We all wish and hope for successful and profitable projects, but we are sometimes disappointed when things don’t turn out as we hoped. What can you do to be a successful construction manager to influence events so that your project is more successful?
This article explains some skills that good construction project managers have and bring to their team. Here are some simple actions which will add in measurably to your project’s success without requiring much extra effort.
Construction Project Management Tips
1. Good planning is essential
- Plan the project before starting, ensuring appropriate construction methods are selected and that materials, people, and equipment will be available when they’re required.
- Plan the project every day, so what has to be done today is completed, while ensuring that everything is in place for tomorrow’s activities.
2. Poor safety costs lives and money.
- Lead by example – obey the safety rules and always use the designated safety gear.
- Never pass an unsafe act without correcting it.
- Ensure project inductions appropriately address the project risks.
3. Poor quality negatively impacts reputation and costs time and money to rectify.
- While walking the project, continuously look with a keen eye to ensure all work conforms to the required standards. Never accept poor quality.
- The project team must understand the project’s quality requirements and that poor quality won’t be tolerated.
- Check that completed work isn’t being damaged by following up on work.
4. Subcontractors frequently play an important role in the project’s success.
- Pay subcontractors on time and treat them fairly. They’ll be more likely to give your project the importance it deserves.
- All instructions must be in writing and addressed to the irresponsible person.
- Inform subcontractors immediately when their quality isn’t satisfactory, they fall behind schedule, or they aren’t working safely.
5. Develop your team – You depend on them.
- Provide feedback – both positive and negative. If you don’t tell them what they did wrong and how they should fix it, they’ll never learn. A thank you and saying a job was well done will encourage workers to put in greater effort.
- Use their strengths and support their weaknesses.
- Send them on appropriate training courses.
6. Seek ways to improve productivity – even small improvements can positively impact profits.
- While walking the site, check that people and equipment are utilized efficiently.
- Always ask yourself if there’s a better solution or way of doing a task.
7. Ensure the company is paid for completed work.
- All work must be claimed in valuations which are submitted in accordance with the contract.
- Follow up to ensure the client pays the invoice.
8. Develop yourself.
- As a construction project manager, look out for new and better methods of doing things.
- Attend courses – especially those aimed at the softer skills, such as, negotiation, delegation, communication and time management.
9. Manage your time more effectively.
- Learn to delegate.
- Carry a notebook (paper or electronic) to make notes of tasks and questions.
- Don’t be distracted by incoming emails – read them only when you have time to deal with them.
- Use templates such as an Effort Impact Matrix or a Weekly Status Report.
- Ensure that both you and the project has an ordered filing and document control system.
10. If you’re unsure ask questions, or ask for help.
- Don’t assume things, and don’t be too proud to ask for advice or help – none of us knows everything.
- Just discussing a problem can help clarify the way forward.
We all wish for successful construction projects but are often disappointed when things don’t turn out as we hoped for. You need to take control of your project and navigate it to a safe and successful conclusion.
These simple actions will help you, your project, and your company.
What are your tips and suggestions for ensuring a successful project?
Paul Netscher is an experienced construction professional who writes construction articles and is the author of several acclaimed construction books including; ‘Successful Construction Project Management: The Practical Guide’, ‘Building a Successful Construction Company: The Practical Guide’, ‘Construction Claims: A Short Guide for Contractors’ ,and ‘Construction Management: From Project Concept to Completion’. These books are available in paperback and e-book from Amazon and other retail outlets. Visit www.pn-projectmanagement.com to find out more about these books.