Construction projects are big undertakings. Time is money in the construction industry. Errors are costly and mistakes can be time consuming – it’s important to get it right.
In today’s post, we take a look at 5 tips for helping construction project managers become successful on their projects.
The construction industry is wide-reaching and complex. As such, running a construction project can feel all-consuming – you manage plumbers, electricians, painters and other contractors. From day one, your supply chain is a tangled mess. Billing issues, delays, faulty workmanship, you name it – they all make running a construction project an uphill battle.
Below are 5 simple tips that we feel will help any project manager achieve better productivity, smoother communication and ultimately a much more successful outcome for their project.
1. Be meticulous in Planning
It may not be common knowledge, but construction project managers have many responsibilities that go above and beyond ensuring deadlines are met. Those managing commercial construction projects need to be on “A” game to keep everyone on track and make sure the job stays within budget. That requires having a plan for each step of the way. The last thing you want is for a major project to be late or stop early due to unforeseen circumstances.
The project manager must be extremely detail oriented when he or she is managing a construction project. It is important to make sure you have all the necessary resources for your project. This includes manpower, materials, tools and equipment. Through detailed planning and control, workers will respond in the best possible way – this will ensure a project is moving along smoothly.
- Before moving forward with your project, make sure you thoroughly review the plans and specifications in order to fully understand scope of work.
- Coordinate the project efforts to ensure that every team member is aware of the roles and responsibilities associated with each task.
- As you coordinate the implementation of each phase, keep the big picture in mind and remember to consider stakeholders’ needs.
- Once you’ve hired the necessary subcontractors, set up meeting times with them to discuss details about the project so there are no issues between you and your suppliers.
Finally, know that the best laid plans must be ready to adapt to unexpected changes. Make sure you have a team in place who can turn things around quickly so your project doesn’t fall behind.
2. Keep Communication lines open
Managing a construction project requires efficient communication across multiple internal stakeholders and external contractors. As a project manager, you want to be able to communicate effectively with your team – the first priority of any communication by a construction project manager should always be clarity. You will need to be able to effectively communicate your vision for a project in writing and in person. Clear communication is imperative to a smooth workflow.This will ensure that everybody stays on top of tasks and the overall schedule moving forward.
As a busy professional, there are many tools at your disposal to communicate. Even though email, texting, and instant messaging are all quick and convenient, there are still situations where face-to-face communication is the best way to do things.
- Develop a communication plan – include mode of communication and hierarchy of communication and plans for information sharing.
- Encourage regular meetings as is permissible and appropriate. And also leave room for feedback, reviews and complaints.
- Listen to everyone involved.
3. Ensure safety of workers and comply with WHS
As a construction project manager you’ll need to make sure everyone on site is safe. It’s your responsibility to make sure that everything is up to code and that employees and contractors understand their rights and responsibilities.
The construction industry is a dangerous job. Construction accidents are common and it is an industry that practices daily preventive measures. Construction companies must follow Policies of the WHS when it comes to workers. These guidelines say that you must provide a safe working environment for your team members and yourself. One of the most important things to remember is to make sure everyone takes part in any inspection, safety training and education that is provided. If anyone on the construction site fails to comply with declared safety standards there can be severe consequences for construction projects, contractors and workers.
You’ll need to work with the contractors to ensure they will adhere to the safety guidelines set by the regulatory environment. This can involve conducting inspections, communicating with government agencies, implementing new safety measures when an issue arises and even if it’s a legal requirement to report an incident directly to regulatory bodies such as SafeWork Australia.
One of the biggest concerns in the construction space is site safety. Workplace injuries and fatalities cost the construction industry an estimated $9.3 billion in 2011-12, on average. And workplace fatalities are highest in construction than other industries.
The consequences are just too severe for the construction company if WHS is not followed.
Use a WHS Management system to assist you in keeping workers safe while on site and help you record, analyse and act on data collected from the work sites. They also provide a way of checking if work that has been completed has actually been done to the right standard.
4. Keep track of time and be on schedule
Construction projects impact businesses and people’s lives. When the project is not finished in time, serious financial losses occur and many times they are impossible to recoup.
It’s therefore essential that construction project managers are able to effectively manage their time. It is rare for a project manager to meet every deadline and deliver on time without being able to properly prioritize tasks and effectively manage his or her time.
As a project manager, you need to be proactive in keeping your team on task and on schedule. Know when problems will arise so they can be dealt with quickly and efficiently!
- Save time and prioritize your tasks by handling the most important ones first.
- Detect improper use of time by workers, specifically subcontractors in order to stop or contain it before it becomes a big problem.
- Don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegate tasks to other members of the project team when possible. With the right people on your team, you can trust them to do a good job with what you’ve delegated them to do.
5. Keep up with technology and latest practices
To start off, project managers of all types can greatly benefit from the perks that come with the latest technologies and industry best practices. For that reason, don’t hesitate to stop and think about how they might apply to your own unique situation.
Information technology has always been an important part of any construction site because it allows professionals to carry out vital jobs faster and more efficiently. It allows for real-time monitoring and allows managers to act faster to deal with any issue that arises.
In many cases, a project management software is a must-have for a construction project manager. Remember you need more than just mundane software for your job, as your role as a construction manager calls for you to make sure that construction projects are done on time and on budget,and for that you need an efficient way of doing so.
Construction work can be challenging but with the right tools, best practices and strategies; you can boost your company’s profits while keeping your employee’s skills sharp.