6 Best Practices for Managing Construction Projects
It’s hard to know at the beginning of a project whether or not it will be successful. But as the Project Manager, it’s your job to try to ensure that everyone has what they need in order to make that project work. You’re supposed to bring the job in on time and within budget. While there are many different things that can easily throw a job off track, it’s your job to put it back on track. You know how to set a project up for success, but here are some best practices to help you in managing construction projects.
1. Set a Clear Project Scope
In order to manage a construction project, there has to be an understanding of what is the project. Involve stakeholders in an approved project scope with a detailed timeline, interim milestones, and the budget. The budget has to be capable of covering all required work. Realistic expectations must be asserted to prevent project failure. While setbacks happen, this is the first step in a successful project.
Having a project scope in writing sets up a great base for managing construction projects. It ensures you have enough money to cover expenses, as well as sets your milestones for you. It also stops “scope creep” or “just one more thing”. Scope creep is the continuous or uncontrolled growth in the scope. It can cause projects to fail or take longer than expected and doesn’t lead to good project management.
2. Set Up for Success
You shouldn’t just use stakeholder milestones in a project timeline. It’s important to keep open communication with your teams when setting these milestones. Using their experience ensures realistic milestones, it also helps you know what specifically they’ll need and establish good communication early on.
Having a good team only helps if you’re able to listen to them. They’re experts in their field, have experience in projects of this type, and will help manage the small details. And managing as a team can benefit you.
3. Focus on the Details
When managing construction projects, it’s important to focus on the details. Small details or pieces are easily overlooked. However, they also can cause greater issues down the road. By taking the necessary time to see the smallest details it will prevent issues. Small details can turn into large problems, which links back to team managing.
It can be hard to remember to pay attention to the details when staring down deadlines. But things get lost. It’s especially important to communicate the little details to your team. That way they also know what to look for and what needs to be done.
4. Anticipate Project Setbacks
Project setbacks happen. Even the best-laid plans might go awry, but the important thing is to not throw away the original plan. Planning for setbacks can be as simple as ensuring extra time in the schedule, or extra money in the budget. That way a setback isn’t detrimental to the health of the project. Anticipating setbacks can also be taking care of small issues before they become bigger ones. It’s using past project information along with current project information in order to stay ahead. It’s a top skill for managing construction projects.
5. Communicate Regularly
Through communication and collaboration, the best projects are built on time. It’s through listening and taking other people’s perspectives and experience into account that projects thrive. Because building good working relationships is as important as the project itself. Those good relationships lead to other productive projects and a good partnership. But that only happens when there is open professional communication, and people feel like they’re listened to. Listening is just as important if not more so than speaking.
6. Stay On Top of Trends
Staying on top of trends and learning are important in managing construction projects. It’s not just what you can learn from your workers. But also learning about project management and new tips, tricks, and solutions to make your life easier. The world is ever-changing, with new solutions to common problems every day. These solutions, like software, can save you time and even money through proper implementation. It also shows potential stakeholders that you take your job seriously. Because you’re willing to learn and keep up with all of the technological changes to provide the best service.
Managing construction projects can be difficult. Plans can go awry because of a variety of issues that can and can’t be controlled. As a Project Manager, it’s your job to try to ensure that everything stays on course. And these best practices can help you in managing construction projects to completion.