Management In Civil Engineering

4076 words (16 pages) Essay in Information Technology

17/05/17 Information Technology Reference this

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In general and widely adopted sense civil engineers are considered to design and manage the construction of roads, railways, buildings, bridges, tunnels, dams, airports, water supply and sewage systems. They must have to look into several factors in the design procedure from the production costs and expected lifetime of a project to government policies and possible environmental hazards such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Civil engineering, considered one of the oldest engineering disciplines, assimilates many specialties. The most common and crucial fields of civil engineering are structural, water resources, construction, transportation, and geotechnical engineering(Bean, A.L., 2007). Most of the civil engineers hold administrative or supervisory positions, from supervisor of a construction site to city engineer. As civil engineering is continuously broadening its area of interest so significant numbers of civil engineers have also chosen their career in management, research, and teaching fields besides its common fields. Which are new emerging fields and they have their own significance in engineering.These sort of moves demand, civil engineers must have requisite knowledge about all these fields.

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Importance of Management in Civil Engineering

Management is leading science domain and routine in managing building companies. It is one of the oldest human activities, it activates human abilities on building investment objects in order to assure necessity for civil engineering purposes. It is enough good reason to take place in management development in civil engineering. As there are too many definitions of management depending on an author, only the most important are offered, namely the most acceptable in civil engineering domain. Remarkable attention is given to managing tasks in civil engineering as well to their correlations

If we speak about management in civil engineering then the total quality management must be proposed. Total quality management is a business philosophy and accessible way of modern companies around the whole world. It is the most contemporary idea of developing and advancing in all life and work domains. The growing urge of efficient use of the earth’s resources such as land, air, water and raw materials as well as concentration on efficient design, analysis and maintenance of civil structures requires a better insight in the spatial and temporal patterns of resources and activities (Bean, A.L., 2007). In view of the fact that the parameters of civil engineering today are not only confined to design and construction of structures but due to globalization and privatization of civil engineering organizations now civil engineering emerges as a study, which not only pay attention on construction and design but also reflects the importance of management of the resources used in construction. Now we talk about the various newly emerging fields of civil engineering (Motwani, J., 2001).

Responsibilities for Civil Engineers

In most of the cases, such as e.g. the situation, when natural phenomena like the weather is considered the engineering models developed to predict such phenomena are indeed very uncertain. The same applies to the prediction of natural hazards such as e.g. earthquakes, rock-fall and tsunamis which all constitute important exposures for the built environment. Engineering models must, however, also take into account the uncertain performance of man. Due to the effect of the different types of uncertainties there is no absolute certainty associated with the result of an engineering decision. For this reason there is also no absolute certainty about the safety of a structure. So as a engineer at construction site, it is also necessary for him to look into issues like health safety & risk management, environmental management etc. Now we briefly discuss about these issues (Carpenter, J. Williams, 2004).

3.1 Health Safety & Risk Management

As per the definition, hazards which cause risk of lives at site are due to transfer of energy in one form or other. If the energy transferred more than the withstanding capacity at the receiving end, hazard is created, which eventually leads to physical harm of employees. The human system or any other object or species has tolerance levels or thresholds for each form of energy. The quantity of such energy, particularly near the threshold limit must be determined in order to decide on the control method to eliminate or reduce the impact of hazard. Mc Farland, another researcher in this field, has said “all accidental injuries and damages result from application of specific forms of energy in amounts”(Human Engineering, 2005).

The main objective of the health management is to minimize or if possible then completely avoid hazards at site. It will decrease the chances of physical harm of employees and subsequently increase the health safety conditions at site. Although the success of a safety program depends on people, how they are motivated and how they communicate with each other. One of the important keys to success lies in establishing communication with people at all levels (Carpenter, J. Williams, 2004). So here health safety management comes into picture, it basically help to implement methods, which may include written circulars, reports, news sheets, promotional activities, incentive or reward schemes, personal contact and, most successful of all, structured safety meetings at the work place level where everyone can become involved . Safety meetings will be more productive and motivating if a member of a group under the guidance of management is asked to lead the meeting, having first been given the framework of the subjects for discussion and what the discussion hopes to accomplish. Where contractors are part of the work group they should also be included. Conclusions and concerns should be written down and acted well upon. The enthusiastic participation of all staff in safety meetings should be regarded as a long term objective.

