A construction project manager is expected to wear more than just a hard hat. They juggle multiple roles, overseeing invoice payments, the processing of purchase orders, the management of subcontractors, warehouse tracking, the execution of office operations, conducting site visits, and performing countless repetitive and daily tasks that are unique to each project.
It goes without saying that all of this can blend in to make construction project management an arduous and exhausting endeavor. However, like every good manager, you’d want to mitigate the risk of any project management errors and sign off on projects with flying colors. But this can often be easier said than done.
Read on to learn how you can simplify the management of your construction projects. You can also take a peep at Bridgit’s article for additional info.
The best practices for construction project management
There are several aspects of construction project management that may seem minor, but can often have a disproportionately large impact. As an expert project manager, you need to account for all of the following:
Set a clear project scope and expectations
This one is a no-brainer. Setting a clear project scope and outlining expectations for all stakeholders is an absolute must, even before beginning a construction project. If goals and expectations are not aligned with all parties, the project will be subject to delays and cost overruns.
All pertinent details related to a project (like budgets, timelines, and milestones) must be discussed even before work begins, with all stakeholders signing off. Make sure that the timelines and milestones set are attainable.
The budget must also be able to accommodate all the required work and the project’s unique specifications. The best practice here would be to have everything recorded so that they can be referred to at any given point.
As a project manager, having all the pertinent details of your project in writing and organized into a single folder will streamline the process significantly. You may also be able to use them as documentation in case of future disputes. Maintaining a detailed project record is the very first step toward managing a construction project like a pro.
Encourage open and diligent internal communication
A construction project is one of the best use-cases for teamwork, where a group of individuals with different expertise gathers towards a common goal. Communication is at the very core of effective collaboration.
Open internal communication will ensure all project stakeholders (including you, the teams working with you, your subs, and your clients) are constantly updated on the project’s status. Stakeholders should remain well informed on progress or any setbacks so that their expectations remain consistent.
Consider using communication tools
A construction project manager must be adept at using communication tools like messages, real-time comments, daily progress reports, punch lists, and daily schedules. This helps in two ways.
First, this keeps everyone informed on the project’s day-to-day operations. And secondly, it helps keep a record of every event, ensuring you have all the required documentation.
Open and transparent communication helps everyone contribute to the project equally. You can gather different insights from vastly different perspectives, which can not only streamline project progress but might also offer unique solutions to any issues you may encounter. Valuing everyone’s opinion also helps with boosting team morale and the collective desire for success.
Enhance reporting and finance
Even though reporting and finance remain under the umbrellas of communication and record-keeping, they can also be considered separately for construction projects. The availability of real-time reporting and up-to-date financials can often be a prime differentiator, one that delineates a regular project manager from a pro.
Seamlessly tracking incoming and outgoing finances is extremely critical to construction projects. Frequent change orders and unexpected expenses can wreak havoc on the budget—to mitigate their impact, you must be well versed in financial tools and concepts like cash flow, purchase orders, billing, invoicing, payroll, budget, and online payment. This helps you organize your daily money management and simplify seemingly complex processes.
As a project manager, you must also be prepared to leverage reporting programs. Programs help with creating diligent financial reports like work-in-progress (WIP) reports, which give you an accurate picture of where the project stands at any given point in time. These records and reports will help you stay focused on the bottom line, execute project updates, and seamlessly track any changes.
Make use of construction technology
The advent of digitization has simplified all aspects of work today, and construction project management is no exception. Construction project management technology has come a long way, and almost all major projects feature platforms and solutions to varying degrees of impact.
Most integrated platforms are bundled with numerous modules, such as reporting, financial management, CRM, communication dashboard, scheduler, contract builder, and more.
One of the most important factors in choosing the right construction management technology is the presence of intelligent workforce management for contractors. There are several tools available that help you optimize your workforce and simplify its management and planning.
Effortless workforce management is the cornerstone of project management excellence, and utilizing construction management technology is a surefire way of getting there.
Managing construction projects can be challenging
Due to the inherent complexities of construction projects, managing one can be a big challenge. It requires the unification of different disciplines on the field and within the office, as well as a thorough knowledge of several topics that can influence a project.
Needless to say, pro-grade construction managers must use all the help they can get. If executed with diligence, passion, and sensibility, managing construction projects and seeing them to completion can be a vastly rewarding endeavor.