Preconstruction: 10 Keys to Unifying Project Players

21 March 2024Collaboration, construction, Digital transformationdocument management, leadership, risk mitigation, roadmap, schedules



At the heart of orchestrating a successful and profitable project, the preconstruction phase emerges as the cornerstone. Its fundamental purpose is to lay the foundation for the development of designs, selection of contractors, analysis of risk, project scheduling, permitting, and mobilization.

The preconstruction phase achieves this by putting into place collaborative planning, analysis and decision making. The resulting plan forms an agreement among key players that positively affects dynamics and systems critical and pivotal to matchless project execution.

This all-encompassing approach spans every facet of a project, from workers and materials to document management and protocol. Positioned as a meticulously crafted blueprint endorsed by project leaders, the preconstruction plan intricately outlines the project’s core objectives. These encompass the timeline, action plan and profitability targets, serving as guiding beacons for making decisions throughout the project’s lifecycle.

In addition, they instill the importance of adhering to standardized practices –  minimizing confusion, optimizing operational efficiency and ultimately fortifying the project’s success.

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Ten key components of the preplanning phase include:


A specific process should be established for defining contract terms and vetting potential subcontractors.


Teams should have access to project data they need to do their jobs better. Project dashboards can show relevant information that will enhance effective operations.


Permissions for accessing documentation should be established. Procedures should be outlined for the way project documents will be managed, stored and modified.


Procedures should be determined for the way materials requisitions and order revisions will be handled. Procurement parameters should be set, for instance quality standards and acceptable cost fluctuations.


There should be agreement on the protocol for initiating, reviewing and accepting change orders. The personnel authorized to handle this process should be clearly designated and willing to accept the responsibility.


The owner/client should be involved in a comprehensive project review, including their input. Insights should be documented for future planning efforts to achieve continuous improvement.


Sources of risk on the project (such as labor availability, defaults, change orders, safety) should be identified and contingencies planned for. It should be decided in advance how to handle challenges teams may encounter.


The schedules of the stakeholders should be aligned. Benchmarks should be established to measure progress.


A consensus should be reached on how often and where meetings and reviews will be held. The goal should be a structured, efficient workflow.


A timetable should be established for the project’s anticipated workforce requirements according to its phases. There should be a flexible plan for recruitment of workers.


A preconstruction plan serves as a project management roadmap. When all project leaders collaborate on and endorse the plan, the project can proceed with a shared vision of goals, expectations and processes. This collective agreement brings accountability to all teams, from the beginning of a project to its successful completion.

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