Project managers are faced with a great deal of responsibility — especially when it comes to construction projects. Between managing contractors, collaborating with designers, and keeping customers happy, project managers are almost always busy making sure their projects are staying on schedule. Sound overwhelming? Don’t worry — we’re here to help! Here are five tips to help project managers take it to the next level:
1) Create an open communication flow
Staying transparent about the process, whether it’s good or bad news, keeps everyone on the same page, and makes it easier to deal with any road bumps that might be encountered along the way. Using a collaborative management tool, like Google Drive, makes it easy to sync up everyone’s calendar, edit budget sheets, and communicate easily — all in one place.
2) Prepare for continuous planning — and re-planning
Between the initial design stage, pre-construction, the actual construction itself, and any post-project management that may come up, each stage of a construction project requires extensive, meticulous planning…but it’s important not to get too attached to the details. The unpredictability of a construction site and unplanned environmental factors that may arise requires a good project manager to remain flexible, willing to re-adjust the plan at any stage to account for any issues that could affect a project’s timeline. Scheduling enough time for adjustments, and relying on support from contractors, will make the ongoing planning easier.
3) Stay involved
It’s important that project managers be at the construction site as much as possible. Managers should be familiar with the site, as well as everyone’s specific role there. Regularly checking in with contractors and designers in-person allows for a more accurate assessment of the safety, productivity, and quality of the project as it’s moving along.
4) Delegate Away
The best part of managing a construction project is knowing you don’t have to do it all on your own — something project managers should use to their advantage! Delegating tasks is more than just telling someone what to do — it means ensuring that each person has the knowledge and is capable of completing the task, and that they understand exactly what is required of them. It also requires that managers consistently follow up with contractors to make sure the task has been completed.
5) Master the art of negotiation
A good project manager should be well-versed in the art of persuasion. Whether it be with the contractors, the customer, the supplier, or even within their own team, they should be comfortable negotiating with others to get what they want. Remember, the project manager’s proposed plan of action is always best, but it’s important to be able to communicate why that’s true in a way that keeps everyone happy.
Questions? We’d love to hear them! Get in touch with us about your next project today.