Construction management is not an easy task. It is a field where uncertainties can crop up at any time and managers have to be prompt decision-makers to ensure that nothing hinders the achievement of the end goals.
Construction management aims at optimizing the time, cost, and quality of the outcome in a construction project. As per The Construction Management Association of America, a construction project manager perform 120 responsibilities on an average.
It is important to ensure that all responsibilities are fulfilled and every person concerned, be it an architect or a contractor should remain on schedule and budget.
What exactly does a construction manager do?
A construction manager is someone who ensures that things work according to the existing plan. The primary mission of a construction manager is to complete the project in the given budget and time. They are responsible for the work in progress in compliance with set building plans, codes and other regulations.
Here are construction management strategies that are a must to master such that your construction project meets success without any blunders.
Construction and planning seem to be a bit of a paradox sometimes. There is a possibility that every construction project will have its own emergency situations, so thorough planning in advance is not really practical.
Still, there are a number of factors that need to be planned on point before embarking upon a construction project. A construction project manager should ensure that the schedule is realistic, detailed and achievable.
The plan should be exhaustive and include every detail related to every aspect of construction.
The best way to plan a construction project can be using a Gantt chart as you can view your project schedule in a timeline view on the Gantt chart.
On a Gantt chart, project managers can set all tasks and view them in one window. Now when they have their whole plan laid out in front of their eyes, they can see where they need to keep some buffer time between tasks and where future emergencies (weather constraints, human resource constraints) can arise.
Foresight to risk management
The recognition of potential unpredictable situations and prior preparation for such situations are the hallmarks of an intelligent construction project manager.
The failure of structural support, the delivery of wrong material to the construction sites are some of the scenarios which can throw your schedule off the rail. Good project managers sit with their team and think of all such possible scenarios and stay prepared in advance to tackle such situations.
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Project managers can exploit artificial intelligence and machine learning to deal with risks.
Here is a list of leading technologies that can help you identify as well as reduce the risk in construction projects.
- Mobile technology
The biggest benefit is that you can share documents and data on the go while being on-site. One added advantage of mobile technology is that it helps to reduce insurance premiums.
- Cloud-based technology
With cloud-based technology, changes can be made in seconds in real-time and everyone can access it immediately. Visibility, security, and accessibility are the assets of cloud-based technology.
- BIM models in the field
Building Information Modelling software has made its mark in the design of projects. By providing accurate building information, it reduces the risk of errors on the job which can push deadlines and exceed the budget.
- Collaboration tools
Nothing can match the power of good, clear and transparent communication when it comes to risk management. Collaboration tools help teams come together to plan and inform. Also, stakeholders get increased visibility and increased productivity.
- Schedule and task tracking tools
Running behind schedule can cause serious financial repercussions. Therefore investing in tools that help you stay on schedule by increasing accountability and rework your schedule if it gets disrupted is an essential risk management strategy.
- Automation tools
Manual data entry is highly prone to human error. Also, one minor mistake could lead to big problems in the future. Therefore investing in an automation tool to automate operations and support data-driven jobs is essential in construction project management. Efficiency and effectiveness increase with automation.
Using these tools can help you avoid risky situations and lead to the successful completion of your projects.
Employ a project management solution
Although the institution and processes of the construction field seem to be different from other fields, there are many similarities between construction and other domains when it comes to the management of projects. By other domains, I mean, aerospace, software, pharmaceuticals, etc.
Just like other projects, in the construction field, an objective has to be achieved in the given budget, schedule, and quality.
A project management solution can turn out to be a complete package serving most needs of project management related to the construction field. It can simplify estimating and billing, help in document management, facilitate seamless communication, manage workload assignments, streamline the administration of processes.
Cultivate these managerial traits
You might be a professional construction manager or an accidental one who has been put in those shoes. There are some core managerial traits related to the construction field which you must imbibe in order to do well as a construction manager.
- Read your contract document well
If you are under the impression that your contract document will serve the purpose in emergency situations or disputes only, you are mistaken. A proactive project manager will read his contract document thoroughly before starting the work. This will help to make sure that the contract obligations are fulfilled by both the customer as well as the contractor before beginning the project. You can also make sure that everything is going in accordance with the specifications and scope of the project.
- Do not micromanage
Good project managers always discard the idea of micromanagement. Micromanagement is anyways a waste of time and productivity considering the size of a project and teams involved in the construction industry.
A good project manager should trust the capability and dedication of his team members and teams must have faith in the abilities of PM regarding the allocation of tasks.
Therefore rather than falling in the trap of day to day minutia, you should concentrate on the larger goal of completing the project on time.
- Be a good negotiator
Being a project manager in the construction industry, convincing people will be your everyday job. You have to be a strong negotiator to convince people that this is the best way to do something.
- Understanding of expenses
Understanding and estimation of expenses is a vital trait of a good construction manager. Costs of equipment, processes, materials and even people are of critical importance.
To become an expert at this, you will have to spend some time with your company’s estimating department so that you can make informed decisions about materials and methods and give a boost to productivity.
A construction project manager faces new challenges every day during the course of projects. So embracing challenges should be his second nature.
We hope that these strategies brought useful insight home for you. Do let us know if you find these tips useful. Also, if there is anything that you can add to these strategies, you are more than welcome to do that.
About The Author: Nandini Sharma is the Assistant Marketing Manager at ProofHub – a project planning software. With years of experience in marketing, she has found some amazing ways to reach a large audience and create a connection. She also loves doing art and craft and trying her hands-on creative handmade cards & gifts.