A quick glance at the construction industry in the United States:
- With 10% of the market share, it ranks as the second largest construction market worldwide.
- There are 7.8 million production workers in the U.S. construction industry.
- The Dodge Data and Analytics’ 2016 Construction Outlook report predicted 6% growth for the construction industry, with the value of construction reaching an estimated $712 billion.
It is a big industry and with that comes aspects like construction management and project management. Project management is a skill set that requires overseeing all aspects of a project, having a team to delegate responsibilities to, and managing workers to complete tasks proficiently, within budget, and on time.
In many cases, construction is necessitated by a failing infrastructure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that drinking water utilities will have to invest nearly $335 billion over the next 20 years to address deteriorating infrastructure conditions. In general, about 20% of all insurance claims are related to water damage and water intrusion makes up to 70% of all construction litigation.
Safety is also a paramount concern in the construction industry. 35% of on the job injuries are caused by machine accidents, including 14% of work-related deaths. One of the most frequent types of injuries involves mounting and dismounting from vehicles. There is a specific three-contact rule which should be taught in training, placing even more emphasis on construction management.
The demand for those skilled in construction management will continue to grow over the next decade. Till 2024, employment for construction managers is supposed to increase 5%, most likely do to the increasing overall demand for construction. 80% of high-performing projects are currently led by a certified project manager. And 46% of organizations admit to not fully understanding the value of project management.
One way to solve this problem lies within the area of construction consulting. Construction consultants are educated and experienced members of the construction industry who can provide guidance on a particular problem or a project. Their expertise may even include project planning and an ability to see the project from start to finish, providing direction for someone in construction management to better run the project.
Project planning is of particular importance for larger projects. A project that requires many many steps must account for the amount of time for each step, which means efficiency comes at a premium. A problem that is unforeseen can cause delays for the entire project, meaning time and money is wasted and a client may become unhappy.
Another area of importance is risk management. Risk can be seen as a basic concept, such as the safety of workers, or the larger risk of financial losses if a project goes incomplete for some time. Risk management can also encompass what kinds of projects to take on, especially if some of the projects take on such a financial toll that they may jeopardize the business.