Construction project managers need to have a specific set of skills and characteristics to be successful in their role. A prosperous construction project manager needs to be able to think dynamically and quickly, lead a variety of people in different disciplines, be aware of industry trends and legislation, and most importantly, be able to apply these skills and knowledge to a wide-ranging challenges, needs and opportunities.
While, in theory, anyone with a good set of administration skills could be a construction project manager, there’s much more to it. It involves risk analysis, knowledge of a variety of construction techniques, planning, Building Information Modelling (BIM) approaches and a broad understanding of the built environment.
What is the Role of a Construction Project Manager?
A construction project manager is responsible for all stages of a project; from procurement and contract negotiations to coordinating and directing the overall progress, people and parts of a construction site. This includes liaising with stakeholders, managing timelines, ensuring there are enough workers, having the right people on the job, organising tender meetings and so much more.
Tips for Being a Successful Project Manager
1. Go Digital
We’re in the digital age, and failure to successfully adopt digital technology can often be a limiting factor and slow down a project. Now, as we have data processing abilities and people management at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to go digital.
Set yourself up for success by adopting workflows and processes to streamline efficiencies and provide insights into project details. Use software and tools that are tailored to construction management to improve performance, save on costs and reduce scheduling conflicts.
2. Communicate Effectively
Communication is often a tough area to master. Stakeholders and investors, for example, will want digestible and data-backed reports that show progress and provide a pragmatic guide to the current status of a project.
To be a successful project manager it’s important that you understand the best way to communicate with each group, and what methods and information need to be shared with them. Different parties will need different information at different points, and communication can make or break the project.
3. Forecast Realistically
While it may be tempting to try and please everyone with your project forecasting, whether that be through cost, timeframes or resource requirements, a realistic approach is one that will be the quickest and most cost-effective route to project delivery. You can please everyone when estimating and forecasting, but it’s better to have realistic expectations before the project begins than to break promises during the project or after it has ended
Using estimation software can help you to produce realistic forecasts and present the data in user-friendly dashboards. Stay on schedule by anticipating budget and staffing needs. By closely managing a schedule, knowing costs, and planning for procurement needs you will be set up to deliver a winning project.
4. Delegate Reasonably
Part of project management is knowing when to delegate and when to look for additional resources. Through delegation, a project manager can ensure the person with the most relevant expertise is able to carry out certain tasks.
However, over-delegation can be the downfall of a project. Successful construction project managers need to be able to understand when they need to do a task, and when they should pass it on to a better-placed person.
5. Know Your Costs
Under-pricing or overpricing are a huge issue. While it’s nigh on impossible to come in at the exact figure, being close is a skill that is highly valuable for construction project managers.
Things like being aware of industry price changes, disposal taxes, licence fees, and the average cost per hour of hiring plant and equipment will help you strengthen your cost estimates.
While a construction project manager is someone who can provide accurate costs and estimates, they must also be able to provide updated costs throughout the entire process, keeping on top of industry trends.
6. Link Back to Strategy
At every point, a project manager needs to be able to link their work back to the overall strategy and goals of the company.
Whether that’s a focus on sustainability and renewable resource, or creating a de-carbonised built environment, there are always multiple goals and strategies that project managers need to be aware of and be tying back to their project.
While this isn’t necessarily an easily developed characteristic, juggling the needs of a project with the needs of a business is an essential skill for a project manager, especially if they have multiple projects on the go.
7. Learn From Each Project
Once a project has ended, capture any learning points and apply them to continuously improve your processes. Assess team performance and analyse data to gain better insights as to where issues occurred and how to prevent them in the future. However, data is only one part of the overall picture. For the complete picture, build in feedback from your team too.
Choose the Right Construction Project Management Software
RedSky’s Business Analytics Software helps you to be a more effective construction project manager by providing a robust suite of feature-rich tools with user-friendly, role-based dashboards. Access information at the touch of a button and gain real-time visibility to manage project performance effectively and efficiently.