Civil Engineering Management Analysis Construction Essay

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Civil engineering considered one of the oldest engineering parts where the oldest Egyptian people and Romans used this engineering part in building the pyramids and roads. Civil engineering is concerned with the development of structures. Civil engineers could be able to work in all areas of society started from small contractors for projects related to municipal agencies, government organizations, and the military like Army Corps of Engineers it is one of the largest civil engineering organizations in the United States, where is focused on the development of canals, roads, dams, flood control, and other public works projects to serve the society. (Alan C. Twort , J Gordon Rees)

The Civil engineering consists of different branches as follow:

Environmental - This branch is concerned with environmental issues like the treatment of waste water, and the management of air pollution.

Transportation - The main concentration of this branch is developing the transportation systems, such as with highways, airports and runways.

Structural - This branch includes the design and construction of steel structures like buildings, bridges, and tunnels.

Geotechnical - This branch is concerned with the design and construction of soil and rock based structures.

Water Resources - the main duties of this branch is the construction of dams, water pipeline systems, and canals.

This research includes a discussing for the processes and the techniques used for project management related to construction. This viewpoint is required by owners who want to complete projects in a timely manner, and cost effectively.

The professional management process consist of multiple phases where each process and professional work must go through these phases started from planning, designing, financing, constructing, and operating physical facilities. The advantages of project management through these phases are decreased the cost and delay time so this will differ the professional and specialist work from poor one, so this management will lead to inherit well-done work.

Project management aim to improve the construction industry also used to refresh the national and world economy, so civil engineer should be able to understand the construction industry, physical operating environment, and constraints that affect the project as well as the project management process to make a professional work.

Project life cycle

The idea of new project is motivated and inherited by marketing visions and needed demands to satisfy a certain objectives depends on the constraints defined by owner. The developer will be regarded as sponsor for building project as the government work as a sponsor for public project. The terms "owner" and "sponsor" are the same because these terms have the suitable making decision. The following flowchart explains the project life cycle for a constructed facility. Project aims to achieve the marketing demands in timely manner. After the estimation of the marketing requirements, the engineer will assign a blueprint for construction process and estimate the needed cost for project then the assigned materials will be delivered. (Barrie, D.S, 1981)

Assign the marketing demands

Operation and maintenance

Acceptance facility

Project construction

Design and implement specifications

Planning and feasible study

What is Project Management?

To be able to understand design of the project management it should have knowledge of modern management technique.

The modern definition for the project management is the process of coordinating available resources during the life cycle of project to achieve marketing needs as predetermined according time plane, quality standards, and cost that is predefined before. Project management include set of objectives should be accomplished depending on resource's constraints. The project constraints consist of scope of objective, cost, time, human and financial resources. Project is influenced by market demands and the availability of resources. (Halpin, Daniel W. and Ronald W. Woodhead, 1980)

The following are the project management functions that should be assigned by the beginning of project:

Project specifications which used to accomplished objectives in timely based manner according to the budget and quality standards.

Increase efficient utilization according to the available resources e.g. (materials, equipment, and cost) regards to the prescribed schedule and time plane.

Coordinate and control through the project process (design, planning, estimating, contracting, and quality).

Resolve the conflicts that occur during the project by improve communication mechanism.

The following are interested with project management to get a professional work:

Management of project integration to be sure that the project elements are efficiently coordinated.

Management the project scope to ensure that all required work is included.

To provide an effective time plane to ensure that all project phases is done according to the schedule it should manage the project time.

Management cost to estimate the needed requirement, resources, and control the project budget.

To assist the functionality of project quality should be managed.

To recruit a professionalize employees human resources should be managed.

The project management used to get an efficient communications and prevent the conflicts that may occur in the future.

Risk management used to identify how to deal with risk if it occurs.

Procurement management to assign the necessary resources to achieve the predetermined objectives.

Project management is initiated by planning the project, feasibility study, and timing project. Once the decision made for project then the deadline for completion is determined.

