.

As I tell clients, project scheduling provides much more than a listing of key dates or a few milestones – it creates the plan and draws the pathway to completing the project.