Six Phases of Effective Construction Management


managing construction

If you’re a construction project manager, you have a lot of responsibility. You need to make sure that all pieces of a project come together seamlessly through every phase. From those early architectural blueprints and computer renderings to the ribbon cutting, you’re the one who crosses all the T’s, dots all the I’s, and connects contractors and suppliers to make sure every project comes in on schedule and on budget. But how do you do all that?!?

Choose the Right Construction Management Tools

You wouldn’t hammer a nail with a screwdriver. The right tools make your job in construction management, efficient and successful. To do your job effectively, you need to start with an understanding of architectural and engineering drawings, design, building methods, construction contracting, cost estimating, project scheduling, resource management, and the coordination of specialty trades. You also need to understand contracts and legal rules specific to the construction industry.

Next, you need a good team you can rely on and you need to make certain they have all the equipment, tools, software, and supplies they need to get the job done. Use modern technology to communicate, chart your progress, and collect and interpret data. Make frequent status checks and follow the six basic phases of any construction management project starting with the idea and ending with a look back at all that was accomplished and how you can repeat the process or improve upon it.

Step 1: Conception

Building anything—whether it’s a single-family home or 40-story high rise—begins with an idea. The concept is where architects, designers, engineers, and you—the project manager—come together to make sure that the project is feasible, the site viable, the design sound, the permits pulled, and the contracts between all parties documented.

Step 2: Initiation

The start of the project involves that reliable team you’ve assembled. That may include a job supervisor, construction foreman, construction workers, skilled tradespeople, safety managers, and all the people who might assist and support them. Every member of every team needs to know what they will be responsible for and how it will connect to the broader project.

Step 3: Execution

The execution is when the work actually begins. You need to assign responsibilities, commit resources, and set up a tracking system to keep everything moving forward. Then everyone gets down to do their job. You need to allow for starts and stops, and human error. You need to make sure that everyone adheres to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) and other federal and state rules as they apply to the building construction industry. Throughout the project, you will also need to monitor, update, and modify.

Step 4: Commissioning

Near the end of the project is the building commissioning. This the process by which you ensure that all components of a building perform the way they are designed and intended to. You need to inspect, test, verify, and document. Although this step occurs near the end of your construction management project, you should have it in mind from the start. What did you promise on day one and how can make certain that what you produce fulfills that promise?

Step 5: Warranties

Everything works. Everything is ready.

Now it’s time for the new building occupants to move in. But your job is still not done. You need to provide warranties for the work your team has done. These will include the very specific warranties that were written into the contract and “implied warranties” that have to do with larger legal requirements and overall fairness. For example, general habitability would be an implied warranty. The building needs to meet basic standards as set by the state government. “Expressed warranties,” on the other hand, are what’s spelled out in the contract and they may tell an owner something like how long their roof is going to last.

Step 6: Post Construction

When you finally walk away from your project, your job is still not done! Now it’s time to look at all the successes of the project. Determine what went well and how to repeat those successes on the next project and what didn’t go so well and how to prevent those issues from happening again.


Are you fascinated by the field of Construction Management? There’s a lot to know and a lot to learn. And you can learn what you need to know at National American University. We offer an Associate’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management that is online, affordable, and convenient. Do you already have college credit or work in the field? You may be able to transfer credits into your program to get your degree more quickly. Hit the Learn More button to get started on a rewarding career path today.


Online programs for maximum flexibility
NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
Relevant degree and certificate programs
Years of online educational excellence