Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Welcome to our FAQ section! Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about project management for construction and special projects. Our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive insight into our working methods, services and solutions. Whether you are a client, contractor or partner, you will find valuable information here to help you implement your projects successfully.

What is project management?

Project management in the classic sense is the assumption of delegable client tasks in a construction project. The project manager takes on the tasks that the client cannot perform himself for capacity or technical reasons. Project management must therefore inevitably be carried out directly on behalf of the client.

How does project management fit into the construction process?

Project management in construction is a central element of construction management. In highly complex construction projects, 25 to 30 different planners, experts and other specialists need to be coordinated. As a rule, the client does not have the capacity to do this. The work is delegated to the project management team.

Project management ensures that a project is executed smoothly. The aim is to optimize processes so that the planned time and cost frame as well as the agreed construction quality are adhered to. One or more project controllers are often used, especially for large-scale and complex projects.

Why do you need project management?

Complex construction projects pose a major risk for the client, particularly in terms of cost and schedule reliability. The only way to minimize this risk is to install an experienced and professional project management team that knows the necessary procedures and processes.

Why do you need project management if a general planner has been commissioned?

The coordinative tasks of general planning are completely different from those of project management. The general planner coordinates those involved in the planning who are contractually his own subcontractors (planning coordination). Project management takes over the coordination that the client must provide. He also has a duty of control towards the general planner. If project management is also commissioned from the general planner, independence is no longer guaranteed!

When should the project manager start?

The project manager must start well before the start of the conventional planning process. They can make a significant contribution to the success of the project, particularly in the "project preparation" phase. Most mistakes are made during this phase due to inexperience, which later have to be compensated for with significantly more time and effort.

What is project management in relation to construction and real estate projects?

The DVP defines project management as follows: Project management is the performance of client functions in the realization of construction and real estate projects from a technical, economic and, in some cases, legal perspective. Project management can include both project control services (external support) and project management (client)."

How is project leadership defined?

The DVP defines project leadership as follows: "Project leadership encompasses the performance of client functions in the realization of construction and real estate projects in terms of authority to issue instructions and make decisions and, as a rule, responsibility for results (line function). The project leader is usually a responsible employee of the client.

What is the definition of project management?

The DVP defines project management as follows: "Project management concerns the performance of client functions in the implementation of construction and real estate projects in an advisory capacity (staff function)." He is effectively the project manager's right-hand man and takes on all tasks that the project manager cannot perform for capacity or technical reasons.

What is the difference between project control and project management?

Project control is part of project management. In theory, project management is divided into project management and project control.

What are the typical tasks of a project manager?

Project managers oversee the entire construction process, coordinate planning and execution, manage resources, monitor progress, identify and resolve problems, and communicate regularly with all project stakeholders.

What is the difference between project management and project leadership?

Project leadership and project control are responsible for project management on the client side. As a rule, the project leader is an employee of the client who has overall responsibility (including budget responsibility). In many cases, the capacity and technical resources of the project manager are not sufficient. Large parts of the task are delegated to external project management. Both disciplines belong together in terms of content.

Basically, it is about the authority to make decisions, issue instructions and implement them. The project manager makes decisions and issues instructions, while the project controller has an advisory role and ensures that the construction project stays on track.

When do I need project control?

If your own company lacks experience with construction projects, the project is particularly complex or there is insufficient capacity, it may make sense to call in a project controller.

What tasks does project control involve?

The scope of project controlling services is very extensive and was defined by the AHO Expert Commission, particularly in Booklet 9 and Booklet 19. The focus is on

  1. Establishment of the client's organizational and process structures (organization chart, processes for the procurement of planning and execution services, invoice verification processes, filing system, etc.)
  2. Moderation of the requirements analysis in order to have reliable planner specifications at the start of conventional planning.
  3. Development of detailed project controlling, e.g. to be able to say at any time how much the project will cost.
  4. Management of the framework schedule and the award schedule
  5. Setting up a reporting system for management, SteerCo and funding bodies
  6. Staging & directing all processes that need to be integrated into the preparation, planning and construction process
  7. Selecting the team of planners & experts
  8. Coordination & control of project participants
  9. Participation in contractual issues
What are the project phases according to the AHO expert commission?
    1. Project preparation
    2. Project planning
    3. Preparation for execution
    4. Execution
    5. Completion
What is the HOAI?

The Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers - HOAI for short - regulates the remuneration of architects and engineers in the fields of architecture, urban planning and construction. The HOAI specifies the fee that a building expert or architect should charge for their services. Since 01.01.2021, the Fee Structure for Architects' and Engineers' Services (HOAI) is no longer a binding price law.

What is the "Service and fee structure for project management in the construction and real estate industry?"

This schedule of services and fees contains remuneration proposals for project management services. They were drawn up by the AHO expert commission.

What does cost management mean?

