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How to Be an Effective Construction Project Manager

How to Be an Effective Construction Project Manager

Being project managers for anything can prove to be a difficult job to undertake. Aside from doing their tasks, they have to make sure that the people they manage are also doing their part in the project. They also have to be prepared to answer any problem that pops up. Now, being a construction project manager can be a bit more meticulous because of the industry’s nature of being extremely detailed and frequently in demand. The project managers have to have to skillfully combine the client’s needs and wants with the proper techniques to ensure a safe and high-quality project. 

Role of Construction Project Managers

In a nutshell, a project manager handles the whole project, and one of their main jobs revolves around construction crew management. This does not mean barking orders to the workers and watching them. Instead, a good manager must have exceptional organizational skills, the ability to properly delegate tasks to the people they manage to ensure the project progresses as efficiently and smoothly as possible. 

In comes construction scheduling software, a tool to help both contractors and project managers for construction. With this kind of software, managers and contractors can keep all their organizational tasks in one place. They can easily track the project’s progress with photos and documents stored and make a crew schedule for the crew members and their responsibilities. 

Understanding Construction Project Managers’ Responsibilities:

1. Plan The Project

Most people might not know this, but planning is the most crucial step in any process. It is widely known that any structure to be stable, it needs a strong foundation. Similar to that, the plan, which is essentially a construction project’s foundation, needs to be detailed, comprehensive, and compliant with all building codes and legal requirements. If the project manager fails to create a good plan of action, the construction project will most likely fail, or will at least lack efficiency.

Additionally, the project plan comprises details for the building and budget and details for the crew members. This includes proper scheduling, efficient task division, and choosing the right people for the job. If the project manager finds and picks highly skilled people and organizes a smooth flowing schedule, they are that much closer to a successful project.

2. Keep Track of The Project

Once the plan is effective in action, what the project manager needs to do now is keep track of the structure’s building progress. Therefore, another important thing a project manager has to do is create benchmarks. These are essentially checkpoints done in the construction duration where the project’s advancements are evaluated, and the status is determined. The project manager checks upon the structure’s status, the timeline, the resources, the budget, and overall efficiency to see if they are proceeding with minimal trouble

Benchmarks are critical in making sure the crew avoids as many problems as they can. They inform the manager of the current issues and can give solutions straightaway. If they skip this step, they could be proceeding with a significant problem too big to be solved in the future. In addition to that, the manager can make any necessary adjustments to keep the flow steady if they ever fall behind.

3. Delegate and Communicate

As the project manager, it’s not their job to do the heavy lifting. Instead, they must ensure that the relevant jobs are given to the right people to ensure maximum efficiency. Once crew members are hired and tasks designated, straightforward and proper communication is the next step to a successful construction project.

For the staff to work, they will need concise instructions from an experienced and educated project manager. If proper communication lacks between the two parties, you can expect a messy and chaotic project. There cannot be clear communication if one of the parties is closed. In this case, the project manager must take command but still be approachable. They should be able to lead and not order, motivate and not criticize.

As the crew members work on the project hands-on, they know when to resolve an issue. How can they let the manager know this if he/she is not open to communicating? These unresolved issues could lead to bigger and more problems.

Furthermore, communication does not end with the crew members. The project manager is also responsible for creating a good relationship with the key stakeholders and keeping them in the loop. Key stakeholders, especially the clients, need to know every detail of the construction process’s progress. Collaborating and frequently asking for their input will increase productivity. 

4. Be Prepared for Problems

As with anything in life, not everything will go as you planned. Since construction projects are big and meticulous, project managers always need to be prepared to answer any question, resolve any issue, and give solutions to every problem.

From the planning stage, they need to think of every possible thing that could go wrong so that they will be ready if, or when, it comes. Also, it never hurts to have a backup plan. You’ll find that having one in the back pocket will save time instead of thinking of one on the spot.

However, managers should also be open to ask for help or accept suggestions. Just because they handle the entire project doesn’t mean they have to take on the troubles alone. Sometimes it helps to ask the staff or fellow managers for advice because a new set of eyes could guide them in seeing what to do.

Steps to Become an Effective Construction Project Manager:

1. Collaborate, Not Command

As a manager, it’s easy for you to think of yourself as the boss. On the contrary, you should see yourself as a part of a team that collaborates to achieve one goal.

Be that as it may, it can be tough to work in perfect sync if there are so many moving parts, from the crew members to the external stakeholders, from the clients to you, the project manager. While it may be difficult at first, you have to be open and find a system that works for everyone. You can even enlist the help of a construction schedule software to lighten the burden of organizing.

2. Sharpen Your Organizational Skills

Because you’re the person on top who looks over everything, it can be overwhelming to be handling such a big project with a large number of people. If you don’t know how to keep things in line, you might end up with a chaotic and unsuccessful project.

That’s why project managers must stay organized. You don’t have to hire an assistant to do all the work for you. You should use your education and experience to be as hands-on as much as you can. To improve your skills, you can find several videos and articles to teach a few things about staying on top of things.

3. Motivate Your Crew

Without your crew, nothing will come of the project. They are the moving parts that keep the building in progress. That’s why it’s critical that you do not put them down but instead motivate them and lift them up. 

Boosting their morale can keep them going and will encourage them to do a better job. With higher spirits and a better relationship with you, efficient productivity will increase, and you’ll have a safe structure that looks great.

List of Signs That You May Not Be Well Suited to Be a Construction Project Manager:

You Have Poor Communication Skills

You cannot be a good project manager if you fail to communicate with your team. The bulk of the job relies on you being able to talk to them, on them talking to you, and on being able to finish the project together. You’ll have to go to meetings, contact resources, go through benchmarks, and give status reports. If can’t tell the team what’s going on, how can you expect to have a successful project?

You Don’t Like Following Processes

Most people would instead do away with methods and get on with it to save time. But project managers need to go through them to be useful as that project progresses. You won’t advance as a manager if you don’t follow the right management processes.

You Would Rather Take Orders than Give Them

It was previously mentioned that project managers should not see themselves as bosses you bark orders and issue commands. But good project managers need to able to lead and take charge. If you can’t do this, then you should probably stick to taking orders.

Key Takeaways

Project managers are an integral part of any construction project– it starts with them, it ends with them. Being someone who oversees all the staff’s work, handles every detail, and is responsible for connecting all the stakeholders, you should have exceptional organizational and communication skills. If you can use these skills to marry a client’s request with the best construction principles, you are well on your way to becoming a great project manager.

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