Construction management involves having the skills and expertise of a traditional project manager but applying these skills to the construction industry. At the beginning of a project, it is hard to know if a project will be successful or not. Just like you may not be sure if you will get to your destination smoothly, once you are on the road driving. Shit happens, your car may break down leading to seeking towing service. All we do is to hope for the best.
Many things can throw off track, and it’s your job to put everything in order. You may know how to set projects up for success, but there are critical issues and best practices you can employ to help you in managing construction projects. Here are the tips.
Create a flow of communication
Communication is very essential in every phase of the construction project and is among the most critical element of project management. You need to establish a flow of communication with everyone, whether you are communicating good news or bad news. Ensure that you communicate effectively with every supplier and stakeholder in the plan. Having some transparency in your communication will make all the processes smoother to reduce the number of phone calls and emails whenever a problem arises. You can use collaborative work management tools to create a steady flow of communication.
Make it a habit of constant planning. Planning is the second most important thing in the five phases of project management. As a construction project manager, you should start planning even long before the actual construction begins. You should also continue revising and developing plans up to the time the project ends. Extensive planning is required during design, pre-construction and procurement stages. In case you encounter some unexpected environmental problems during the pre-construction phase, you may need to change the design.
Observe and Ask Questions
There is no way a project manager will be found sitting quietly at his desk cut from the other members of his team. To manage projects effectively, you need to become an integral part of the process by working literally and figuratively alongside your team. The work of project managers is very much involving, and you need to have more attention and integrated efforts. Field elements can have a dramatic effect on the workflow of construction projects.
Use Automation Tools
Use appropriate tools to monitor costs and budgets. Just from the initial bidding process to the final project closeout, a proper managing of the project involves all the responsibilities of tracking and monitoring costs. Even if you have an accounting department for managing contractor invoices, you also need to work closely with your accountants to ensure that all costs are well maintained. As a project manager, you need to track and monitor all finances appropriately.
You also need to implement automated reporting systems. Note that you will not have the time to respond to hundreds of emails every day. With automation, you ensure that the right reports go to the right people on time. This will help you focus on other tasks and communication.