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5 effective ways to improve project cost control

20th July 2021   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

How your project manager contributes to robust cost control

Cost control is an important part of managing a construction project and your professional team will include at least one cost management specialist. However, your project manager can also play a very important role in controlling project costs.

In this article we take a look at five key ways  your project manager can be very effective at controlling project costs.

1) Business case and high level brief

Long before you even start on site you need to ensure your project goals are a sound business proposition and achievable within your budget. 

Your project manager will act on your behalf providing a wealth of knowledge and experience in order to develop a strong business case for your project proposal that is achievable within your budget and will engage investors or funding partners (if necessary).

This also helps reduce the likelihood of needing to revise your project goals further down the line by reducing the risk that you will need to make changes that will reduce costs but ultimately often cause project delays. 

2) Build and manage a collaborative professional team

It’s important to remember that your project manager acts on your behalf of the client, and is not part of the consultant team. Nevertheless, they hold an influential role in the project and must possess the ’soft’ skills needed to create a collaborative team and then manage them throughout the project, in addition to a proven industry track record.

3) Ensuring compliance 

Construction projects are complex beasts with compliance and contractual obligations you will need to effectively discharge. Your project manager will take care of this on your behalf, in addition to creating the requisite documentation such as the Project Execution Plan (PEP), and facilitating a robust and effective procurement process. 

4) Risk and change management

Managing change control and risk management processes are both critical to the successful delivery of your project.

The definition of a project risk is: “a potential event either within or outside of the project that, if it happens, may cause the project to fail to meet one or more of its objectives”.

For this reason, risk management forms a sizeable and complex part of the work your project manager will manage on your behalf. There are standard methodologies they will apply to assess the probability of risks as well as the potential impact if they were to happen. This will be supported by a process of establishing what risks can be removed, reduced or controlled and what may be tolerated – all of which will be recorded within the relevant risk management documentation. 

Similarly, change control processes will be implemented owing to the fact that changes can have an impact on time, cost or quality of your project and, as such, must be recorded, evaluated, authorised and managed. There are particular project milestones that will see change control procedures being implemented, such as at the end of concept design, during detailed design stages, during the tender stage, and on appointment of the contractor.

5) Keeping your project on track

Simply put, delays cost money!

Which means that your project manager will pay close attention to keeping your project running smoothly and inline with the agreed project programme. They will liaise with key stakeholders, the consultant team and the contractors to ensure that project milestones are being achieved and that early warning systems are in place to identify slippage at the earliest stage. 

Although your project manager is not a cost consultant, they will also review the cost plan with the consultant team. In doing so, they can ensure that costs are not escalating and that if costs do start to escalate, proactive steps are taken to address it and protect the financial position of your project.

How Evolution5 can help you?

Evolution5 is a professional consultancy offering project management, quantity surveying, principal designer, employer’s agent, and contract administration services for projects across London and the South East.

If you have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.