If you embrace challenges, being fully responsible for the success of a construction project can certainly be invigorating. However, it can also be intimidating. After all, successful construction project management is not always easy to implement.
Nonetheless, effective project management is the key to completing your projects on time and on budget. Here’s a rundown of 10 strategies for successful construction project management.
Let’s get started!
1. Be a Planner
If you’re not passionate about planning, you’re essentially planning to fail as a construction project manager.
That’s because construction project managers, just like project managers in other industries, must possess the ability to see the big picture and get this down on paper.
Planning involves not only preparing and following a construction program or schedule but also knowing how each and every step taken today will impact the outcome of the project tomorrow and even years from now.
To succeed in construction project management, you need to make sure that your project has the necessary people, equipment, and materials from the start. You must also ensure that the job is organized and coordinated in a manner that isn’t haphazard.
Too many project managers in the construction field jump from one crisis to the next because they have not planned their work properly. For instance, they may forget to order key materials, or they may not have enough resources to complete certain project phases on time.
Don’t be like them.
2. Be a Delegator
Another important aspect of construction project management is the ability to delegate.
In other words, don’t try to be a hero.
It is simply impossible for construction managers to build projects by themselves. Therefore, you must master the art of delegating.
However, let’s go over what delegation isn’t.
Delegation isn’t about telling other people what they should do. Instead, it’s about making sure that other people have the required knowledge and ability to carry out a task.
For instance, don’t ask juniors to negotiate important items with your clients, and don’t ask seniors to complete menial tasks that are best left to juniors. Also, follow up on your employees to make sure that the job is done right before you proceed with future phases of your project.
3. Manage Your Time Wisely
As a construction project manager, you’ll be bombarded by several people and problems constantly. You need to know how to handle this. Otherwise, important issues might end up being neglected due to poor time management.
So, get into the habit of writing down everything that needs to be done as it crops up, and be sure to file important documents or other items correctly where they are easily accessible.
4. Know Your Contract Document
When you have your contract document, don’t bury it under a pile of papers on your desk and refer to it only on a rainy day — when your project’s in deep trouble. It’s way too late then.
Instead, read your document from start to finish before you even begin your project. This will help to make sure that both the customer and the contractor fulfill their individual contract obligations and that your project is in compliance with the specifications and scope of work.
The more you understand your contract document, the more you’ll mitigate arguments and conflicts as your project progresses.
5. Be Informed and a Strong Communicator
As a construction project manager, it’s paramount that you think before you speak. In other words, think through your decisions before you make them.
A bad decision could cost your company millions of dollars or even jeopardize somebody’s life.
However, don’t be afraid to make decisions, either, as failure to make decisions may sometimes be a lot more hazardous than making poor decisions.
Always weigh your decisions to ensure that you’re making the best ones given the information you have available. And always consider alternative options first.
Of course, it’s not enough to make good decisions. You also need to be able to communicate your decisions and insights effectively.
As a project manager, you’ll face people from various cultural, educational and economic backgrounds, so you must be able to adapt to each situation and individual you face.
Also, note that an important part of good communication is offering constructive criticism when tasks are not completed according to standard. In the same vein, it’s about complimenting workers when their work is top notch.
6. Go Digital
You can’t successfully manage a modern construction project without being willing to go digital. That’s because what have traditionally been manual construction management processes are now being automated, thus leading to a continuous flow of communication and data.
Information technology is playing an increasingly critical role in project management in an effort to overcome the flaws inherently found in the construction industry. These flaws include budget deficits, broken communication, data inefficiency and project delays.
Thanks to today’s construction management programs, you can take advantage of seamless billing, custom reporting, collaboration tools and even invoicing options. In the end, you’ll be able to oversee your projects much more efficiently and thus stay ahead of the competition in 2018.
7. Be a Solid Negotiator
If you want to succeed as a construction project manager, you need to sharpen your negotiation skills as well.
You’ve got to become adept at persuading subcontractors, suppliers, customers and even your own team. Basically, every day, you’ll be convincing others that your proposed path is the best one.
8. Get Your Hands Dirty
The best construction managers are those who manage their teams in the trenches rather than from their offices.
The more you show up at your project site, the easier it will be for you to assess productivity, quality, and safety at the site. As a result, you can get a better understanding of problems and even foresee possible issues before they grow into major ones.
9. Understand Expenses
Understanding the costs of equipment, materials, processes and even people is critical in the construction project management role.
To do this, it may behoove you to spend a lot of time in your company’s estimating department. This will help you to understand the cost components of various project tasks. And this, in turn, will enable you to make informed decisions about materials and methods and ultimately improve productivity.
10. Accept Responsibility for the Lives of People
When you’re overseeing a construction project, don’t put dollars or progress before the safety of people.
If you take shortcuts, don’t verify that braces are installed properly, or use faulty equipment, public passersby or workers can easily suffer serious injuries.
So, take safety seriously by leading by example.
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Contact us to find out more about how our construction project management-friendly technology can help you to get your projects done on time and on budget every time.