Cost management is the process of estimating, allocating and controlling the costs of a project. It enables a company to predict future expenditure and reduce the likelihood of budget overruns. Expected costs are calculated during the planning phase of a project and must be approved before work begins. During the implementation of the project plan, expenses are documented and tracked to ensure that they remain within the cost management plan. Once the project is completed, the expected costs are compared to the actual costs to gain insights for future cost management plans and project budgets.

What does cost control mean?

Cost control refers to the monitoring and management of project expenses and preparation for potential financial risks. The project manager is usually responsible for this. Cost control includes not only budget management, but also planning and preparing for potential risks. Risks can lead to project setbacks and sometimes cause unexpected costs. However, if you prepare for them, you can save time and potentially money for your team.

What does stakeholder management mean?

Stakeholder management is a special service according to AHO booklet 19. A project always operates in an environment and is shaped by the project participants. The environment and those involved in the project, as well as external influences, must be taken into account during project implementation. Particularly in the case of large-scale projects, it is often criticized that the influences of the project participants (stakeholders) are neglected. Stakeholders of a project are groups or individuals who are affected by this project in some way.

What does multi-project management mean?

Multi-project management is a special service according to AHO booklet 19. Multi-project management refers to the organizational and procedural framework for managing several individual projects in a defined organization. It includes planning, comprehensive monitoring and control.

What does risk management mean?

Risk management is a special service according to AHO booklet 19. The definition of the term "risk management" states that it involves coordinated activities that serve to guide and control an organization with regard to risks. This definition is kept so open that it is valid for various sectors, such as the insurance and construction industries. However, this definition can be formulated more specifically in the performance profile of the construction industry: "Risk management refers to the systematic promotion of project success by identifying risks and influencing their probability of occurrence or impact." (DVP 2014, P. 53)

What is a Gantt chart in project management?

A Gantt chart is a table that clearly shows the progress of a project and all associated elements. It was first invented by Karol Adamiecki in 1896. Henry Gantt developed his own version in the first decade of the 20th century, which represents a project schedule. Gantt charts are a useful tool for mapping the entire progress of one or more projects. They show which tasks are dependent on others and which milestones are due.

What is DIN 276?

DIN 276 is a DIN standard that is used in the construction industry to determine project costs and as a basis for calculating fees in accordance with HOAI for architects and engineers and AHO for project managers.

What are the stages of cost determination?

Essentially, DIN 276 defines the following five stages of cost determination and the cost breakdown.

  1. Cost framework
  2. Cost estimate
  3. Cost calculation
  4. cost estimate
  5. Cost determination
What is the NULLĀ® phase?

Phase 0 is a legally protected term of the Vollack Group. It is comparable to service phase 0 according to HOAI and takes place in project phase 1 according to the AHO expert commission.

What does project management cost?

Roughly speaking, this is 1.5 - 3 % of the construction sum. However, this is a very rough guide. In principle, the fee can be freely agreed. The fee schedule of the AHO expert commission serves as a guide.

What qualifications should a project manager have?

A project controller should have a sound understanding of construction and real estate projects, excellent communication and leadership skills, experience in project management and ideally have the appropriate training or certification.

How does communication between the project team and the client work?

Communication between the project team and the client is crucial. Project controllers ensure that all relevant information is exchanged transparently, regular meetings are held and all parties are kept up to date to ensure smooth collaboration. To this end, we define at the start of the project with the client and the specialist planners which channels will be used.

How are project goals defined and monitored?

Project objectives are set and clearly defined in close cooperation with the client. Project managers monitor progress against predefined milestones and KPIs to ensure that the objectives are met and adjust the strategy if necessary.

What are typical challenges in project management and how can they be overcome?

Typical challenges include budget overruns, time delays, conflicts between project stakeholders and unforeseen risks. Project controllers identify potential problems at an early stage, develop solution strategies and work closely with the team to overcome these challenges.

How can technology improve project management?

Technology can improve project control through the use of project management software, BIM (Building Information Modeling), digital planning tools and real-time communication platforms to increase efficiency, accuracy and collaboration. The German construction industry is currently undergoing change. More and more tools and opportunities are being developed to help digitize the industry.

What role does sustainability play in project management?

Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in project management, as environmentally friendly construction practices and green technologies are increasingly in demand. Project managers promote sustainable solutions and advise the client on the implementation of appropriate measures.

How is quality assurance ensured during a construction project?

Quality assurance is achieved through clear specifications, regular inspections, review of work results and compliance with relevant standards and regulations. Project managers monitor these processes and intervene where necessary to ensure quality.

What legal aspects need to be considered in project management?

In project management, legal aspects such as contracts, approvals, liability and insurance must be carefully considered. Project controllers work closely with legal and technical experts to ensure that all legal requirements are met. Project controllers can draw on a wealth of experience due to the diversity of projects and know what works in practice. However, they only make recommendations and are in no way a substitute for legal advice.

What trends are shaping the future of project management in the construction industry?

Future trends in construction project management include the increased use of digital technologies, the use of AI and IoT, the integration of sustainability practices and increased collaboration in the supply chain.