Construction Planning and Management in California

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In recent years, there has been a significant growth of construction management. And the growth is expected to continue rising dramatically. First, large construction projects are too complicated to be managed by one person. In this light, construction managers must be involved in planning, coordinating and budgeting of various types of construction projects. These are the projects that involve the construction of all types of buildings such as industrial structures, roads and bridges. Managing construction involves coordinating a wide array of skilled workers, monitoring progress up until the the deadline, and making adjustments to ensure that the objectives are achieved. Fundamentally, there are different stakeholders that are involved in the delivery of quality projects. And therefore, there is a need to manage all the activities involved in construction to ensure that the quality of projects is not compromised.

There are major trends that are driving the construction management in commercial and residential sectors in the state of California. For one, there are an increasing number of professionals in the construction industry (Harris & McCaffer, 2013). During the economic recession, many skilled workers in the construction field and other sectors moved to other places in search of employment. However, now that the construction industry is recovering, the number of workers skilled in craft labor is increasing too (Halpin, 2010). This means that there is a flow of labor necessary to support the construction industries in California. Moreover, there is a need to manage constructional works to ensure that the structures are built according to the set standards (Smith & Hinze, 2009). Therefore, as more workers are flowing back to work in the construction field in California, they are enhancing the growth of construction management (Gahlot, 2007).

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In the past decades, the construction industry did not implement technological advances in a pace similar to other industries. However, a wider focus in California shows that there has been a remarkable growth in the use of technology for managing constructions. It should be emphasized that the construction managers have begun to realize the benefits of using technological advances (Smith & Hinze, 2009). These include innovations such as mobile apps and cloud-based systems. For instance, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is rapidly becoming a widely used technology in construction management. It has marked a significant growth in the construction management in California (Gahlot, 2007). For example, it is the new technology that helps create digital models. These models are then used in providing information necessary for construction planning and improving the safety of construction workers (Halpin, 2010). In addition, construction managers are using BIM to assess potential risks on job sites and improve economic performance of constructional workers. It helps the contractors and construction managers avoid unnecessary spending on scaffolding and staging (Harris & McCaffer, 2013).

On the other hand, there are applications installed in phones and tablets that are changing the performance on construction sites. They help the construction managers to view various plans on the floor and site, submitting orders, and looking for building codes (Gahlot, 2007). It therefore means that one of the significant signs of growth in construction management in California is the use of technology. As a result, the latest technology is enhancing the performance of the construction management in terms of savings on time and resources (Jackson, 2010). For instance, the use of lightweight scanners is crucial in rendering accurate and multi-dimensional drawings for construction projects, while 3D printers can be used to fabricate permanent buildings in a short period of time. In essence, project sites have turned into paperless works where drawings, claims and change orders are transmitted from office to the jobsite while the owners use integrated applications (Smith & Hinze, 2009).

In addition, integration of technology with the functions of construction management improves the expectation of services that contractors provide to project owners (Jackson, 2010). Therefore, the bottom line is not struggling to adopt the latest technology, but ensuring that the culture within a construction company is flexible to incorporate technology (Harris & McCaffer, 2013). The adoption of any technological advancement should pursue an ultimate goal of improving the construction process for owners, increasing coordination between the stakeholders, and ensuring a stimulating environment for innovation. More importantly, technology will enhance the growth of construction management by addressing the challenges and will impact the delivery of services to project owners (Halpin, 2010).

The construction industry in California is recovering from the depth of recession. The increase in residential and commercial properties is a major indicator that the number of construction workers is rapidly increasing. From this perspective, it has become easier for buyers to get homes and commercial spaces for affordable prices (Smith & Hinze, 2009). It should be emphasized that with the increasing supply of new entry-level homes, more low-income buyers have an opportunity to buy properties that match their income. Moreover, the heat in bidding process has reduced significantly because there are many options that the buyers can choose from (Halpin, 2010). This means that the industry is being managed in a way that ensures that such issues as rent and maintenance will not affect the prices for homes adversely. Furthermore, the issues of safety have dominated the construction industry both in California, and other parts of the world (Harris & McCaffer, 2013).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction worker is ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. However, the construction management in California has widened its focus on safety on the job sites (Gahlot, 2007). Therefore, the increasing focus on safety improvement facilitates considerable growth in the construction management in the given state. The construction managers and contractors are becoming concerned with the safety of both the workers and occupants to avoid penalties particularly from OSHA (Jackson, 2010).

