Ways to Improve Construction Project Management Process and Performance
What is construction project management?
The construction project manager holds a breadth of skills, as this job requires both technical construction knowledge as well as general management ability. As construction projects increase in complexity, the project manager’s duties continue to broaden. This places extra pressure on the project manager to ensure that everything runs smoothly, as any tiny mistake can have devastating results on a project’s success. Luckily, there are technological advancements and process management techniques to help the project manager eliminate costly mistakes.
Here are some ways the construction project manager can improve project management processes:
Don’t take on more than you can handle
Before the project management process begins, the project manager must determine whether or not to take on a project. The project manager can determine the feasibility of taking on a project by comparing the requirements of a project against the resources available. The project manager must consider costs, materials, labor, and expertise needed to complete any given project.
A lot is at stake every time a project manager chooses to accept a project. This is why it is crucial for the project manager to always make a thorough and detailed plan before tackling any project. Planning includes making the budget, setting a schedule, determining task dependencies, setting deadlines, allocating resources, and determining communication expectations. Having a plan in place not only forces the project manager to think through a project before starting but also creates an action plan for every team member to reference throughout the project delivery cycle. It also provides benchmarks (or milestones) by which progress can be measured to ensure success.
Expect the unexpected
Construction by its very nature is unpredictable; it is subject to weather conditions, natural disasters, delivery delays, and human error. Since it is almost certain that something will go awry on any given project, why not plan for this in the budget and schedule? By preparing for these costs and delays, there will be less stress for the project manager and more satisfaction from all stakeholders.
Play to your strengths
Scheduling the labor force is much more than fitting workers into a timetable according to their availability. It is very important that the project manager knows the strengths and weaknesses of his employees, and that he takes them into consideration when scheduling the labor force to certain tasks. This will improve efficiency and will result in fewer mistakes.
Despite the growing complexity of construction projects, the advancement in technology for the construction industry has also grown exponentially, and just in time! Construction project management solutions have the ability to help out the project manager tremendously with the complex and time-consuming tasks that are required of the project manager. An all-inclusive project management solution will automatically track and store all documents, provide a clear medium of communication, and streamline the planning process.
Project management is not a one-step process, but rather a continuous process that takes place from a project’s implementation to its completion. The project manager should constantly be comparing actual performance to the optimal performance determined in the planning stage. This allows the project manager to identify areas that are lagging, discover the root of the issue, and take steps to alleviate the problem immediately.
Upon the completion of a project, the project manager should hold a final meeting with all members of the construction team to discuss the events of the project. This meeting should address everything that went right and wrong during a project, and discuss ways to improve construction processes in the future. This will create an environment of continuous learning and continuous improvement.
The role of the construction project manager is anything but simple, but with the right technological tools and following best practices, it is possible for project managers to complete projects successfully. Every time!