Case Study

Over the last decade the highest rate of accidents and causalities in British Industries has been identified by the construction industry. Accordingly the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) arranged ‘blitz’ inspections in an attempt to implement health and safety legislation and thus get better construction site safety. But, after 2000 site speculations it was noticed that one third of the site supervisors and agents had inadequate knowledge of and a poor attitude towards basic health and safety requirements. The ‘blitz’ speculations were not successful in dropping down the number of deaths and other serious causalities but simply pointed out the lack of knowledge of and the unsatisfactory attitudes towards health and safety risk management.

The risk of casualty in the construction industry has been dropped down from approximately 4.5 times higher to approximately three times higher than the risk of causalities that is related with all British industries (Figure 1) (Carpenter, J. Williams, 2004).

Fig 1. UK construction industry fatality rates per 100,000 workers compared with other industries 1992-2006 (Carpenter, J. Williams, 2004)

3.3 Environmental Management

First we define what exactly environmental management is and later we focus on its significance in a view of civil engineering. The main responsibilities of civil Engineers are to plan, grow and manage the surrounding environment. Majority of us in our routine lives take the built environment more or less for granted. We have got used to a well functioning infra-structure (Carpenter, J.,Williams, 2004). In addition, whereas some bridges and high rising buildings may be extremely extravagant most of the built environment is barely noticed. Environment management also includes the proper functioning of sewage systems, tunnels and water supply systems. Systems without which our modern society could not function. When civil engineers make decisions in regard to the planning, design or maintenance of the built environment they take basis in the fundamental laws of nature, e.g. the results of fundamental research in physics, chemistry and biology. Well known examples of this is the rule of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics which all play crucial roles in how we design and maintain buildings and structures.

We know that the hotels and resorts in the Caribbean use large amounts of water, energy, chemicals, supplies, and disposable items. They also generate lots of waste such as wastewater and solid waste. Because of this, small efficiency gains can lead to large cost savings and environmental performance improvements. Environmental management is a systematic approach to finding out practical ways for saving water, energy, and materials, and reducing negative environmental impacts. A proactive environmental management program is a win-win-win proposition because it can help a property save money, get recognized for environmental leadership, and preserve and protect unique destinations (Human Engineering, 2005)..

Sustainable urban growth needs an integrated approach and the Thematic Strategy advocates that national and regional authorities support municipalities in achieving more integrated management at the local level. Integrated approaches comprise of long term strategic visions and connect different policies at different administrative levels to guarantee coherency. Integrated environmental management also comprises of tackling regarded issues together such as integrated spatial planning, urban management and governance, economic wellbeing and competitiveness, social inclusion and environmental stewardship.

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4.Quality Management System

Quality means excellence. It is thus a philosophy rather than a mere attribute. The difference between two objects is judged by their qualities. We set some standards which determine the level of acceptability. In most industries especially in manufacturing and process industry, the concept of quality management is old and used extensively. Nowadays, application of quality management is not only becoming popular but also mandatory in construction industry.

Quality assurance in construction activities guides the use of correct structural design, specifications and proper materials ensuring that the quality of workmanship by the contractor or sub-contractor is achieved and finally maintaining the structure after construction is complete through periodic assessments for maintenance and repairs. Quality control has to be imposed by the contractor whereas quality assurance is carried out by a separate third party agency engaged by the owner (Biggar, J. L., 1990).

Quality Management Concerns (Motwani, J.,2001):

Quality control means rational use of resources.

Quality control procedures implement appropriate mixing, proper compaction, correct placement and adequate curing.

Quality control prevents temptation of over design.

Quality control ensures strict monitoring of every stage of concrete production and rectification of faults.

Quality control reduces maintenance costs.

Fig 2. Role of quality management in any project (Motwani, J.,2001)

Quality management basically comprises of following management:

4.1 Technical Management

It is apparent that quality and cost are the prior major concerns for any construction in a customer as well contractor’s perspective. Cost is related to the quality, that need to be identified for management decisions. The costs of project can be broken down as follows: There are many components other than raw material and labor cost, which individual has to deal with to estimate and finalize the final cost of structures such as (Biggar, J. L., 1990):

The costs of preparing appropriate designs, more training to reduce failure costs and a lot of maintenance work.

In some cases we need demolishing of one structure and making another structure, so in this case the total cost and production time would be different from the estimates.

Natural hazards can also cause to increase the cost of project significantly by delaying the construction process or damaging it.

So technical management includes the estimation of cost, time of completion and prediction of natural hazards those possible can happen at the site. At the beginning stage after surveying the site, material testing is carried out in order to make structure economically feasible by ensuring all possible safety concerns for the users. Many standard codes are set up for defining the qualities of material and other raw materials such as The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) favors the improvement and application of quality management system standards, including international standards such as the American Society for Quality Control and ISO 9000, to specialized engineering services and the application of standards to the developed project (Motwani, J.,2001). Thus technical management also deals with matching up the standards of materials and if they suit then plans it to use efficiently. It even associates in predicting various factors which may affect the cost, safety and production time of the structure.

