How to be Efficient in Construction Project Management
What did you want to be when you were four? It could have been a doctor, an artist, or a firefighter. Many of us in the construction industry have always understood deep down what we love and want to be: builders.
While construction may not have been on everyone’s childhood career wish list, the majority of those who work in the business today have a passion for construction.
It’s incredible to see a bustling construction site evolve from a mound of materials on the ground level into a gorgeous high-rise, hospital, office building, or university.
Before You Start Working as a Construction Project Manager: Here’s What You Need to Know
We’ve put up some project management career tips to help you get started. Here’s our approach to success, whether you’re trying to transfer from Project Engineer to Project Manager (PM), succeed in your present role as PM, or set goals on your way to becoming a Project Executive.
- Is Construction Project Management Right for You?
A project manager’s primary responsibility is to lead teams and ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. “Construction project managers regulate the time, cost, and quality of construction projects, ranging from residential, commercial, and industrial buildings to highways, bridges, and schools.
They plan and coordinate every part of the building process, from recruiting contractors to collaborating with engineers, architects, and vendors. A single project manager may be in charge of the entire construction project, or numerous project managers may be in charge of different sections of a bigger project.”
Project managers also inspect the job site to verify it complies with health and safety regulations, communicate with customers and provide updates, and serve as a resource for the people they supervise.
In a nutshell, it’s a huge amount of pressure and responsibility. While a project manager position may appear appealing on paper, with decent pay and opportunities for advancement, not everyone is cut out for it.
Leadership, communication, time management, coordination, problem-solving, accountability, and planning are all required. Furthermore, when things go wrong, owners are eager to point the finger, therefore project managers must be able to bear the pressure gracefully.
To genuinely flourish in a PM role, you’ll need a strong mind and the ability to take ownership and address problems when they arise. It’s fine if that isn’t your thing. Simply ask yourself if you’re serious about making this a career, or if you’re just doing it because it’s the next natural step.
- Make Work Your Passion
Consider construction project management to be a hobby rather than a profession. If you want to be successful, you must enjoy what you do since that is the only way you will be motivated to advance in your job. Beyond your physical and emotional health, as well as your family commitments, the only way to discover long-term achievement and satisfaction is to totally immerse yourself in a vocation you enjoy.
- Use Automated Reporting Systems
Hardly a construction project manager has time to respond to hundreds of emails every day, and answer every inquiry regarding finances and progress. You can reduce further contact by establishing automatic reporting tools, in addition to focusing comments and schedules.
Construction project management necessitates the distribution of multiple spreadsheets and status reports on a weekly basis, and automated delivery systems will save time over the course of the project. This automation will guarantee that the appropriate reports are sent to the appropriate persons on time, leaving you to concentrate on other activities and communication.
Other reporting methods, like safety and health management, can help to prevent dangers, track events, and simplify worksite investigation when problems do occur. Construction project managers, as well as their teams, subcontractors, partners, and stakeholders, all benefit from Smartsheet. Using construction job costing software, automated reporting, and interaction with popular apps, the Smartsheet platform helps teams improve visibility and streamline workflows.
Construction project managers in the modern environment must be open to adopting new technologies. Keep knowledge of industry technology, such as collaborative tools and project management systems. Even if you don’t use these platforms yourself, taking the initiative to introduce technology to your team will have a huge impact on the way your projects are discussed.
- Establish a Communication Flow
Every aspect of a building project requires effective communication. Establish a line of contact with everyone on the ground, as well as with all stakeholders and suppliers involved in the strategy. The process will go more smoothly as a result of the transparency, and the amount of emails and phone calls will be reduced whenever a problem emerges.
A work execution platform is one of the simplest ways to establish a communication flow. You can keep track of updates, budgets, and scheduling changes by syncing comments, images, documents, and calendars in one place.
Through fast notifications, automated actions, and easy-to-visualize dashboards, a powerful platform also allows you to convey these changes to other managers and accounting offices in real time, enabling a nearly email-free and paperless approach of project management.
That means you’ll have more time to spend on the job site meeting contractors and coordinating the next phase of building. In construction project management, poor communication has a large cost, but fortunately, it’s a skill that can be improved and polished through time. Improve your communication techniques, as well as your emotional intelligence, to better understand and connect with your team.
- Make a plan
Keep setting goals for yourself if you want to succeed as a construction project manager. Check in on a regular basis to assess how you’re progressing and make adjustments as needed. Additionally, ensure that you receive feedback from your management and team members in order to learn how you can improve.
- Clients should be kept informed
Your reputation as a project manager is crucial both within and outside of your company and project. Always prioritize communication and relationships with your owners so that they are aware of what’s going on, feel safe and confident in the work you’re doing, and finally sing your praises from the rooftops.
- Budget Management Expertise
Budgeting is another crucial ability for a successful project manager, but it is not something that everyone is naturally good at. Take the time to learn expense control, monitoring, and accounting to improve your budgeting skills.
Knowing how much you’re spending and where you may save money when necessary will help you stay on track with your projects and show your client/owner that you’re doing everything you can to make the project a success.
- Discover Your Groove
Take the time to iron out the wrinkles, study what you need to know, and practise skills, and you’ll be back on your feet sooner rather than later.
- Tenured PMs: Making the Leap to the Next Step
Not every project manager progresses to the position of director of construction or project executive. A person with a real desire to advance in their field can achieve their goal via consistent hard effort and dedication.
If this is your ultimate construction career goal, and you stay focused and determined, you’ll be in a great position to advance one day. While all of the aforementioned suggestions can help you thrive in your career as a PM and beyond, focusing on strategy and keeping patient will bring you to the next level.
- Focus on the Future
First, there’s the strategy. You’ll find yourself overwhelmed and slipping behind your construction project management colleagues if you don’t have a strategic point of view. A strategic focus is necessary for thinking beyond the day-to-day duties that, if ignored, would overwhelm you.
Use each project as an opportunity to show off your facility’s risk management, management, and overall strategy.
Patience, Patience, Patience
Secondly, develop patience. Making the transition from project manager to director of construction or project executive requires time and experience. Some jobs take more than a decade of on-the-job training, while others may require far less if the timing and opportunity are right. If you truly desire the position, resist the urge to hasten your time as a PM.
There’s a lot you can learn in the office and out in the field during that period, and it’d be a shame to miss those opportunities by waiting for the next higher position. Even seasoned project managers must continue to educate themselves in order to stay on top of their game. Construction professionals, fortunately, have access to a wealth of career tools.
In addition to utilizing resources, employ new technologies, improve communication wherever possible, educate yourself, and more. Aerial views are required for construction project management, both figuratively and physically. Keeping so many moving components and people in sync, and transitioning those pieces into a well-oiled whole that stays on schedule and on budget, takes a lot of expertise and confidence.
Get enough rest, ask questions, interact with people you admire, and, if it’s not too much to ask, enjoy the ride. Just keep in mind that, in the eyes of many four-year-olds around the world, you’re living the dream.