For those who work in construction, even if you are starting out with a job as basic as a laborer or if you are an apprentice, eventually the goal is to work up to where you can be heading your own major construction projects, such as buildings, bridges and railways.
This position is generally one that involves less of the actual physical construction work, and more of planning, preparing and allocating duties to others. Construction Project Manager is a demanding position to be in, and it comes with a lot of responsibilities.
You have things like communication, time management, distribution of resources, managing the budget and a number of other tasks. It does take a lot of experience and ability, and in general, it takes years to get there, but you can do it if you work hard.
If it is something you aspire to, you should look ahead at what will be expected of you so you can adequately prepare yourself. Here’re 5 tips:
1. Be Strict With the Budget
As the production manager, you will be in charge of where the money goes and how it is distributed, and it can be very easy to lose control of the project’s overall spending if you’re not careful.
You should make sure that you have the budget well in advance of the project’s start date and that you plan ahead for what you’re going to need in terms of materials, equipment, manpower and how much everything is going to cost.
Make sure that your plan doesn’t max out the budget, you need some leftover in the case of an emergency or in the case something changes. Flowlu project management software allows you to plan your budget and compare estimated expenses and revenue against actual results.
2. Expect Changes
Look, when you take on a construction project that is of any significant size, you are almost guaranteed to run into some problems or have to make some very significant changes for various reasons.
There might be a new decision made from a stakeholder or someone else in a high position, there could have been a mistake in the initial planning which needs to be rectified, certain scheduling conflicts could arrive which could mean that you have to work quicker or pause for a while.
There’re all kinds of things that can happen, and while you should absolutely have the project well planned out in advance, you also have to have contingency plans and be prepared to improvise and think on the fly. It’s just the nature of the business.
3. Put Safety First
Construction can be a dangerous business and accidents are common. When you’re dealing with heights, power tools, heavy machinery, and work that involves a lot of pushing, pulling and lifting, things can go wrong.
Hopefully, if you have an experienced workforce, you can come out the other side of this project injury-free, but it’s important to make safety a priority. Make sure that everyone is informed on potential risks and how to avoid them.
Have plenty of protective clothing, including helmets and goggles, as well as harnesses and first aid kits. Check the machinery regularly and also have the right insurance so that if there is an accident the ones affected can get the care they need.
4. Communicate Everything
You have to keep everyone in the know at all times for a project to run as efficiently as possible. There is so much information and data generated by a large-scale construction project and there are a lot of stakeholders involved who need to be kept up to date.
Having something like a single source of truth would be beneficial, such as the one offered by Vista Projects. This gives everyone on-demand access to whatever information they need about the project.
5. Don’t be a Tyrannical Leader
This tip is more of a philosophical one, but that doesn’t make it any less important. If you’re a construction project manager, you have worked hard to get there for sure, and you are now in a position of power and authority.
No matter how you were treated during your years of hard work, you need to avoid abusing your power. Treat everyone working on the project with respect. Be authoritative when necessary, but don’t become a tyrant just because you can.
This is unnecessary, it will harm your reputation and your chances of heading future projects and it’s just plain unfair. So be nice.
Construction Project Manager is arguably the most important role in the overall project, but that also makes it one of the toughest and it means that the success of the project rests heavily on your shoulders.
It can be extremely rewarding too though, especially when you reach the end and can see the finished project. If you go into it with the will to succeed and with adequate mental preparation, you should be able to excel as a project manager.