Construction project management is the cornerstone of the success of any of your construction project. Hence, the key person responsible for any outcome would be your construction project manager. Effective construction project management is what determines a successful completion of a job. Delivering a quality project within time and budget schedules while ultimately making a profit is a very complex and challenging task. For a construction project management to be effective, it requires thorough planning, detailed monitoring of work progress, and communication and collaboration among project members and all stakeholders.
Read our article that details the 10 key responsibilities of a construction project manager.
Before the start of a project, the construction project manager has already started working. Detailed planning is the most important part of a construction project manager’s job – it basically determines a project’s success.
The more complex your project is, the more planning is required. A properly planned construction project optimises efficiency and provides a step-by-step strategy for completing the project on schedule and within the budget. In the planning phase, you will define goals, develop your deliverables, and establish milestones for your project.
During the planning phase, you have to determine the equipment you will need, the labor you will need, the coordination of your subcontractors, and ensuring your building materials are lined up as scheduled. This stage also establishes other aspects of your project including the development of your safety plan, communication plan and making a risk assessment and creating a response plan.
A construction project can go off course in so many ways. Having a carefully developed plan that is strategic and well executed can prevent and resolve issues before they even come up.
Once the plan is in place and construction has started, the objective is so make sure everything goes according to the plan. Usually, what keeps a project off track is a number of minor issues instead of a one big issue. That’s why a careful evaluation of daily progress reports, a proper system of tracking budget and schedule, and risk management need detailed attention.
The first step is to identify an issue or an impending delay. Once an issue, a delayed task or activity is identified, the second step is diagnosing its root cause. Once the cause of the problem has been established, whether it’s poor workforce allocation or a rework causing a cost overrun, you have to revise your plan and schedule and find a solution that will get the project back on its track.
Another of the most important ingredients to successfully complete a construction project is effective communication. Good communication improves teamwork and collaboration. Poor communication results to misunderstandings, delays and other issues. A communication plan for sharing information and tasks has to be established early on and should be agreed upon by all stakeholders and team members.
The basis for all construction project communication includes the contract documents – drawings, specifications, change order forms, requests for information, progress reports, etc. Any direct communication not specified in the contract documents should receive proper authorisation and any changes needing modification should be documented and reported to proper channels.
A consistent flow of information with correct contact points for team members is very important. It ensures that information is delivered to the correct people at the time they need it. Communication flow affects the flow of the project – when team members and stakeholders communicate poorly, that’s when problems and delays start to happen.
Collaboration goes beyond team members completing tasks on schedule; good project collaboration is a relationship with all stakeholders and among project members that is based on mutual respect and trust to work together to achieve project goals and delivery. Coordinating efforts and cooperating with co-workers are essential to ultimately improving overall productivity. A well planned communication strategy is vital to this. Collaboration comports with good communication and with keeping everyone on the same page.
Technology tools have been improving communication and collaboration over the past years across all industries. Slowly it has been disrupting the construction sector with mobile cloud-based project management software and tools related to Building Information Modeling (BIM). It has become easier to manage construction projects with these modern tools.
Supplement this with our article outlining the modern characteristics of a skilled construction project manager.
For more in-depth insight on construction project management and how to further improve your productivity on site, check out our downloadable ebook, The Circle of Productivity now.