construction project management gantt chart

Project management documentation

22nd December 2021   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

The role of a project manager for construction projects is a complex one with wide ranging responsibilities and the effective delivery of the role requires key project management documentation to be in place. 

In various other articles and videos we have covered different aspects of the project management role. This article takes a look at some of the key project management documents your project manager will use to support the delivery of your project.

Please note, this article is not comprehensive as it would be extensive and unappealing for most readers. Rather it is intended to give an oversight of the breadth of project management documentation that is necessary in order for your project manager to effectively control the project and protect your investment. 

Business case and strategic brief

Developing the project business case and strategic brief is the very first stage of any construction project. The early appointment of your project manager will ensure that they contribute to this stage by providing challenge and drawing on their experience in order to develop a robust business case and strategic brief that will help you secure the support of your investors or funding partners.

Project Execution Plan (PEP)

The project execution plan (PEP) sets out the strategy for the project delivery and management. At the outset it will draw on information contained within the business case and strategic brief but will be developed further as more detail becomes available. 

This document will include all policies and procedures relevant to the project, design information, budget and cost management protocols, resourcing information, equipment requirements and risk management strategies.

In some instances you may also see this referred to as the project management plan, the project implementation plan or the project quality plan. 

Risk Register & Change Control Register

Risk management and change control are key aspects of your project manager’s role and critical to the success of your project. 

Due to the complexities of these areas, and the potential for the poor management of them to derail your project, there are standard industry methodologies your project manager will follow. 

The risk register is a working document containing regular risk assessments as they arise in the duration of the project. The risk register should be regularly reviewed as part of the project progress reporting. 

Change control protocols ensure that the appropriate change control process is applied at key project milestones and that changes are properly assessed and evaluated for their impact on the cost, quality and timeliness of the project before being approved.

Budget and cost control measures

Achieving a successful ROI on your project relies on the project being delivered on time, to the required specification and in line with the project budget. Your project manager should be expected to have robust cost management controls and documentation in place to ensure the budget is proactively monitored and managed – avoiding cash flow problems or financial surprises from occurring.  

Progress reports

Compiled by your project manager in accordance with the communications plan, progress reports offer you a complete overview of your project. The purpose of these reports is to give a snapshot of the project position at agreed points in time. The frequency of these reports does, to some extent, depend on the size and complexity of your project. 

In addition to reporting the status of the project, this report allows early identification of new risks, provides an auditable record of decisions made during the project, creates a formal structure for the team, aids transparency and clear lines of communication and demonstrates the correct processes, procedures and controls are being implemented.

Practical completion and defects monitoring

When it gets to this stage in the project life cycle, there are a number of documents that will come into play over a period of time. A Certificate of practical completion will be issued when the project is handed over from the contractor to the client after the contracted works have been completed. Practical completion is then followed by a defect rectification period (usually 6 or 12 months) as detailed in the contract documentation. Defects are inevitable on construction projects so it’s important that your project manager is retained to see out the management of them. (Defects as defined in the building contract are works that have not been completed in accordance with the specified contract works and these should not be confused with general maintenance issues.) At the end of the defect rectification period a schedule of defects is produced detailing any defects that have still not been rectified. This is used to agree with the contractor a date by which they will be made good. Once this has been completed a Certificate of Making Good Defects is issued which then triggers the release of the remaining retention monies and the final certificate being issued. 

Appointing a project manager

For more information about appointing a project manager, or any other professional consultant, refer to our article here which details the roles, responsibilities and the professional standards to which each role is required to achieve. 

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.