(4) Quality control and safety system

4.1 Introduction

Quality and safety control during the project represent an importance point for project manager to ensure that project is completed according to the predetermined standards. The failure that has occurred in construction process may defects on the project cost that are estimated before. The major drawback of the unexpected failure during the project process cause increase cost and delay time rather than scheduled as in time plane. So the accident that has occurred during project construction process will be directly affected on project cost and scheduled time for completion for this the good manager should have the capability to arrange tasks between different departments to ensure that everything is done according to the scheduled also he/she should have the ability to solve problems when it has occurred then the project will be done in a timely based manner. (Fox, A.J. and Cornell, H.A., 1984)

Regards to quality control most decisions made are the quality achievement during the planning and design phase rather than that one made after construction. A good quality depends on assigning the best resources, cost, and time plane for this facility. During the project construction if there is an unexpected changes (change desired function of facility, change design) occurred this cased the project to be reevaluated. So the quality standards should be clarified, verifiable, and understood to prevent unexpected changes.

Safety management decreased the accident that maybe happened during the construction process so the decision made during plane and design phase will be decreased the unexpected accident. Also, the safety is depends on the education level as well as cooperation during construction phase.

4.2 ISO 9001 Standards:

ISO 9001 standards defined as a quality management system used by organization regardless the size and products it serves in order to assess the satisfactions of customer regards to the service and products that are produced by organization.

ISO 9001 required the following for assessment process:

Assessment key function of organization through several procedures.

Ensure efficiency of key processes by monitoring these processes.

Check milestones and drawback of services when it's necessary.

Keep suitable records for future improvement.

Business auditing include two types of audit to be registered under ISO 9001: external audits and internal audits by internal staff trained for this purpose. The aim of this audit is to continually ensure that the system or services presented by organization are working well, also find where it can be improved and correct or prevent problems that maybe happened in the future.

4.3 Organizing Quality control and safety system:

The modern and specialist organizations are shared with the arrangement of quality control and safety system where these organizations have different departments one interested in quality control and the other one concerned with safety system. In large organization the quality control and safety teams should assign the standards and responsibilities for each department, but for smaller projects these duties are assigned by project manager. In either case the project manager is always responsible about identifying the cost, time, quality standards. Each inspector is involved in the project has special standards for quality control and safety system depends on there demands. (Ang, A.H.S. and W.H. Tang, 1975)

The occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a corporation concerned with the inspection and monitor the construction projects to ensure that the safety standards are always applied so the OSHA inspectors is arrange a routinely visit to the construction site for safety assurance. The OSHA inspectors have the ability to stop work if there is any violation of the safety standards occurred.

Quality control is one of the main objectives of project that the manager and employees should have the capability to assure, maintain, and improve the quality during the project life cycle (from start to end).

4.4 Total Quality control

Quality control in construction process is used to ensure that the minimum quality standards are applied on the facility so the main objectives of the quality control are to ensure that the performance of the facility is achieved according to the design.

Total quality control involves many elements. Like (review the design is the major elements of total quality control to insure safe, efficiency of construction, and performance of the facility). Other elements are continuously maintaining the facility during construction process, finally training personal.

4.5 Safety

The injuries and illness occurred during construction process delayed the working days that are estimated before to complete project and increase cost. The budget of a project consist of direct cost included (cost of needed equipment, worker benefits) and indirect cost included (project delay, damage of equipment, accident during project, reduce the productivity of workers). The owner and project are intended to reduce the accident as much as possible during construction process to ensure that everything is going according to the schedule so the delay in projects will be reduced as possible as. (Skibniewski, M. and Hendrickson, 1983)

The owner of construction facility is always pay everything relate to facility under construction included the injuries and illness occurred during construction process for this it is a great mistake to ignore this cost from the cost estimation at the onset of project.

Injuries accident maybe caused by fall, transportation incident, contact with objective and equipment, and exposure to harmful substances and environment. Transportation and handling goods may cause the accident. Individual falls are one of the most injuries accidents occurred during construction process. Individual falls may cause by one of the following (railing is not secure, the worker might not be inattentive, and the footing is slippery). The safety in construction is one of the responsibilities of the project manager and safety team where it is depends on the design, technology used, and education level. For example, the parapets heights designed to be lower than the building codes to be safer for workers.( Skibniewski, M. and Hendrickson , 1983)

Choosing the technology is one of the most critical points in determining the safety construction site like safeguards that is built in machine to notify the worker that there is a problem occurred or to prevent the injuries. For example, switches prevent equipment from operating when the shield equipment is not in the correct place.

Education level for workers and managers has a great impact on the safety for construction site so the safety inspection and meeting becomes as a professional work on construction process.

During construction process the safety measurement standards used to ensure vigilance and cooperation between workers, managers, and inspectors. Vigilance involves understanding the risks of the working practices which include physical safeguards like barricades, braces, railing, and guy lines. Also, the following standards should be considered when determining the safety standards:

Using hard hats for workers to insure safety.

