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KHB-Zine, Issue #008: Project managing an owner build
August 03, 2017


Welcome to the August edition of KHB Ezine.

This month....
Project managing an Owner Build

Early PS: if you are reading this on a phone, turn it sideways to enable landscape view, it's easier to read.

As an owner builder, you are The Builder! And that position requires efficient project management. Lets do an overview of PM from a OBs view.

Project management

The 6 steps necessary in the management of a building project will usually include:

1. Defining the objectives to be attained Having a trouble free build, getting value out of the build, producing a well built home etc

2. Determining the steps to be taken to reach those objectives.
Planning, scheduling, purchasing, approvals, construction steps, recording completions

3. Preparing a schedule of times and resources.
Time lines, programs and flowcharts for all activities including preparation groundwork needs, kit production, development approval tasks, construction schedules, financing the project

4. Allocating personnel and resources as necessary.
Finding tradesman, organising timely work, arranging finance to be available, preparing drawings and specifications, receiving quotes, arranging storage, transport, delivery, and obtaining plant and equipment, insurances

5. Supervising implementation of the work.
Overseeing all on-site tradework and other workers, assisting and facilitating timely work practice, providing labour input if appropriate

6. Reviewing the results achieved to confirm that they are satisfactory and taking any necessary corrective action.

7. Analysing results on what was described on the quote or agreement and negotiating further outcomes, having approvals organised and carried out, maintaining a cost monitoring system, providing direction and supervision

Here are 10 tasks that will keep the project running smoothly..
Developing a positive attitude to managing self and time
Establishing clear goals
Setting the right priorities
Analysing your use of time
Planning work on a regular basis
Scheduling your work
Controlling interruptions
Running effective meetings
Delegating work
Conquering procrastination

An owner builder needs to be across your Plans, Schedules, Orders and Records.

Plans and Specifications
These are the most critical early on as you finalise the kit home layout. We needed a good month of studying, altering and adding to our floor plans so it really was our home. These changes and variations must be well finalised before the plans get drawn to get an exact quote and for Development Approval submission.

A complete time line of all major events and their contingencies is vital. You need to know when you need money, personnel, resources, equipment, deliveries, when approvals are needed, and how long this project should take. You will never know unless you have a timeline. Remember, a timeline is a fluid document: continue honing it as realities emerge!
Materials, equipment, PC items, tradesmen: all need to be 'ordered'. They need to be available and deliverable, be on time when required and on schedule when completed. Don't assume a tradesman will turn up in three weeks. They won't. Keep in contact right up to the job time to keep them from sneaking in another job.

The whole project needs to be recorded. Job diaries, schedule variations, quotes, invoices and receipts, accidents, job variations all need recording. Photos and videos are very useful. All electronic documents, emails, certificates, approvals, quotes need to be in a specific folder on your hard drive and backed up to a memory stick or the cloud. If your PC fails...

As the site supervisor you must have produced and make available all survey, house plotting, architectural, engineering, and structural drawings.

You will also have to supply all specifications, consent approvals, consultant reports and contract conditions.

Construction planning requires:
Project time frames
Material requirements
Labour requirements
Equipment requirements
Operational constraints
Regulatory requirements

Establishing a planned sequence of house construction works revolves around a logical 'Trade Order' approach. Booking and purchasing 'in time' for when you need it to happen, ensures time over-runs don't occur.

Construction project management tools
Bar chart programming is a great tool to plan and track events and activities. A component bar chart can show you where the time killers, potential over-runs and efficiencies can be found. It can also show you simple comparisons of time required for jobs.
These are easily made in MSExcel, although they can be just drawn up within MSWord in a regular table. If you really want to do it right get some Project Management software which will create all manner of monitoring setups, reminders, contingency management and time management programs.

Gantt Chart
The very best and most useful chart is the Gantt Chart. This type of chart sets out all the activities of the house construction and shows how long they should take, when they start and finish in relation to the next task. A bar chart can show the relationship (and speed) between the work you will do and the work a tradesman will do. But a more useful chart is the Gantt Chart. This can help you create a timeline of events and activities giving real time results as you go.

It has dates and event programming shaded in so you can pre-plan requirements for each activity. It provides a schedule that can be monitored, re-scheduled and provide controlled progress.

Gantt charts help to plot:
Extensions of time for completion of work
Changes to the sequence of work
Acceleration of the contract program (if time limited)
Prolongation of the contract program (if more time is required)

Good construction planning will provide:
Project time efficiencies
Project cost efficiencies
Effective resource management
Effective Cash Flow management

You are now an Owner Builder Project Management Genius.

Need a short ebook on owner building? Your big bonus, just for being a subscriber, is personal access to my Free Ebook
Kit home groundwork: 5 Crucial Steps.

Download your free PDF version HERE and use your personal password khb9632 (lower case letters-expires in 7 days). If you miss out just contact me.
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warm regards

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