By Jeff Brown, Midwest Regional Manager
There are two sides to every coin. When it comes to building, there is a common belief that a construction project is solely about the handiwork performed by experienced tradespeople with solid construction skills. This is one side of the coin. The other one includes managing the project and making sure that it is delivered on time and that all of the objectives are met in full. That being said, construction project management offers great potential for people with different construction backgrounds and abilities. Take a look at some of the characteristics needed to become a successful construction project manager.
Define Goals and Solutions
What is the purpose of the project? How about the goals you are trying to achieve? Do you know what the project requirements are and how you are going to meet them? Have you thought of alternative solutions in case you need a plan B? Not every project is the same just because it calls for similar construction skills. In order to be a successful construction project manager, you need to identify and define the needs of your task before it even starts. Failing to do so is going to have negative effects on your project and result in unnecessary frustration and delays.
Put Together a Schedule
Once you have a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished, you need to put together a detailed schedule of action. This is where your management skills are going to prove extremely useful. Phases, deadlines and responsibilities have to be laid out and specified in order to track the progress of the project. You need to keep in mind that many times during your construction career, things might look great on paper but when put in practice the story is quite different. In case of a deadlock, flexibility and readiness to provide alternative ways of action are crucial qualities of a successful construction project manager.
A construction project involves many moving parts and it engages tradespeople with different construction skills. Everyone needs to work together seamlessly in order to deliver the desired results. Thorough communication is essential in meeting goals and addressing barriers. For example, having regular contact with your subcontractors to maintain progress control and staying connected with your construction staffing firm to deal with labor shortages are critical throughout the entire project management process. The more time that you invest in maintaining communication, the less chance you have of deviating from the plan.
Keep a Close Eye on Budget
Throughout your construction career, you are going to find out that keeping your project on budget is one of the greatest challenges you need to overcome. It is your responsibility to monitor and track expenses and make sure that your initial forecasts match your final expenditures. A great way to do that and establish yourself as a successful construction project manager, is breaking the project into phases and tracking the costs step by step. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that things will always go according to the plan. Rather, use technology-based tools that are going to help you manage costs and stick to the budget.
No matter whether you have a long construction career or you are new to construction project management, it is very important that you become part of the process. Get out on the construction site and meet with the people who have the construction skills to do the job. The more information you collect firsthand the better control you have. The same applies to the level of knowledge you have regarding new trends, equipment and technology that are being introduced in the construction world. Remember that a successful construction project manager stays educated both on the construction site progress and on the industry evolution.
Key Takeaways to How to Become a Successful Construction Project Manager:
1. Define the project goals, needs and solutions to avoid delays
2. Put together a schedule that enables you to keep track of the project’s progress
3. Keep open channels of communication with all parties involved in the project
4. Use tools that allow you to maintain control of your budget
5. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of site progress and industry evolution
Founded in 1993, TradeSource is a construction labor solutions firm focused on delivering labor solutions to contractors throughout the United States. By supplying skilled tradespeople – where and when they’re needed – we help contractors grow their companies, without the associated costs and hassles of full-time hires. Likewise, we match qualified employees with rewarding and well-paying job opportunities in the construction industry. www.tradesource.com