Using the Eye protection.

Using hearing protection to safe ears from noising near loud equipment.

Using safety shoes to prevent falls injuries.

(5) Cost control, monitoring and accounting management

5.1 Cost control problem

During the execution of project, procedure used to store and keep records related to project is an important point that the project manager depends on it to identify the financial transactions occurred during construction process also give the project manager indications about the completed, in-process, and problems occurred in project. Cost controls, monitoring, accounting allowed the project manger to identify, analyze, and indicate the project status.

Cost control procedure allowed the project manger to identify the deviation average from project plan rather than predefined in time plan schedule and estimated budget. The changes occurred during construction leads to delay the scheduled completion time and increase estimated cost. The project controls mainly concerned with the achievement the original design as schedule before rather than improvement and cost saving.

5.2 Project budget

The baseline reference for project monitoring and control is estimated based on construction plan and associated cash flow. To monitor the project status its need to compare the achievement progress to scheduled one to show the completed task referred to scheduled plane. At the beginning of project a job specifications and contract details will be assigned to define the quality standards used to assess the quality of the construction. The total cost provides an indication about the performance of financial department by the end of project. So when the total cost of project is underestimated cost the first impression of the owner is that the project is under financial control, but if it's extend the estimated cost then it will provide an indication that there are some problems occurred during the construction process. (Halpin, D. W, 1985)

Project budget is estimated at the beginning of project where it contains the expected overall cost which will be used for cost management later on. In project budget the cost for job elements under its category are included in the original estimated cost. The job costs are divided in to work elements needed individual cost under the total cost of that job. The project budget also includes the details for each job like needed materials, quantities, cost, and needed workers to achieve that job. Cost accounts for project indicate the needed materials, and cost for a specific project into the organization. One of the main problems that affected on project budget is the unforeseen events so it should include an item in project budget about the unexpected events. Another problem may affect on project budget is the inflation during the construction process for this it should estimate the cost depending on the expected inflation during this period. (Mueller, F.W, 1986)

(6) Human Resources Management

Human resources management means that the strategy and organization procedure used for assessment the personals whose participate to achieve an objectives of the business. Human resources management also used to manage people of the organization and developing their services as well as the improvement of their qualifications to be able to accommodate the job requirements. (Armstrong, Michael, 2006)

HR management is a technique allowed the manager to describe and identify the needed objectives and resources by workforce to be able to achieve the assignments. The goal of HR management is to find the suitable person for right position in organization as well as maintaining them by increasing the productivity.

Personnel management is a technique used for employment workforce, and providing employees with the benefits and payroll to increase the productivity of them. Human Resources Management includes a Varity of functions which include the deciding what the staff need and if wants to recruit or hiring new employees, or enhance the qualifications for employees through the training courses. (Towers, David, 2007)

6.1 Workforce planning

It is a business process used to ensure that the organization have a fully qualified employee for a suitable position to be assured that the future business could be achieved in right manner. The employee's qualifications mean the skills, knowledge, and ability to make the decision making.

The workforce planning contains the following activities:

Environment scan: is used to identify set of factories that surround the workforce or event.

Human resources profile: it is a profile used to identify the demands of workforce the organization has today.

Future workforce view: is used to identify the organization need depends on the environment scan.

Targeted future: it focuses on the vision that the organization is going to achieve depends on the surrounding factors.

Closing the Gap: deliver the needed workforce for today and tomorrow to achieve target future.

6.2 Employee benefits

It is the incentives provided to the employee to increase their efficiency and productivity as well as increase the economic security in order to achieve the activities assigned by organization for a specific project. The employee benefits include housing (owner provided or paid for employee), employee insurance which includes (health, dental, life, cancer…etc), sick leave, vacation, social society, funding of education, and retirement age benefits. (Ford J., 1995)

In the United Kingdom the benefits are categorized into three terms as follow:

Flexible benefits are the way that allows the employee to choose how the incentives will be paid. The employee can be able to satisfy some of benefits before tax discount like car allowance, basic salary, and vacation. The organization allowed the employee to show their flexible benefits from an internal website (portal).

Voluntary benefits allowed the employee to choose external benefits for personality purposes like childcare e.g. (health assurance, funding the education, traveling tickets).

Core benefits are the benefits that all staff participates on it like (holiday, sick pay, and break hours).