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This is considered the essential management unit for any construction project which incorporates with defining objectives and limitations, and to build mathematical analysis models in solving difficult problems of production control, materials and inventory, among others. Technical management includes the resources and construction personnel must utilized efficiently for the various operations to accomplish the job. At the construction site this involves management associated to crew management with related tasks, logistics related to operations as well as operations, service and maintenance.

4.2 Project Management

Project Management in construction can vary from projects to projects. Like if a construction is required to be done for a theme park than a team of creative people is needed, if a project is associated to the building some mall than the team of project management will have more of civil engineers. However today every company manages projects with some specialization. Such as a construction company can specialize only in building bungalow, sky capers, Malls, theatres, parks etc.

Project Management section in a project is a structure that is purposely designed for executing projects. It is specifically modified to reach the demands of difficult tasks by separating unique work and maintaining a strong focus on accomplishing the project (Biggar, J. L., 1990)). Once the project is finished, this structure disbands. Although this structure is supposed to be very good in managing dedicated resources throughout the life of the project. This section shows techniques and requirements during project planning, including cost estimation, forecasting, risk assessment and economic evaluation. It is the division where design and planning phase in which major capital savings may be procured during the eventual construction and operation phases. The key responsibilities of the Project Manager may differ depending on the the company maturity, the company size, industry, and the company culture. However, there are some mandatory responsibilities that are common to all Project Management organizations (Motwani, J.,2001).

Fig 3. Diagram shows the various tasks associate with project management (Motwani, J.,2001)

Operations Management

Operations Management (OM) incorporates with the design and management of required task, services and supply chains, processes. It includes a wide range of judgment that companies have to make, such as product design, capacity planning, forecasting, process selection, technology selection, design of facilities and jobs, inventory management, management of the supply chain, project management, maintenance management and quality management(Biggar, J. L., 1990).

The work and fuction of Operational management (OM) ranges from strategic to operational and tactical levels. Strategic problems may incorporate with determining the location and size of manufacturing plants, deciding the structure of service networks and designated technology supply chains. And tactical problems could include plant layout and equipment selection. As a conclusive remark, operational tasks may include production scheduling, inventory management, quality control and material handling. The appropriate management of these resources requires the sorts of knowledge and skills provided by Operation Management concepts, tools and techniques (Sommerville, J., 2000).

Financial and Commercial Systems

5.1 Financial Systems

Financial systems facilitates to inform your organization’s planning and action plans. Financial systems also assist you track and manage the resources required to successfully complete your work. These guidelines grant basic practices, Which you will need to build ¬nancial sustainability in your organization. Other reasons why developing ¬nancial systems are important because they play key role in the task such as establishing ¬nancial controls and clear accounting procedures help ensure that funds are used for intended purposes, transparency, clear planning and realistic projections contribute to the credibility of the organization, Financial systems and capacity help the organization to make sound decisions based on cash ¬‚ow and available resources, it help to provide reports to the funders that demonstrate that grants were used for intended purposes etc.

The financial system is the system that lets the transfer of money between savers and borrowers. Financial systems play a key role in distribution of resources in a modern economy. They link up household savings to the corporate sector and allocate investment funds among firms. They allow inter temporal smoothing of consumption by households and expenditures by firms and they enable households and firms to share risks. However these functions are very common to the financial systems of most developed and developing economies. Though the types of these financial systems varies widely as per the requirement.

Generally we know the fact that the civil engineering projects are very large and demand a very huge amount of money. One individual is solely unable to fulfill that demand of money. To eliminate this problem financial systems have been developed, which ensure to provide any sudden and large requirement of money. They have authority to monitor the whole market and handle the economy of a large domain.

5.2 Commercial Systems

The expression commercial system is general and applies to any group or organization with a specific set of skills, priorities, strategies, goals and resources that put in order to collectively achieve the predefined aim of making profit. Ultimately, a group and organization is said to be commercial if it’s main objective to earn profit for the proprietor, shareholders, or both, by supplying products and services.

To comprehend properly what a commercial organization is requires being aware of the many for profit activities commercial organizations participate in.

Thus both systems financial and commercial have their distinct role in any construction project. However financial systems are also highly commercial. Financial system guarantees the availability of necessary funds and proper distribution of it to the various departments of project. Where as commercial system aims to provide maximum profit to owner and even more satisfaction to customer.