The construction industry has also been struggling against the problems related to corruption. However, with the recent growth of construction management, it has become easier to crack down on corrupt developers and construction managers (Jackson, 2010). With these efforts, the construction management in California has seen an influx of corruption charges and punishments to deter similar practices. On the other hand, the improvement of construction management is evident in their performance of various functions (Gahlot, 2007). It is no longer limited to the physical activities of deploying men, materials, and machinery. In other words, it is has enlarged the scope in the view of increasing varieties and magnitude of construction activity (Smith & Hinze, 2009). As a result, the construction management has become a significant economic activity in the state of California. Moreover, the development of construction management is seen in the following areas (Harris & McCaffer, 2013).

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Planning and Scheduling: On the one hand, planning involves investigating a number of alternative realistic work plans for achieving specific objectives. From this perspective, construction managers should select a plan that will best suit from the stand-point of available resources and constraints imposed upon the project (Halpin, 2010). Essentially, in the field of construction management, planning helps to establish clear directions on what needs to be done and the means of doing it (Smith & Hinze, 2009). On the other hand, scheduling involves fitting the work plan selected for the planning process to a time schedule. It shows the duration and order of various construction activities. It is an aspect that one has to deal with when a particular job should be done to perfection (Harris & McCaffer, 2013). These are two functions that have led to the development of construction management in California. Essentially, they have improved the construction industry to ensure that the best work plans are selected and implemented within a particular time frame (Gahlot, 2007).

Organizing: in construction management, organizing involves dividing the overall construction site into manageable departments and sections (Smith & Hinze, 2009). These divisions are then assigned and delegated to specific individuals. Organizing helps establish a relationship between various personnel and the organizational structure of the project. It is usually depicted by a simple flow chart (Gahlot, 2007). This is a significant aspect in terms of the construction management development in California. It helps the construction managers ensure that all the personnel involved in a particular project is assigned with tasks and responsibilities in a clear manner (Smith & Hinze, 2009). As a result, it has become easier for construction projects to be performed completely without compromising on their quality. Construction management ensures that all activities are organized effectively to eliminate risks involved with poor organization (Jackson, 2010).

Staffing: while organizing involves the division of a project into sections, staffing involves making people enter the sections created. It involves recruiting the right people, arranging for training courses, and carrying out proper staff assessment (Halpin, 2010). The staffing function of construction management has played a significant role in enhancing its growth among the construction workers in California. It should be emphasized that it helps the construction managers ensure that the staff working on particular projects has the required skills and qualifications (Harris & McCaffer, 2013).

On the contrary, when the construction managers ignore the importance of this function, the consequences will hinder the growth of construction management (Harris & McCaffer, 2013). Most of the projects that are worked on by qualified staff are usually substandard thus creating potential risks to the Californian occupants. As a result, some projects result in the increase in works that do not meet the required specifications, customer complaints and production costs (Smith & Hinze, 2009). It therefore creates a notion that when the staffing functions of construction management in under-utilized, the reliability of works produced will be significantly lower. Consequently, the clients will lose confidence in under-performing construction managers (Gahlot, 2007).

Directing and Controlling: these are two overlapping functions. On the one hand, directing requires the construction manager to ensure that the staff performs their assigned tasks responsibly. Therefore, it is a function that includes supervising and guiding the workers on how to perform a particular task (Harris & McCaffer, 2013). From this perspective, in California, the success of this function in the construction management lies in the ability to motivate the workers to make efforts to achieve specified objectives. On a wider scope, the controlling function enhances the growth of construction management because it involves reviewing the work plan and assessing the expected achievement (Smith & Hinze, 2009).

It is a process in the construction management that promotes growth by discovering and rectifying deviations through appropriate corrective measures (Jackson, 2010). In this case, significant growth in the construction management in California is evident as the managers follow specific steps in controlling process. These are measuring the exact performances to assess the quality, progress and costs incurred. Moreover, controlling helps analyze any shortcomings that may occur and identifying appropriate measures to remedy the mishaps (Halpin, 2010).

Coordinating: the growth in construction management cannot be achieved without proper coordination. It is always necessary for the construction managers to bring together the work of various sections (Gahlot, 2007). Therefore, the success of coordinating function depends on an efficient communication system. It also involves regular meetings with all individuals involved in a project so that plans, problems and solutions are discussed to determine the best way out (Jackson, 2010). From this perspective, it becomes easier to ensure that the project will be completed in compliance with the drawings and specifications. For instance, construction management ensures that quantifiable quality checks are well-coordinated during the construction stage (Halpin, 2010). This involves such processes as testing the strength of concrete cubs, checking alignment of brickwork and inspecting the installation services. These are some of the features that promote the growth of construction management in California and have resulted in quality constructions (Smith & Hinze, 2009).

For the past few years, construction management in California has seen significant growth. The growth is evident in the upswing of residential and commercial constructions (Smith & Hinze, 2009). Moreover, there are remarkable trends that are closely related to the effectiveness of construction management. For instance, the construction workers are no longer driven solely by profit margins, but rather standard structures and competitive bidding. Fundamentally, there is exhibited pressure from project owners so that construction managers should treat the construction activities as a commodity (Halpin, 2010). For this reason, upon the completion of the project, the outcome should be highly competitive structures that are not hard to build.

