A construction project consists of a number of tasks that need to be done in a certain succession. While the field itself offers a lot of room for creativity, there are some rigid rules that you simply cannot bypass. First of all, there are some basic logistical issues to resolve, seeing as how the work cannot start without the materials reaching the destination. The crew needs to be present and in sufficient numbers, and everything needs to be done in agreement with rules and regulations.
The person in charge of ensuring that all of this holds true is a project manager. Still, which tips should one follow in order to improve the way in which they’re managing their projects. Here’s a brief list of important tips for successful construction project management.
The most important thing when planning a construction project lies in adaptability. This means setting a deadline that will provide you with some flexibility. The major part of the construction work takes place outdoors, which is why weather conditions play a huge part in the feasibility of meeting the deadline.
Second, you need to keep in mind that the supply of materials represents another link in the chain that can be broken at any time. There’s virtually no construction site with storage capacities to take all the materials needed for the project. This means that these supplies are transported gradually and stored temporarily. With so many return runs, an eventual delay is almost inevitable.
Then, even with all the steps of precaution, the construction industry is quite hazardous. A potential workplace injury could easily put work to a halt for quite a few days. An arm break or even a minor injury could leave you understaffed (for the time being), and finding a suitable replacement might not be as simple of a job.
The list of things that could potentially cause a delay goes on and on, while there are not many things that could “speed up the construction.” This means that you need to plan a minimum day needed to finish the construction and add some room for delays. Just keep in mind one thing – these delays aren’t unforeseen events. They’re bound to happen, so you can’t afford to look at them as “unexpected.”
As we’ve mentioned, the construction industry can be quite hazardous, but this hazard comes in a couple of different layers. First of all, you can’t just put anyone on any task. Some machines require a special license, while even the simplest of tasks may require at least some form of training/experience. Therefore, you need to think about delegation as early as the planning/hiring process.
Second, you need to understand that a lack of experience usually increases the risk of an injury. This is not just the case for the person in question but for the rest of the team, as well.
Third, keep in mind that the experience of those performing the works may drastically impact the integrity of the structure. You see, some of these things aren’t exactly measurable or even visible by the eye. Sure, a supervisor may be able to notice an error during the construction process, but no supervisor (no matter how vigilant) can see everything or be everywhere at once.
When it comes to outsourcing, it’s a legitimate business strategy and the smartest option in a lot of scenarios. Even when hiring heavy equipment (like cranes or other materials handling equipment), it’s common to hire the operating crew, as well. This increases efficiency, reduces the risks, and even limits your liability (in some scenarios).
The majority of construction project costs are agreed upon ahead of time. Individuals and companies want to delegate materials acquisitions and all the work. So, they approach your company with the request that you give them the total cost of the project in advance. This means that unless you factor them in, any delays, material waste/mishandling, etc., will go straight from your own pocket.
As such, budget management on a construction project is detrimental both for its timely completion and for your ability to profit from this project. This is why pricing and accounting on the construction project are not so simple, and it’s why you need to hire a specialist (or at least consult an accountant). Also, keep in mind that construction management, on a daily basis, will impact the total cost of the project in more ways than you can even imagine.
Keep in mind that in order for this to work, you need to know your contract document well. This is a task that a lot of construction project managers overlook. Unfortunately, it’s detrimental to both the completion of the project and your ability to get the most value out of it.
Work on Your Communication
The construction project is machinery consisting of many moving parts. Proper communication is the only way to ensure that these parts are actually moving in unison. For starters, your negotiation skills will ensure that you get a fair deadline and that the cost of your projects is actually manageable.
Second, good communication makes all the difference from the standpoint of negotiating with the subcontractors and suppliers. These two negotiation instances directly impact the cost of the project, as well as your own profitability.
Third, good communication is crucial for the performance, safety, and satisfaction of your team. Being able to provide your team with all they need is only possible if you know what it is that they need. Communication, especially active listening, is key to gathering essential feedback.
In the end, your communication ability directly impacts your networking. In a way, it can determine whether you get hired in the first place. Sure, the construction industry is a growing field, and it seems like there’s room for everyone, but being able to score prime projects will actually determine your success levels.
This is one of the toughest tasks on the project, seeing as how it requires you to be everywhere at the same time. First, you must provide people with the necessary safety equipment, ranging from the PPE all the way to safety rails. Next, you need to clearly label everything dangerous (and everything worth paying attention to from the standpoint of safety management).
Supervision is the most important aspect of safety management, seeing as how without adequate monitoring, people tend to neglect safety. Now, as a project manager, you can’t walk around the site every day, looking for people who forgot to strap their hardhat. However, you can find someone responsible enough and entrust them with this task. The thing is that the safety officer is likely the most responsible job on the entire site.
So, a construction project manager is there to enable a smooth workflow on a project. It’s their job to ensure everyone has what they need to do their job. This means that one’s managerial skills, creativity, and problem-solving come at the forefront. It’s also important for one to be good with finances and have an analytical mind. This extensive list is probably the main reason why good construction project managers are both rare and in high demand.