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Delivering a construction project is no easy feat. It requires a massive amount of time, effort and resources. One of the key factors in completing a successful project is appointing a capable construction project manager.
To become an excellent construction project manager, you need to have extensive knowledge of the industry, acquired hands-on skills and a wealth of building experience. Having these proficiencies will ensure that you are qualified in managing the project from conception to delivery.Read More
While there is really no shortcut to effective building project management, there are however smart project management techniques that you can implement to become better in your role and increase your work efficiency.
Here are some practical tips to help you constantly deliver your construction projects on time and on budget.
The only way you will be able to execute a project successfully is if you completely understand every aspect of what it involves. This includes knowing the client’s expectations, the full scope of the project and what resources are available to utilise.
If there are client directives that are unclear to you, clarify these issues prior to starting the project. This will avoid repetitive work which wastes valuable time. Read all the contracts carefully to minimise future conflicts and disagreements with partners. When you have a clear scope of the project, you will be able to come up with effective plans and decisions that will benefit the project.
Some of the most popular examples of classical architecture are the Acropolis complex in Athens and the Colosseum in Rome.
Planning is an essential step that every construction project manager should put into practise. Having sufficient time to prepare is very critical to a project’s success. Without a well thought-out plan, the possibility of overlooking important factors that will greatly impact the project is very high.
When creating your project plan, always make sure that your timeline is genuinely achievable. While clients would love to hear that you can deliver the building project at the unrealistic deadline they demanded, this is not a sustainable habit that will serve you or your company well.
To achieve impossible deadlines, many project managers resort to overextending their manpower, going grossly over budget or delivering substandard work. These practices will only create a stressful working environment that is prone to more mistakes and problems.
No construction project is 100% perfect. Chances are, there will be unforeseen problems along the way. A good project manager is able to anticipate these potential issues at the beginning of the project and incorporate contingencies into the timeline and budget to allow for these problems.
For example, if you are building your project during wetter months, anticipate potential delays and build that into your timeline. Or if you are using a specialised type of building material that is only available overseas, check alternative suppliers in case the shipment does not push through. In building your budget, make sure that you perform due diligence to ensure that there are no unexpected fees, taxes or regulations that you have to take into consideration. Having a Plan B, C and D can save you a lot of stress and delays.
Miscommunication is a major delaying factor in any project. This is why everyone should always be on the same page every step of the way. This applies to every person involved in the build; from clients, to contractors, builders, employees and other third-party companies.
As project manager, you should ensure that you are effectively communicating what you need from your team. Clearly specify action points especially if they relate to resolving a pending issue. Even if it is a face to face meeting or a decision agreed over a phone call, make it a habit to still document these verbal agreements so you will have something to go back to.
Being the project manager does not mean that you need to do everything yourself. This is one of the best project management techniques that you should learn in order for you to manage your time wisely.
A great idea is to assign team leaders in every department who will be responsible in micro-managing tasks being accomplished. These team leaders will also be responsible in communicating to you if there are any important issues that need your personal attention. This will save you a lot of time because you will not need to bother yourself with trivial issues and you can focus on more important parts of the project.
However, when delegating, do not delegate tasks to other team members who are not well-equipped to handle the project themselves. This will only double up the work and you might just end up doing the task all over again.
It is very important that you are always aware of what is happening with your project. This is the only way for you to know whether you are still on schedule and on budget. Request an update from your key team members, clients and contractors on a regular basis. Keep the meetings brief and solution-focused by always communicating the meeting agenda beforehand.
When something does not go according to plan, don’t panic and don’t play the blaming game. This will only create chaos and discord among the team. You should show leadership by focusing on the solution, rather than dwelling on what went wrong.
For any unforeseen change that occurs in the workflow, make sure to check and review how this particular development will affect the overall timeline and budget of the project. In many construction projects, it is often common for one glitch to cause a domino effect and delay/affect other related tasks.
If there are some potential delays or budget issues that cannot be avoided, inform the clients of this possibility to manage their expectations, rather than trying to let them believe that everything is still going according to the original plan. However, make certain that you’ve looked into every solution and have an action plan on how to minimise the problem before informing the client.
Whether you have managed hundreds of construction projects already or you’re just an industry beginner, implementing these project management techniques can help you better improve your workflow. These tips can help you reassess your management strategy for you to become a more efficient project manager.