Contact us
Back to blog

The Impact of Effective Project Management on Project Outcomes

In the education sector, regular maintenance is required to ensure estates remain safe, inspiring and sustainable spaces for students to learn. Some maintenance projects are more straightforward than others and occasionally, they will involve renovations, extensions, new buildings or even the redevelopment of entire sites. In these instances, project management services can be hugely beneficial to ensure the successful completion of projects. 

The importance of project management for more complex projects shouldn’t be overlooked and a dedicated team can streamline the entire process, from conception to completion. Below we have explored how end-to-end project delivery services can be beneficial throughout the lifecycle of projects in the education sector and how they impact the final outcomes. 


Understanding Project Management

Project management encompasses the organisation, planning and execution of projects, ensuring they achieve pre-defined objectives. A project manager will guide a project from its inception to completion, considering the constraints of project scope, time, cost and quality. Typically, education project management involves a variety of tasks including creating plans, securing materials, managing construction, resolving issues and controlling the budget. 

Ultimately, good project management ensures projects are successfully completed and the entire process is as smooth as possible. Throughout the entire project lifecycle, project managers play an important role; 


Listening to Goals and Aspirations

Often, the first step in effective project management involves understanding the unique nature of the project and any specific aspirations. In the education sector, this could mean grasping the type of learning environment that needs to be created or the amount of money that needs to be saved through energy efficiency improvements. This initial stage sets the foundation for all future decisions and strategies, shaping the project’s direction to ensure pre-defined objectives are met. It also ensures every element of the project aligns with the vision of the educational institution, creating a collaborative environment where project goals are clearly understood. 


Undertaking Feasibility Studies

Before any concrete plans are created, it’s crucial to assess the feasibility of the proposed project. This includes evaluating everything from the technical and legal aspects to the economic and scheduling aspects to determine whether the project can proceed. For projects in the educational sector, feasibility studies also consider the potential impact on student learning and school operations, ensuring the project can go ahead as planned. These studies help to identify any potential obstacles early on, allowing for adjustments before resources are allocated, and protect the project from unforeseen challenges.


Developing a Conceptual Brief and Detailed Technical Designs

After confirming the project’s feasibility, the next step involves developing a clear conceptual brief followed by detailed technical designs. This stage of the project transforms the institution’s vision into a workable blueprint, detailing every element required to meet the project’s goals. A thorough and iterative design process will help avoid costly and time-consuming revisions later. Commonly, project managers will liaise with stakeholders to refine the vision, ensuring nothing is overlooked and the final designs are perfect. Once created, a comprehensive tender package can be followed throughout the project. 


Managing Construction Costs and Mitigating Financial Risks

Effective project management plays a key role in managing construction costs and mitigating financial risks. This involves detailed project cost estimations, risk assessments and budget management, as well as identifying and securing education funding opportunities that can alleviate financial burdens. These financial services are crucial for ensuring a project remains within budget, so it can be completed on time as planned without any financial issues that could jeopardise its success. Not to mention, it also ensures a project is delivering the maximum return on investment for educational institutions. 

Key Takeaways from the HSE Report on Asbestos Mangement

Employing Contractors and Overseeing the Construction Phase

Choosing the right contractors is essential regardless of what a project entails. A project manager will ensure the contractors hired are reliable, skilled and able to deliver the quality required. Once construction begins, a project manager will oversee everything from pre-start meetings to technical queries, ensuring the work adheres to the plans and remains on schedule. Regular site visits and progress reviews are part of this supervision, and a hands-on approach will help maintain high standards throughout construction. A project manager will ensure all regulatory requirements are met and the completed work meets expectations. 

Timing Projects Throughout the Year

For education projects, the vast majority of schools ask for work to be undertaken during the school summer holiday period to make logistics as easy as possible. However, there are significant benefits to undertaking work in term time that a project manager will consider. Often, contractors and sub-contractors are willing to reduce their profit margins to secure work in periods when they would otherwise be quiet. There is typically more contractor availability due to reduced work too. Undertaking projects outside of peak times can also remove the increase in lead-in periods for material procurement that occurs in the build-up to the busy summer period. By avoiding this period, the project can potentially access better and more cost-effective solutions that would otherwise be unavailable due to material shortages. 

An example of work that could be completed in term time is roofing. The contractor can segregate themselves to the roof area, and with independent enclosed welfare, they will be completely separate from the school. To avoid any safeguarding concerns, all operatives can be enhanced DBS checked too. Any work that requires access to the school building, for example roof light replacements, can be carefully planned to occur either outside of busy periods like the start or end of the teaching day, or at the weekend.  

The Impact of an End-to-End Project Delivery Service on Project Outcomes

Working with an experienced project management team that provides an end-to-end project delivery service can significantly impact outcomes. From the initial consultation to the final handover, they will ensure continuity and consistency throughout the project’s lifecycle. For education estates, this can mean smoother project delivery, enhanced communication and improved alignment with the initial vision.

Project management is undeniably important, particularly in sectors where precision, safety and functionality are of the utmost importance, like education. Comprehensive project delivery services will ensure that projects are completed in a cost-effective and timely manner, in accordance with all pre-determined goals. This can reflect positively on not only the final outcome but also the educational institution’s operational capabilities and overall reputation.

Using Education Project Management Services 

All in all, the impact of proficient project management in the education sector is significant. The ability to listen, plan, manage and execute a project from conception to completion ensures the final outcome not only meets but often exceeds the expectations of all stakeholders. By carefully overseeing every stage of the project lifecycle, project managers will ensure everything remains on track and the overarching goals are achieved. Whether it’s a new educational building or the renovation of an existing structure, the expertise of a skilled project manager is key.

At Barker, we provide a seamless project management service and our project teams will use their expertise to bring your vision to life. We are committed to building strong relationships with our clients and working collaboratively to ensure everything runs smoothly. We live and breathe education, and have many years of experience undertaking projects of all shapes and sizes. You can view some of our previous projects on our website today. 

Let's talk

the project