Celebrating Earth Week – Staying Green on the Project Site

Yesterday was Earth Day, and this entire week is Earth Week. In honor of that, I came across a great infographic on the Green Building Canada website, that I wanted to share.  By now, we’re all doing our part to keep our planet green and sustainable for the coming generations. And the construction site is one place, given the amount of material and energy used, that focusing on the environment & recycling is vital.  So, without further ado, here’s the infographic. Enjoy…


Source: www.rent-dumpsters-ny.com


Risk Management – An Overview

Within project management, RISK is a four-letter word. Successful project management includes risk management – and risk management comprises identifying, analyzing, monitoring and mitigating risk. This video offers an overview:


Risk Management in Construction Projects

There is never enough time!   That’s the typical excuse.  And its true.  If you are a project manager of a construction project, time is one thing that is always in too short supply.    So for most people, a risk analysis or risk management practise and procedure is just another task that is left on the to-do list.

So here is the compelling reason for every project manager, including you, to do a risk analysis and risk management:   you want to go home at night at a reasonable hour.  It will save you time in the long run.

Here is how:

Every experienced PM and site manager  already know where most of the risks are.  There is just no good place to record them and no process to address them. During planning stages, you could actually plan around them or put in the contingency.  If you identify it as a contingency, precon or management will probably try to give it away before the project starts.

To communicate the risk, you need to record it, present it and explain it.  A good risk management tool, such as RISKMP  will allow you to do just that.

Careful examination of the project plan, scope, time, costs will allow you to identify the items that have some risk associated with them.  A good risk management tool or process will allow you to record the items that you identified, analyse them and arrange them in order of probability and impact, to develop contingency plans, and then finally to track and monitor the risks and manage the contingency plans as you go through the project. Now you are anticipating what can go awry and being proactive.  Since you know what is coming, you can plan to get it done as it needs to be done.  This is not about fire fighting.   You are making sure that the flammable substances are not ignited in the first place and thats how you get to go home at a reasonable hour.

Risk Management is planning ahead for those things that can go awry and putting a plan in place to address them.  Basically you are making sure that first of all there is a fire escape and secondly that the fire escape is not locked or blocked by boxes of stuff.  Every project manager knows that this is never a waste of time.

Risk and Large-Scale Projects

Risk is an incontrovertible factor in any project. It only stands to reason that, the larger the project, the more room there is for risk. Risk-causing issues within large-scale projects may occur at any level of the process and (as there are far more people/businesses/trades involved in a large-scale project than a small one) as a result of the actions of any of the entities involved. Let’s explore how issues may arise at the hands of the client, the architect (or designer), the project manager and, of course, external forces.  largescale projects

The client (proprietor – or proprietors – there may be more than one in the scheme of a large-scale project) can unwittingly up the risk factor from the get-go in numerous ways – especially if he is inexperienced and unknowledgeable with respect to what goes into a construction project. The client may have an idea of what he wants, but may lack the insight to fully understand the ramifications of achieving optimal results. In other words, his expectations might not be in line with the reality of the undertaking of the process. Furthermore, it’s not unheard of for a client to change his mind repeatedly throughout the process – what he thought he wanted doesn’t actually measure up to what he sees as things progress. He might be completely disorganized and in turn, cause chaos to ensue on the project site.

An unrealistic timeline is most often a significant risk factor precipitated by the client. It’s therefore crucial that a suitable, realistic timeframe is worked out between the client, the architect (or designer) and the project manager. It is the job of the architect and/or project manager to let their client know what is achievable and what is not. That said, it’s the responsibility of the client to define (to the best of his ability, based on his own research as well as market requirements) the expected performance and quality of the project.

It’s imperative that everyone be on the same page!

Risks relating to the architect or designer are not uncommon. Design variations, inaccurate cost estimates, inadequate scheduling and insufficient site information can all incite unexpected risks. A skilled architect will do his homework – inspect the site to ensure that its conditions are agreeable and talk at length with the client to ensure that all expectations are doable.

Risk-causing factors may also be attributed to the project manager if he underestimates time or cost, or if he fails to hire appropriately capable team members and subcontractors. All it takes is one rogue cog in the wheel for a project to derail. And again, it’s the job of the project manager to ensure that he is fully in tune with his client’s vision and to ensure that his client is fully aware of exactly what part of that vision is in the realm of possibility, given the budget and allotted timeframe.

Lack of coordination between any of the project participants can lead to risk. Continuous communication between highly skilled parties is essential to the success of any project – especially one that is large-scale.

There are also associated risks which are often out of the control of the above-mentioned stakeholders. Excessive government approval procedures and government bureaucracy can be unforeseen but disastrous to a project. It’s therefore in the best interests of the project team members to maintain an ongoing, affable relationship with government officers to increase the likelihood of a friendly environment and therefore more uncomplicated approval procedures and shortened approval timelines.

Risk in any large-scale project is a given. The more you can do to mitigate risk, the better chance you have of completing the project on time and within budget. Risk Management can help you do that. Let us show you how to leverage industry best risk management skills and how to use RiskMP software to facilitate risk management for all of your future projects. To join one of our hands-on workshops, please visit:  https://escomputertraining.com/courses/details/industry/9/course/43

Project Management – Risk Management in Construction

The first step in addressing Project Risk is Evaluation and Assessment

Questions to ask include:  Is this appropriate project risk and opportunity?  As a project manager, it is important to identify risk in project schedules (times, durations),  costing and  estimates and in execution or flow of the project.

Once risks have been identified, assess the identified risks in terms of probabilities and opportunity or cost levels.  What is the likelihood of a risk event occurring?  What is the expected impact?  Quantify occurrence of each risk and opportunity.

The next step is to address the risks.  In practise, typically only the most likely (top 10) risks get addressed.  Establish a project risk management plan which includes risk avoidance and risk mitigation strategies.  Develop the risk plan and communicate this plan to key parties.  In this digital age, there is every reason to employ a software tool that will help you organize, quantify and address individual risks to create an effective plan.  Tools such as RISKmp.com  will help you create and  clarify the plan in a timely manner.

Develop a plan to address risks over the course of the project life cycle.  Risks will change over time, so the risk management plan will change over time.   The risk management plan is not something that can be left in the outbox.  It is important to continually follow up on risks and plans.  This  is an essential part of project management.

Track and monitor.   As the project develops, risks will  change, so plans must change.  Keeping records can get messy. In this digital age that we live in, employ tools such as riskmp.com.  Such tools ensure that this process requires minimal time and effort.

Communicate with key project team members.  Successful risk mitigation requires communication with management, owners, contractors, subs and all interested parties. Again, employ digital tools to communicate clearly and concisely.  Tools such as  Riskmp.com provides you with tools to effectively communicate risk.

Establishing project governance programs, managing the risk register, addressing challenges that may arise from technical issues in engineering, scheduling, construction, and other areas.

Risk Management in Construction Project Management

Some words of advice for evaluating your risk management practises

Risk management should:

  • create value– resources expended to mitigate risk should be less than the consequence of inaction,  the gain should exceed the pain
  • be an integral part of organizational processes
  • be part of decision making process
  • explicitly address uncertainty and assumptions
  • be systematic and structured
  • be based on the best available information
  • be tailorable
  • take human factors into account
  • be transparent and inclusive
  • be dynamic, iterative and responsive to change
  • be capable of continual improvement and enhancement
  • be continually or periodically re-assessed