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Preconstruction: The Foundation of a Successful Construction Project – How to Engage Your Stakeholders for Optimal Success
Steve Dell’Orto • 28 Feb 2023

Preconstruction: The Foundation of a Successful Construction Project – How to Engage Your Stakeholders for Optimal Success

A Series Focused on the Ins and Outs of Preconstruction

Preconstruction is arguably the most important phase in a construction project. It involves detailed planning and specifically outlining the project’s scope, budget, design elements, materials and more. Generating fluid communication among stakeholders is the best way to begin a preconstruction project. Streamlining communication not only builds trust, it allows each member of the team to be properly educated on any work that may affect the project and encourages them to contribute and provide their expertise.

Preconstruction has many moving parts and stakeholders are consistently involved in the successful completion of the project. Helping your stakeholders understand the importance of each step and the owner’s and designer’s vision will ultimately lead to a more satisfied and motivated team, and a more successful project. In this piece, we’ve identified the key stakeholders in preconstruction, explained why they are critical to a preconstruction phase and outlined how we can enhance their engagement, productivity and success rates.

Owners & Developers

Owners and developers are the originators and sponsors of the project. Without them, the project does not exist. They are responsible for financing the construction project and hiring a design team as well as a general contractor. Owners and developers carry a lot of weight as they aim to cultivate team harmony with fluid communication throughout the preconstruction and construction process. They are at the head of the project and are committed to seeing it succeed.

To help owners and developers achieve a satisfactory project, open dialogue among all stakeholders is crucial. It’s during this preconstruction stage that owners and developers need to make important decisions that will fundamentally shape the project. Current processes mean that owners and developers are using traditional, manual preconstruction communication methods, (i.e. spreadsheets with wide-range estimates and large contingencies), to make decisions. These spreadsheets are often scattered and lack standardization. They can also be quite cumbersome to view and do not provide owners and developers with a full picture of a project. Adopting a preconstruction software can help teams better collaborate and share information during this important stage of development. Using one common database to store all project details, for instance, can help build a more accurate budget, analyze the timeline, and review opportunities and any discrepancies regularly, ironing out any details that may be unclear.

The Design Team 

A design team consists of architects and engineers who feed the project’s growth with their creative vision while representing all aspects of design. Their goal is to design projects according to the owner’s budget with a high degree of success while collaborating effectively with other stakeholders and team members. This team is consistently working together to create and revise drafts of the designs for the owners and developers. 

Since the design team consists of several different people in different disciplines, it is important to be respectful of each other’s time and plan accordingly. By creating a schedule in which teams establish regular checkpoints and meetings, you can make sure that everyone is on the same page. By incorporating preconstruction software with real-time data, everyone can track the progress of the project and review the latest drafts as needed. 

The General Contractor (GC)

General Contractors see the full picture of a project and can control the outcome. GCs oftentimes are the center hub of the preconstruction engagement as they have the responsibility of tracking the progress of the project development relative to cost and schedule. The GCs are often viewed as the gateway to the market because they have relationships with the subcontractor community and are responsible for selecting the right subcontractors to build the project.

Instead of navigating through a sea of documents, before preconstruction services begin, establishing a central platform that hosts all documents, cost estimates and design plans eliminates manual effort to communicate and to keep everyone informed. GCs carry a lot of responsibility in projects and to set them up for success it is important to make sure that they have the proper tools that lessen mistakes and provide greater accuracy throughout the whole project. 

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are crucial to many stages in preconstruction as they are the specialists who will ultimately perform the trade work and are therefore able to offer insight into the direction of the project. Even though subcontractors are not the primary stakeholders of a project, subcontractors should have a seat at the table. 

By providing easy access to all preconstruction documents, subcontractors can find discrepancies before they happen, provide value-add options, offer design assistance or design-build support, and build trusting relationships with the stakeholders. This enhances the value subcontractors can provide and ensures that everyone has what they need to succeed long before construction on a project begins.

Bringing All Stakeholders Together is the Foundation for Success

According to McKinsey, “Companies should be thinking about more structural solutions that not only manage costs but also build resilience and can drive long-term value creation”. Construction projects have multiplied in recent years as the economy shifts to adapt to a new way of life post-pandemic. Before now, there has not been a holistic solution for preconstruction. Proper preconstruction planning using a real-time data platform can provide a single source of truth, a central collaboration hub, as well as save you more time and energy as technology evolves. ConCntric’s preconstruction software can not only help you keep your budget, design and timeline in alignment, it can more powerfully unlock the value of your data and cost history and keep all members of your team more engaged and informed than ever before. Stay in touch with us to gain a better understanding of our preconstruction services, and learn how you can better optimize your preconstruction process by subscribing to our newsletter here.

To experience ConCntric’s real-time preconstruction platform in action, you can book a demo here.

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