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Modern Construction Project Management, Second Edition

Modern Construction Project Management, Second Edition

S.L. Tang
S.W. Poon
Syed M. Ahmed
Francis K.W. Wong
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Modern Construction Project Management, Second Edition
    Book Description:

    This is a practical project management tool kit for the construction industry, as well as a textbook for students. It provides both the theories and the practical guidelines for every step of construction project management operations, and is written in simple and easy to understand English. The book is divided into two parts. Part I — qualitative project management — includes the principles of organizational structures, organizational structures for contractors and consultants, construction contracts, estimating and tendering, resource management and planning, quality management, safety management, and site administration and control. Part II — quantitative project management — includes drawing critical path network diagrams, analysis of critical path networks, precedence networks, PERT and its probability concept, time-cost optimization, tracing critical path using linear programming techniques, contractual claims with the use of critical path method, resource histograms and resource allocation exercises, and an introduction to computer packages for quantitative construction project management.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-224-5
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Part 1 Qualitative Project Management

      (pp. 3-10)

      An organizational structure involves a group of people among whom there are interaction, communication and coordination. There is usually an objective which the organization aims to achieve under a set of constraints. For example, a contractor’s site organization has the objective of completing the works assigned to him, and the constraints are raw material supplies, labour supplies, finance and so on.

      There are three principal types of organizational structures:

      1. project organization

      2. functional organization

      3. matrix organization

      In a project organization, each member of the team is responsible for a particular task. It is therefore task-oriented. An example of...

      (pp. 11-22)

      This chapter will describe typical organization structures for contractors and consultants in Hong Kong. The organization structures drawn were all derived from real situations after surveying a considerable number of large contractors and consultants. First, the typical organization structure for a large contracting firm’s head office will be discussed. Then that of a large consulting firm’s head office will be described. A typical contractor’s site organization structure will also be presented. Finally, the typical organization of a consultant’s site representative, i.e. the resident engineer, will also be discussed.

      Six large contracting firms’ head office organizations in Hong Kong were surveyed....

      (pp. 23-36)

      This chapter will discuss topics such as the meaning of a contract, forms of contract, parties to a contract, and types of contracts. The general meaning of a contract as well as specific characteristics of construction contracts will be dealt with in detail.

      A contract is an agreement between two or more than two parties (individuals or organizations) to perform or not to perform certain acts. This agreement must also be enforceable by law.

      A contract can be a ‘simple contract’ or a ‘specialty contract’. Specialty contracts are also commonly referred to as ‘contracts under seal’. They will be discussed...

      (pp. 37-46)

      In Chapter 3, topics such as the meaning of contracts, requirements of contracts, parties to a construction contract and different types of contracts were discussed. This chapter will provide an introductory discussion on topics like contract documents, tendering procedures, types of contractor’s claims and resolution of disputes.

      The purpose of the contract documents is to provide sufficient information about the project to the prospective tenderers. Contract documents should be concise and precise, and present a clear picture of the division of responsibilities and legal obligations between the parties. This will enable them (the contractors) to properly assess the risks involved...

      (pp. 47-68)

      It is vital for a contracting firm to secure sufficient construction contracts through tendering. Depending on the nature of work, availability of time, client’s requirement and type of contractual arrangement, different approaches in estimating and tendering are required. For a lump sum contract based on specifications and drawings, contractors may have to prepare their own bills of quantities in the first place. Tendering based on the government published schedule of rates, however, requires an overall percentage adjustment to the rates for different trades. As selective competitive tendering is the most common way to award a contract, estimating the cost with...

      (pp. 69-82)

      Resource management is an essential element in construction. The basic resources in construction are often called the four M’s: Men, Machines, Material and Money. In this chapter, all these four resources are to be discussed.

      Interviews with 15 large construction sites’ managers in Hong Kong were conducted and their views on resource management are summarized in this chapter, with the exception of section 7, for which the number of interviewees was 20.

      The number of labourers in a construction project is found to increase with the increase of the following two indicators:

      1. The contract sum

      2. The S/D ratio...

      (pp. 83-102)

      The importance to contractors in getting their quality system certified to ISO 9000 is well known in the construction industry. Many clients, notably the Hong Kong SAR government departments, have made it a mandatory requirement for contractors intending to tender for projects under their administration and supervision. Since 1993, main contractors must attain the ISO 9000 certification for Hong Kong Housing Authority projects and it has been a trend for contracting firms to work towards the target of having their quality system accredited.

      Quality has different meanings depending on different organizations’ perception and definition. In everyday use, the word quality...

      (pp. 103-120)

      Hong Kong’s construction industry has a very poor safety track record as compared with other countries such as Japan, Singapore and England. The number of industrial accidents in construction, as one of the major economic sectors in Hong Kong, was 9,206 in year 2001, according to the 2001 Report of the Commissioner for Labour.

