Construction Project Basics – Self Study

In this Construction Project Basics Self Study course, you will learn how to do the major steps to successfully manage a construction project from start to finish. There is an overview explanation of each step and then you’ll watch people actually do it. You have a multiple choice quiz at the end of each module to give you feedback on any areas you didn’t understand perfectly.

Links to Each Module’s Videos

Module 1: Overview and Defining the Scope (Measure of Success). 

In this first step you will learn how to define the scope of the construction project. The scope is the business outcome the owner/customer or boss want from the project. If you know what they want, you have a much better chance of satisfying them. You should start by asking the owner/customer or boss questions to define the project scope in terms that can be objectively measured.

Take the multiple choice quiz

Module 2: Gathering Requirements and Defining High-level Achievements

Next you’ll learn how to talk to the project stakeholders, the people affected by the project, about their requirements. That is what they need the project to do for them. The requirements are used to define the achievements and deliverables that are linked to the scope, the end result the project has to produce.

Take the multiple choice quiz

Module 3: Creating and Presenting the Charter

In this module you will learn how to put together all the pieces of the scope and requirements and create a project charter. You will learn how to assess the project’s risks and make rough estimates of the resources the project needs. The project manager must talk to the sponsor about the kind of authority they need to manage the project. All those things go into the project charter. It doesn’t need to be a long document.  It can be as short as ½ page long.

Take the multiple choice quiz

Module 4: Creating the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) 

The work breakdown structure (WBS) is the backbone of the project. It starts at the top with the project scope. You will learn how to break down the scope into the major and supporting deliverables. This process results in a work breakdown structure (WBS) with all the tasks that people must complete during the life of the project.

Take the multiple choice quiz

Module 5: Scheduling Tasks with Predecessor Relationships

You’ll learn how to use project management software to create your project schedule. You’ll learn how to build a schedule with predecessors linking the tasks. For example, you’ll tell the software that task B can’t start until task A is finished – task A is the predecessor of task B. The software will use the predecessor relationships to schedule and calculate the duration (and start and finish dates) for every task. You’ll also learn how to use the project management software to  keep the schedule current.

Take the multiple choice quiz

Module 6: Estimating and Assigning Tasks to People

In this module you will learn how to estimate the hours of work for each task and assign people to do the work. This will give you a first draft of how long the project will take and its completion date.  You will learn how to enter the work estimates into the project management software along with the availability of each team member (half-time, full time, etc). Then the software can calculate how long each task and the entire project will take to finish.

Take the multiple choice quiz

Module 7: Optimizing the Schedule

Your work breakdown structure, predecessors, work estimates and availability data are all in the project schedule. Now you’ll learn to use the critical path tool in the software to ensure that your project will finish as soon as possible. The critical path tells you which tasks control the duration of the total project. You’ll learn how to optimize your resource assignments and your predecessor network to shorten the project duration..

Take the multiple choice quiz

Module 8: Managing Team Conflict

Every construction project has conflict situations between crews and/or subs. In this module you’ll learn how to use techniques to resolve conflicts and let the project work proceed. These techniques begin with an assessment of the conflict situation in terms of the stakes involved and the potential impact on the project budget and completion date. Based on that assessment, you will learn how to select and use the correct conflict resolution techniques.

Take the multiple choice quiz

Module 9: Tracking and Status Reports

In this final module, you will learn how to use status data from your crews and subs to update the status of your project. You’ll learn how to compare the actual schedule with the original (baseline) schedule and identify variances. Then you’ll learn how to use the software to model options for corrective action. The status report shows the owner/customer or boss as well as the crews and subs what’s happening on the project and presents ideas for corrective action.

Take the multiple choice quiz