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!
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 preparing and following a construction program or schedule and knowing how each step will impact the project’s outcome 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 critical materials or lack enough resources to complete certain project phases on time.
Don’t be like them.
Another vital 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 ensuring that other people have the required knowledge and ability to carry out a task.
For instance, don’t ask juniors to negotiate essential 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 ensure that the job is done right before you proceed with future phases of your project.
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.
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 projects are 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 ensure that both the customer and the contractor fulfill their individual contract obligations and that your project follows 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.
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.
Here’s why. A wrong 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 your available information. 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 choices 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 standards. In the same vein, it’s about complimenting workers when their work is top-notch.
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 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 use 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.
If you want to succeed as a construction project manager, you need to sharpen your negotiation skills.
You’ve got to become adept at persuading subcontractors, suppliers, customers, and even your own team. Every day, you’ll be convincing others that your proposed path is the best one.
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 better understand problems and even foresee possible issues before they grow into major ones.
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.
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 correctly installed, 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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