      There is usually more than one attribute to a particular construction accident on site. In most cases, it is a combination of various attributes, which may include negligence of construction workers, insufficient guidance and supervision by supervisory staff, inadequate financial, technical and moral support from senior...

      (pp. 121-142)

      A construction project consumes a large amount of resources, yet it has to be completed on time while satisfying the quality and budget requirements. In recent years, more stringent restrictions on safety and sustainability issues have also been imposed. During construction, proper administration and control of the works in various aspects is necessary so as to satisfy the above mentioned requirements. This chapter will cover the common aspects in site administration and control.

      A client who has a need for a construction project usually appoints two specialists to achieve the goal: an engineer to design the works and a contractor...

  5. Part II Quantitative Project Management

      (pp. 145-156)

      A civil engineering project usually involves the implementation of a large number of interrelated activities. Careful planning and coordination is needed so that the activities can be carried out smoothly using minimum resources.

      The arrangement of all the activities of a project in an appropriate sequence or set of sequences is called the programming of works. This is a very important job in all kinds of construction projects. In this and the next few chapters a systematic method of programming will be introduced.

      In the traditional method of programming, the project planner (usually the contractor) presents a programme chart (also...

      (pp. 157-168)

      The representation of activities in a civil engineering project by a network diagram was discussed in the previous chapter. In this chapter, we are going to see that every project with activities that are to be programmed has at least one sequence of activities which is critical to the completion of that project. Any of the activities on this critical path which are not completed in the estimated period of duration will cause the overall project length to be extended. The expected project completion time can be computed from this path.

      There are six steps in the analysis of a...

      (pp. 169-180)

      There is a second method that can be used to represent the activities in a project network. It is called a precedence network and has a number of advantages over the activity-on-arrow network we used in Chapters 10 and 11.

      We shall now examine in detail how such a network is drawn.

      In all the previous discussions about critical path networks, we have used an arrow with a start node at its tail and an end node at its head to represent an activity, i.e.,

      That is called an activity-on-arrow network. In this section, a new method of representing an...

      (pp. 181-188)

      The full name of PERT is Programme Evaluation and Review Technique. It is the application of the critical path method to calculate project duration with uncertainty. The critical path method that has been introduced in Chapters 11 and 12 involves the assignment of activity duration for every activity involved. This is done by estimating single activity duration based on past experience. Besides that, to determine activity duration, a method known as PERT can also be used and this involves probabilities.

      PERT uses three quantities in estimating the duration of a single activity:

      1. the optimistic time

      2. the pessimistic time...

      (pp. 189-198)

      If an activity is to be completed sooner than its normal duration (te), the cost is usually higher because extra resources must be put into the activity.

      A typical time-cost curve generally tends to concave upwards as shown in Fig. 14.1.

      As the activity is speeded up, costs will go up until Point B is reached.

      Point B is the shortest possible time for completing the activity. This is called the crash point.

      When the crash point is reached, further attempts to shorten the duration time by employing additional resources would only increase the cost but would not shorten the...

      (pp. 199-206)

      It is possible that the critical path of a precedence network be found by the use of linear programming techniques. The following example illustrates this....

      (pp. 207-214)

      In running a construction contract, variations usually arise, particularly the variations of activity durations. Contractors are sometimes entitled to (and sometimes not of course) the extension of time of the contract period. In the dispute of extension of time between the employer (owner) and the contractor, a bar chart can never help settle the dispute. Instead, the critical path method must be used. The following case study will illustrate the point.

      Fig. 16.1 shows the main activities of a construction contract and their sequence.

      The critical path is A-B-C-F-H and the project duration is 81 days. This work programme was...

      (pp. 215-226)

      In Chapter 11, the float time of an activity was introduced. We saw how the float of an activity can be shown on a bar chart. From the bar chart, the relationship between the non-critical activities (with float) and the critical activities (without float) can be determined. In the processes of network analysis, however, we have not yet considered the availability of resources and the smoothness of the demand for labour for a particular project.

      In this chapter, readers will see how the float time is used to optimize the resources allocation of a project.

      The network illustrated in Chapter...

      (pp. 227-230)

      A number of computer packages for planning and programming are available in the market place. A brief introduction of these packages is given below.

      Powerproject Teamplan ( addresses real-time programming and resource management issues across the company. It can help manage all projects, resources and costs, and is a scalable solution suitable for individual, departmental and enterprise level planning.

      It is an easy-to-use software application that helps reduce costs, meet deadlines and speed up completion dates in the house building business.

      The software is popular because it:

      is easy to use

      provides total visibility across all projects

      plans resource requirements...

    (pp. 231-234)
    (pp. 235-240)