Human Resource Management

Managing humans or personnel is at the heart of almost all the real life management problems. What it takes to manage humans? Why humans are a ‘resource’ and what makes them special? The function of HRM is to bring out issues involved in the management of human resources (HRM), both from current theory as well as practice (Beardwell, Ian & Holden, Len 1986). It also examines humans at work and discusses various aspects which are basic to human inspiration at work and in fulfilling career aspirations within organizations. HRM includes various issues right from selection placement to performance appraisal, salary career management, and training, etc. of employees in organizations.

The expressions human resource management (HRM) and human resources (HR) have widely substituted by the expression personnel management as a explanation of the processes included in managing people in organizations. In brief, HRM has to deal with employing people, developing their resources, utilizing, maintaining and compensating their services in tune with the task and organizational requirement. The HRD profession and HRM function have undergone significant change over the past couple of years. Many years ago, large organizations looked to the Personnel Division mostly to manage the paperwork around hiring and paying people (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1943).

Human resource management (HRM) is the formulated concept to the management of an organization’s most appreciated features. The people working there who individually as well as collectively contribute to the accomplishment of the objectives of the business. Recently, organizations consider the HR Department as playing a major role in recruitment, training and helping to manage people so that people and the organizations are performing at limit capability in a highly satisfying manner. However, many HR functions these days combat to get beyond the roles of employee champion and administration, and are seen rather as reactive than strategically proactive partners for the top management.

At the end of the day, the objective of human resource management is to assist an organization to reach predefined goals by satisfying, and maintaining employees and also to manage them effectively. The key word most probably here is fit, a HRM approach seeks to ensure a fit between the management of a company’s employees, and the overall strategic direction of the company (Staw and Barsade, 1993).

The theoretical discipline of HRM is considering primarily the assumption that employees are individuals with varying needs and goals, and as such should not be thought of as basic business resources, such as trucks and filing cabinets. The area needs a positive view of workers, assuming that practically all wish to contribute to the enterprise productively, and that the main complication to their endeavors are lack of knowledge, failures of process and insufficient training. Nevertheless these conventional expressions are becoming less common for the theoretical discipline. Sometimes even industrial and employee relations are confusingly termed as synonyms, although these generally imply to the connection between management and workers and the behavior of people in companies.

The Human Resources Management (HRM) profession includes numerous activities, and the most crucial among them is choosing what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or recruit employees to achieve these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, promising they are elevated performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring personnel and management practices conform to number of regulations. Activities also include managing your move toward to employee benefits and compensation, employee details and personnel policies. However, they should always ensure that employees have a vague idea of personnel policies which confirm to current regulations. These policies are generally in the form of employee manuals, that all employees own.

Document Control

Anyone who works in a professional services firm nowadays must know well that document management involves far more than simple data processing and file sharing.

Document management nowadays must keep in mind the complete life cycle of a document as well as its content from creation, employees and clients, to the eventual storage and harvesting of content for reuse, to collaboration among partners. In response of fulfilling these needs, firm developed technologies that offer firms to make and control documents that were not applicable in years past. Professional services companies can now enhance productivity, increase security through tighter controls over document production and handling, and perk up document quality through the application of clear editing and review path ways. Additionally, progresses in collaboration and communication can facilitate firms to attain the smartest return.

Summary

Project Management section in a project is a structure that is purposely designed for executing projects. It is specifically modified to reach the demands of difficult tasks by separating unique work and maintaining a strong focus on accomplishing the project. Although this structure is supposed to be very good in managing dedicated resources throughout the life of the project. This section shows techniques and requirements during project planning, including cost estimation, forecasting, risk assessment and economic evaluation. It is the division where design and planning phase in which major capital savings may be procured during the eventual construction and operation phases.

At the construction site safety is the major concern because these projects are huge so a small mistake can cause of a serious damage. The main objective of the health management is to minimize or if possible then completely avoid hazards at site. It will decrease the chances of physical harm of employees and subsequently increase the health safety conditions at site. One of the important keys to success lies in establishing communication with people at all levels. To improve the safety methods new ways have been used to reach the satisfactory safety levels. This whole work can not be done by the single unit at the site but all management units specified above coordinated well and help to implement methods, which may include written circulars, reports, news sheets, promotional activities, incentive or reward schemes, personal contact and, most successful of all, structured safety meetings at the work place level where everyone can become involved. Safety meetings will be more productive and motivating if a member of a group under the guidance of management is asked to lead the meeting, having first been given the framework of the subjects for discussion and what the discussion hopes to accomplish. For the progress of any project it is necessary that all accident should be avoided at the site which eventually needs improved safety methods.

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