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However, these structures should have a standard design and prototypes, and can be constructed by a large number of builders (Smith & Hinze, 2009). As a result, the growth of construction management is becoming evident in building structures such as warehouses, office buildings and learning institutions. On the other hand, the applied concepts of construction management have promoted building of structures that are unique and significantly large in scope (Gahlot, 2007). These are the buildings that are built to be used for a specific purpose. These include industrial plants, concert halls, research facilities, and stadiums (Harris & McCaffer, 2013).

Notably, in California, the growth of construction management in building unique projects has facilitated an opportunity for owners and buyers to look for the construction managers that can offer the best value. In this way, they are avoiding the risk of establishing projects that are of poor quality (Smith & Hinze, 2009). It therefore means that if the construction manager fails to deliver standard projects, the costs of losses from poor workmanship can be devastating. Moreover, with the growth of construction management in California, the real risks involved in the low bids are reducing significantly (Gahlot, 2007).

In most cases, contractors will attempt to make up for negative profits projects by increasing the cost and number of change orders and additional billing. However, according to the concepts of construction management, it is has become relevant for contractors to understand that low bidding landscape put them at the risk of going out of business (Jackson, 2010). As a result, the functions associated with construction management will continue to be delivered in high-quality manner. The contractors and construction managers are required to ensure that the outcomes of their work will not compromise the safety of the Californians (Smith & Hinze, 2009).

The construction management in California has seen growth in the convergence of architectural, engineering and construction companies. It should be emphasized that there is a tendency of these firms to form mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships that have contributed to the development of integrated firms (Gahlot, 2007). Fundamentally, this phenomenon is primarily driven by the demands of the owners and the need for businesses to thrive (Jackson, 2010). At the same time, the functions of construction management such as planning and coordination come in handy to enhance these new phenomena in California. As a result, the rise of uniquely designed structures in the recent years has been influenced by the remarkable growth in construction management (Halpin, 2010). As such, this growth has facilitated the reduction in project completion times and addressing improvements in project collaboration and conflict reduction (Harris & McCaffer, 2013).

Secondly, the trend in architectural, engineering and construction firms to converge has promoted the development of a wide array of construction delivery methods that require comprehensive application of the functions of construction management (Harris & McCaffer, 2013). It should be emphasized that there are new trends with variations that meet the specific needs of the owners and buyers. These trends also have specific marketing elements that require the structures to be built in a standard manner that can only be guaranteed by the effective application of construction management (Smith & Hinze, 2009).

Fundamentally, this means that construction management in California will continue to grow dramatically with the new trends evolving in the construction industries. On the other hand, the project owners are emphasizing the need for greater collaboration (Halpin, 2010). These owners are also trying to establish the lowest prices without compromising on the quality of the project. From this perspective, the concepts of construction management are playing a significant role to ensure that the contractors do not abandon their approach aimed at the best-value procurement (Gahlot, 2007). Furthermore, in the current market, most of the contractors have the opportunity to maintain the leading staff and clients in the processes that integrate the functions of construction management. Contractors and construction managers are becoming vigilant to observe the actions within their industry (Smith & Hinze, 2009). They are ensuring that their sites of engineering and construction services are compelling to Californians in terms of the competition. Therefore, it is expected that this growth will continue as owners seek new services for the construction management as it paves a strategic way for market changes in the future (Harris & McCaffer, 2013).

In conclusion, there has been observed a significant growth in construction management in California. Fundamentally, this growth was facilitated by the need to involve construction managers in planning, coordinating, and budgeting of various types of construction projects. Secondly, with the rise of technological advancement, the construction management is experiencing growth in terms of the use of mobile applications. As a result, the construction workers are being managed in a fast and cost-efficient manner. Thirdly, the increasing number of residential and commercial constructions is an evidence of remarkable growth of construction management in California. It has facilitated an upswing of constructions with unique designs. Moreover, the growth in construction management ensures that construction workers are driven more by standard structures and competitive bidding rather than greater profit margins. It has eliminated risks and safety hazards associated with low bidding. Remarkably, with the recent growth of construction management, it has become easier to crack down the corrupt developers and construction managers. In addition, the increasing trend for partnerships and convergence of architectural, engineering, and construction firms has promoted the rising of a wide array of construction delivery methods. As such, the comprehensive application of the functions of construction management comes in handy. Therefore, it is expected that such growth of construction management will continue to increase. As a result, the owners and buyers will seek new services on behalf of construction management as a strategic way to achieve market changes in the future.

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