There are some of advantages for employee and employer regarding the benefits provided for employer you can see below:

Advantages for employer:

Attain the qualified employee and attract new efficient employees.

Increase the productivity for employees who have a security for themselves and their families.

Advantages for employee:

Life insurance protects employees from unexpected risk.

Better productivity of employee where they are saving themselves and their families.

Increase the trust and moral of employees to the company.

6.3 Workforce training and development

This filed is one of the human resources department functions that are concerned with the enhancement and improvement the employees in organization for better performance and productivity.

The training and development process involves three interrelated activities as follows:

Training: this activity interested and focused on the job that is currently holds by employees.

Education: this activity interested in the future needed feature so the employees will be able to accommodate these needed features in the future.

Development: it is interested and focused on recruit a new qualified employee to enhance the work productivity.

6.4 Performance assessment and appraisal:

Employee performance appraisal it is a method used to identify the objectives for employees and estimate them according to these objectives by directly reported manager. The appraisal is highlighting and guiding process used to record and maintains the competency of employee to be used for career development in the future.

The following are the aims of performance appraisal:

Highlight the employee's performance and manager feedback.

Identify the employee's weakness and needed training to increase the productivity.

Identify the employee benefits like increase salary, bonus, and promotion.

Remove the stress and pressure between the employee and administration.

The common technique or methods used to evaluate performance of employee's are by using a numerical rating system where manager can be able to assign a score for each objective individually.

The most popular technique used in performance appraisal:

Management by Objective (MBO): the management and employee assigned the needed objectives and agreed on it then the employee will be evaluated on it. The main part of MBO is to measure and compare the performance of employee's depends on a common standards.

360 degree feedback technique: is a technique depends on the feedback that gathered from the surrounded environment of employee to evaluate the performance for this it's called as 360 circle round. Here, the evaluations are the collections of feed backs that gathered from surrounded managers, suppliers, and vendors.

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS): is an appraisal method used to report performance depends on scaling points that range between five to nine where its aim to collect benefits from an example used before that identify the good and poor performance.

6.5 Skills Management

It is the process that used to indicate, understand, enhance, and improve the employees to be a fully qualified person to accommodate the new job requirements by identifying the future job skills and employee skills and then try to remove the gap between these skills.

To achieve the management function manager should be skilled. The basic skills that manager should have for this purpose are technical, human, and conceptual. Technical skills mean that the manager should have a good background in technical field to understand the needed features and requirements related to work. Human skills mean that the ability of manager to deal and communicate with the employees. Conceptual skills mean the ability for manager to develop new ideas, increase productivity, and find best solution to solve problems; this skill is concerned with the planning technique for manager.

Skills management are interested in employees regardless the job title they have, so the individual employee concerned with skills management to determine the job skills needed, then he/she will be able to identify the gap skills (between employee skills and job skills). Also, the manager needs this management to identify the strengths and weakness of employees also he can be able to find a suitable employee for needed position. Finally, the skill management allows the organization to compare the skills of employees and needed abilities to achieve the future requirements.

6.6 Time Management

It is a technique used to mange time refers to the completed task, projects, and specific goals. The time management goes through different phases started from setting objectives, planning, allocating resources, schedule time, applying, and monitoring. Time management known in project management as project scheduling or planning.

(7) Technical Management

Euro codes are a standards used organize the structural process. These standards are not only used in Europe, but it can be used in other countries outside Europe. Euro codes describe the principles depends on it for safety purposes; also include the requirements and principles that civil engineering using for designing and building.

The main objectives of using these codes are:

Provide common technical information used to estimate the needed requirements for stability, mechanical resistance, and resistance to fire.

Allow the operator, owner, designers, and contractors to have a common understanding about the structure design.

Sharing the research, design and documents used in construction industry.

Increase the competition between civil engineering, operators, contractor, and designers in order to achieve their requirements.

The following are some of Euro codes:

Action of structure: provides a fully information that used to arrange the design of building and civil engineering works.

Design of concrete structure: this code involves the concrete requirements like fire resistance, and serviceability.

Design of steel structure: this code depends on the difference of steel structure.

Other Euro codes can be found at this website

(8) Conclusion

The modern construction process used the project management for planning and controls the project resources. The project management involves many phases to achieve project objectives where these phases includes identifying the objectives, recruitment and development new qualified employees and trying to attain the employees by providing them with a new benefits that increase their productivity and trust to work, preparing the time plane for completion, and estimate the cost budget through the project.