Project Management Essentials for Construction

This fundamental level 2-day course is designed to give new project managers and project team members working in a construction environment the essential tools they need to deliver successful projects. This course utilizes a simple turnkey construction project that is developed through the complete project lifecycle, from initial project proposal and definition, through project implementation, and finally to the often neglected project completion phase.

This course is Gold Seal accredited by the Canadian Construction Association.

Learning objectives

Participants will gain practical skills to:

  • Identify and avoid common causes of project failure.
  • Identify options for structuring a project team.
  • Develop clear project purpose, deliverable and objectives statements.
  • Identify key areas of project risk, assess their impact and identify strategies for managing risks.
  • Incorporate outside contractors as part of your project team.
  • Analyze project scope by separating into discrete, manageable activities, complete with measurable deliverables.
  • Model the flow and timing of a project.
  • Identify “critical path” high priority tasks.
  • Measure project status and performance with respect to cost and time.
  • Create a productive team environment.
  • Implement steps to properly close-out a project.

Who should attend

The Project Management Essentials for Construction course is appropriate for individuals who are:

  • Responsible for managing construction projects.
  • Active Participants on a project team, especially those who have not yet been exposed to the tools, techniques and terminology of formal project management.
  • While of interest to contractors, the course is more targeted at “owners” and those who represent them.


There is no prerequisite for this course. It functions as a stand-alone course.


You will receive a course binder containing copies of presentation slides, case studies, templates, exercises and suggested solutions. You will also receive a CD containing various course reference materials.

What you will learn

What is Project Management?

  • Skills required: technical & people
  • Traditional vs. modern approach

Basic Concepts of a Project

  • What is a project?
  • What makes a successful project?
  • Why do some people fail?

The Project Life Cycle

  • Are we doing the right things?
  • Are we doing them the right way?
  • Are we getting things done?
  • Are we getting the expected benefits?
  • Fast-tracking

The Project

  • Introduce project workshop scenario
  • Play to won - setting up PM rules
  • Priorities

Building a Project Team

  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • Workshop: Project stakeholder analysis
  • Project organization types
  • Planning project communications

Developing a Scope Statement

  • Key Deliverables
  • Objectives/measurable success indicators
  • Workshop: Develop project charter
  • Minimizing scope creep
  • Risk management discussion
  • Workshop: Identifying project risk areas

Detailing the Project Scope - Work Breakdown Structure

  • WBS Definition
  • Why use a WBS approach
  • Elements of an effective WBS
  • Workshop: develop project WBS
  • Costs & time - how to estimate the impossible
  • Assigning resources to activities
  • Duration- and effort- driven activities
  • Activity descriptions and measurable deliverables lead to project quality

Project Activity Dependencies

  • The use of activity dependencies in determining project timing
  • Types of dependency relationships
  • Types of activity constraints
  • Developing a network diagram
  • Determining the “critical path” and “float time” for a project
  • Exercise: determine early start, late start, early finish, late finish, total float and critical path
  • Workshop: develop network diagram for the project scenario, indicate critical path activities and float

Producing a Gantt Chart

  • Using the WBS and logic diagram to determine project timing
  • Producing a schedule
  • Resource Management
  • Identifying and avoiding resource conflicts
  • Holding effective & productive meetings

Finalizing the Project Plan

  • Setting the project baseline
  • Obtaining approval to proceed
  • Human resources management
  • Project Management roles
  • Project status and updating
  • Workshop: Measuring project progress

Project Completion

  • Project sign-off and final packaging
  • Completing punch lists
  • Project maintenance consideration
  • Redistribution of resources