How To Use Agile Methodology In Construction Management: A Step-by-Step Guide
Agile in construction management could sound a bit unbelievable, given that agile practice is mainly used for software development.
However, you may be surprised to learn that agile methodology can be implemented in a variety of industries, including marketing, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and construction. This is because agile is more of a mindset than just a methodology
In this blog, we will attempt to comprehend how agile can be implemented for the construction project management process and what the benefits are. But, before we go there, let's understand Agile.
What is an Agile Project Management Methodology?
Agile project management process can be defined as an iterative and incremental project development or management approach. This method entails breaking down a project into multiple phases and tasks. Besides that, unlike traditional project management approaches in which the development team delivers the entire project at once, the agile team completes and delivers work in small but consumable increments
Among the four values and twelve principles of The Agile Manifesto, three are critically valuable are:
- Constant collaboration with stakeholders
- Continuous improvement at all stages
- The highest level of customer satisfaction
To ensure that the agile project management process is thoroughly implemented across the team or organization, the entire agile team, including the product owner and development team, practices these values at each stage of development.
The thorough and well-implemented agile methodology benefits the organization in various ways, including enabling the agile team to respond quickly to market changes, integrate customer feedback as soon as possible, reduce time to market, deliver high-value products first, and so on. All these agile benefits will eventually help the organization boost customer satisfaction and increase ROI.
Agile in Construction Management
Construction is one of the oldest industries, dating back to 4000 BC. Over the centuries, the industry underwent several evolutions and saw significant technological advancement. One notable development was indeed the integration of agile in the construction management process.
An agile construction management plan can certainly improve all of the activities and operations involved in the process. For example, it will assist the construction company in the following:
- Break down the entire project into well-planned phases.
- Collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams and stakeholders.
- Clearly communicate the shared goals to the workforce.
- Have complete transparency over the development process.
- Reduce or completely eliminate process delays.
- Complete the project on time and within budget.
All these advantages work together to improve work quality, ensure project completion on time, and keep construction costs as low as possible.
Implementing Agile Approach in Construction Management
Here is a step-by-step example of how to implement agile in the construction project management process.1. Design and pre-construction
Assume you are developing a residential project in a metropolis's suburbs and have decided to use an agile approach for that project. In that case, your first task will be to divide the project into phases such as designing, pre-construction, procurement, construction, commissioning, and project closeout.
Once the project has been segmented into phases, divide each phase into two to four-week sprints. At the same time, allocate a budget for each sprint or phase.
This approach of breaking down a project into phases ensures that high-value products are delivered on a regular and consistent basis. Moreover, it allows you to structure any project to be more responsive to changes, ensuring continuous improvement—a fundamental agile manifesto principle.2. Team planning and goal setting
Following design and pre-construction, focus on team formation and workforce planning. Share your project goals and objectives with all the employees working on the construction project management plan, such as the architect, BIM coordinator, project controller, surveyor, CAD technician, construction manager, technicians, and so on.
Make these individuals aware of their responsibilities and the management's expectations from each of them. Keep in mind that clear and compelling goal-sharing has a significant impact on your team's productivity, motivation, and, ultimately, growth.3. Tendering and procurement
After the project has been segmented and responsibilities assigned, the next stage in the agile construction management process is procurement and tendering.
While tendering is a process by which interested contractors are invited to submit bids for the completion of specific construction work packages, procurement includes securing all goods and services required to bring the construction project to a successful conclusion.
Planning ahead and carefully acquiring construction materials not only saves money but also prevents you from running into any obstacles during the development phase since you have all the necessary building materials on hand.4. Development and monitoring
The fourth and final stage of the agile construction management plan is beginning the construction process and tracking its progress. Ensure that each task is completed on time and within the defined sprint. If you find any challenges impeding progress, you should inform all relevant parties right away, offer a solution, and clear the way for progress.
For better tracking of KPIs and metrics and performance monitoring, invest in an agile planning and management tool like Jile. This tool's rich insights and findings will help you direct your efforts in the right direction or accelerate the pace.
So there you have it – the four major stages of the agile construction project management plan. Follow them accurately to reap the full benefits of the agile development approach.
Benefits of Agile in Construction Management
The following are the three major advantages of agile in construction management process:1. On-time project completion
The first major advantage that a development company gains from implementing agile in construction management is timely completion. Since each phase of the project is planned very well, there is little chance of a delay. And, even if there are any challenges, the team can quickly identify the root cause and address the issue.2. Superior product quality
Another significant advantage of agile in construction management is the development of high-quality products. Since each team and individual is aware of their responsibilities and the work is completed on time, you can expect a high-quality product at the end. Continuous monitoring and constant collaboration are also critical factors contributing to product quality.3. Cost effectiveness
Cost management is the third major advantage of agile in construction workflow management. The segmentation of the project into phases enables the product owner to better plan the budget and its allocation. Furthermore, on-time completion of each task and, eventually, the entire project prevents project costs from soaring, ensuring cost-effective development.
Interested in learning more about how to implement Agile in construction management? Try Jile- a tool for enterprise agile planning process and delivery. To get started, schedule a free demo with our Agile experts.
FAQsIs it possible to use agile in a construction management plan?
Yes, agile methodology can be implemented for a construction project management plan since agile is more of a philosophy than a solution that can be embedded with almost all industries and businesses. All you have to do during construction project management is strictly adhere to the agile principles and agile values outlined in the Agile manifesto.How effective is agile methodology in construction management?
If the agile manifesto, including its four values and twelve principles, is strictly followed during construction planning and management, you can be sure about the benefits and effectiveness of agile. You will realize the benefits of an agile project management process across the parameters, including efficiency, quality, cost, and so on.What are the benefits of agile construction management?
The key benefits of agile in construction management plan are schedule adherence, timely product delivery, improved product quality, and cost savings. In other words, agile construction planning and management will help you reap all the benefits of agile project management methodology.
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