Strategies for Managing Construction Projects
The main aim of construction management is to deliver a quality project which is on time, on budget, and meet or exceed expectations of the stakeholders. For construction managers to achieve this, they work with large teams and often lengthy timelines, supervising each team from start to finish. This is why their work is tedious and demanding. All the tasks expected of a construction project manager are rather many but can be placed under six categories.
- Project management
- Cost management
- Time management
- Quality management
- Contract management
- Safety management
Each of the six categories has five stages namely, pre-design, design, procurement, construction, and post-construction. The enormity of these tasks means that good strategies are required for the project to be successful as and when due. Here are six proven strategies that can help you to manage any construction project successfully.
Be Acquainted with the Details of the Project
The first thing to do is to learn and know all the details of the project. Assessing the details will help you to picture the potential risks and plan ahead adequately to tackle it before it snowballs into a big problem. Start by establishing how to accomplish all tasks on schedule and on budget, as well as how to satisfy your client. Make sure your crew is up to date on building codes, materials, and any new products being used. And lastly, know lead times for all materials before you start the job.
Create a Formidable Plan
After studying and noting all the details, develop a solid plan by mapping out all the tasks to be carried out at each stage of the project and scheduling each of them appropriately. Develop the scope of the work with your team, and organize the tasks in the most logical and efficient way possible.
All the resources needed to execute the project, such as manpower, materials, tools, and equipment, should be readily available. Subcontractors and suppliers should also be brought into the picture so as to ensure that the expectations regarding timelines and projected milestones are measurable and realistic. You should be able to see the big picture and note it down on paper. Prepare and follow the construction schedule. Bear in mind that your plan should not be rigid. It must but flexible to allow for necessary adjustments along the way in order to avoid delays.
Communicate Regularly and Efficiently
Each construction phase requires regular and efficient communication flow. This is a strategy that must not be neglected by project managers. You can achieve this by scheduling well-planned and result-oriented meetings to keep every team member – stakeholders, suppliers, subcontractors and other workers abreast and up to date on each stage and of any issue that has been identified. The meeting should be briefed as long meetings are time-consuming and have been found to be counter-productive.
The meeting can be virtual, through conference call or email. You can also hold a brief meeting to discuss salient issues bothering on the project when you visit the project site. Monitor updates, budgets, and your schedule to check for changes probably through easy-to-visualise dashboards, pictures and others. This way, you will be able to deal with any problem that arises.
Lead and Collaborate with your Team
Construction project cannot be successfully carried out by a person; it requires collaborative efforts of many people who are experts in their respective fields. A project leader must be able to provide enviable leadership for the team by being a great collaborator. Hence, they must have good leadership skills and be humble and open-minded to be able to listen to the team. Don’t just be interested in communicating your ideas to the team; be ready to listen to their ideas as well. This will help you to get constructive feedbacks. You should also learn the strength and weaknesses of each member so as to assign roles based on their experience.
Stay up-to-date and Organised
To stick to your plan and achieve it even in the face of unforeseen circumstances, you have to be organised. Monitor and keep track of project deliverables, workers, timelines, and tasks. This will help you to stay alert and make adjustments and modifications to your agenda as soon as changes occur.
This requires you to be up-to-date regarding every task and activity. Study up on the latest technologies and trends to identify the construction-focused technological tools through which you can track every phase of the project and share it with your team. Technological tools like smartphones and tablets will help all team members to stay connected wherever they are.
Let your plan be flexible and make room for changes as you may need to revise it along the way. This is important as challenges may arise at any phase of the project. When they arise, your desire should be to keep the project on track. Adapt to the changes and adjust in order to avoid delays and loss of materials or money.