Construction project management is one of the most uniquely challenging professions out there, mainly due to the constantly evolving nature of projects.
Essentially, a construction project manager is charged with balancing a myriad of responsibilities inherent to a construction project. Often, there’s a fine line between a construction manager and a successful construction manager, mostly boiling down to skill set and follow-through on project management elements.
Today, we’ll do a deep dive into the domain of construction project management with some valuable tips on successfully managing a project. For an alternative perspective, you can check out this link.
An outline of the tips for successful construction project management
Construction project managers are professionals qualified to don many hats and juggle multiple responsibilities at once. Even though the desired qualities and qualifications of a seasoned construction manager are numerous, we’ve tried to isolate a few below.
- Sufficient technical skills
- Quality management
- Cost management
- Business management
- Detail orientation
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Risk assessment
- Planning and research
They must also have several interpersonal skills in their kit, such as:
- Patience and composure
- Leadership qualities
- Stress management
- General organizational skills
- Time management
The more you can develop and implement these skills, the higher your chances of success.
Let’s outline 5 general tips and tricks that construction project managers can apply to simplify their rather daunting domain of operation.
1. Careful planning
The ability to think critically and into the future can be a powerful skill for any construction project manager. They should be able to gauge where things will lead and plan to accommodate any issues that may arise in the future.
This, of course, can be brought about by an in-depth analysis of the project specifics, as well as a thorough understanding of the underlying conditions involved.
The next part of this involves working in close cohorts with all stakeholders involved, including suppliers and subcontractors. This will help generate realistic milestones and timelines pertaining to the project, and will allow you a clear understanding of the amount of resources needed.
A thorough analysis of all conditions and the ability to make realistic and futuristic plans saves time and rework throughout the project’s lifecycle.
2. Team management
A construction project manager is the de facto leader of a construction workforce. Some of the most important aspects of team management are:
- Creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels supported
- Fostering a clear understanding of responsibilities and expectations from each stakeholder
With these basics in place, there are a few operational steps that construction project managers can take to further optimize their team utilization:
- Using lists and spreadsheets to organize team projects
- Constantly communicating with teams to remain on the same page
- Staying updated on every single change or pertinent notification
3. Staying up to date
A construction project manager must constantly evolve with the changing nature of the projects they work on. Keeping up to date on important industry news and updates like technology, trends, best practices, equipment, building material, and safety and compliance regulations is another part of their job.
Keeping an ear out for relevant updates, openly discussing trends with peers and colleagues, and regularly checking the news or social media are just some ways of staying up to date.
Ultimately, it’s the project manager’s quest for knowledge that acts as the prime differentiator between a decent and an excellent manager. A well-informed project manager can help elevate teams by making excellence a part of their everyday work.
4. Proper budgeting
Among many tasks, project managers are also responsible for monitoring and tracking every expense related to the project and its budget. With multiple vendors constantly exchanging wages, equipment materials, and permits, this can become very complex.
Some practices that can help a project manager stay updated include:
- Budgeting and forecasting done after analyzing historical and project data
- Frequent tracking of transactions and cost review to help identify any budget modifications throughout the project’s lifecycle
- Using tools to balance the set budget with ongoing expenses and future forecasts to simplify the process
5. Digital dexterity
In the age of digitized business processes, construction projects are no exception. It’s paramount that project managers are adaptable to digital tools and solutions with end-to-end support to simplify project management.
There are several aspects of construction project management where integrated platforms can unlock value, such as:
- Communication between the office and the field
- Dispatches and schedules
- Digital sign-offs and e-ticketing
- The tracking of driver status and fleet location
- The automated collection of worksite data
- Detailed job reports
Modern, unified construction project management platforms should be used and accessible to all stakeholders so that logging of valuable information becomes a consistent and diligent practice. This encourages complete visibility and transparency and helps create a single, trustworthy data repository.
Leveraging digital tools
Modern construction workforce management tools can simplify workforce management with end-to-end visibility, seamless integrations, next-gen forecasting, and real-time updates. There are several effective workforce management solutions available that construction project managers can leverage. One of them is Bridgit Bench, which instills intelligence into construction workforce planning and management.
Be prepared for complexity
The basics of construction project management sound simple enough. Ideally, it’s about perfect planning and scheduling to ensure a project is completed and delivered well within time. However, the ground reality of any construction project adds several layers of complications. This is something every project manager must be aware of and prepared for.
However, all is not lost. Keeping the recommended tips in mind can help counter challenges. Maintaining detailed documentation of all work stages, keeping stakeholders informed, and always striving to facilitate seamless collaboration within teams helps with staying productive, being efficient, and achieving success.