In another post, we talked about the Construction Project Lifecycle and what happens in the Startup Phase. Now we're on to the second phase, Planning.
There are four phases within the Project Lifecycle. They are(click on the link to read the article):
Each phase plays a unique role in the life of a project, and it's important that we, as manager, planners and builders, understand each phase and what should be happening.
The simple truth is this:
"The success of a project depends on how well the PLAN is executed. Don't have a plan? That's a plan in-and-of itself."
If you're only going to read one of the four posts about Construction Project Lifecycles, make sure it's THIS ONE.
Study the image below for a second and we'll explain everything in a minute.
Construction Lifecycle; Planning Phase
The Planning Phase is where everything starts becoming real. We shift from thinking about what we're going to do and we start putting plan in place to get it done. And get it done right the first time. The Planning Phase is where we are creating all the processes, procedures and tracking logs that will be the tools we use throughout the rest of the project.
We're going to create submittal logs, flow charts, zipper plans and much more.
It's the less glamorous part of a project, and employees are typically let than thrilled about jumping in a getting this stuff done.
BUT - this is where the team is laying the foundation for the success (or demise) of the project!
Who's doing what?
Every party involved in the contract has a planning phase. And while the definitely overlap, they are happening in an offset schedule. What do I mean by that?
A Subcontractor's planning phase is going to happen after the Prime's planning phase. And the Owner's planning phase is happening before the Prime's.
Whatever party your with, just know this: When your team is in the planning phase, the other parties will be playing 'support' roles to help you through that phase. And when you're not in the planning phase, you're playing a support role for the other teams. This is where good relationships and teamwork come into play. Now is not the time to be burning bridges or being a difficult team player.
Why is this phase important?
Here's the best part of this whole article. And this is going to be a paradigm shift for a lot of people reading this.
THE PLANNING PHASE IS WHERE YOUR TEAM SHOULD BE FOCUSING MOST OF THEIR EFFORTS.
Yes, what I'm saying is that the planning phase is MORE important than the Execution Phase. Yes, it's more important that Startup, Execution AND Closeout phase.
Like I mentioned before, the Planning Phase plays the biggest role in the success of your project.
Look at the graph above and tell me where you have the highest ability to impact the outcome of the project: Planning.
And tell me where the cost to implement a change is cheapest: Planning.
Next up, we hit the Execution Phase. This is the fun part. This is where we see actual boots on the ground and see something actually being built. FINALLY.
It's time to take everything your team has worked on and put it into action. Finally, it's GO TIME.