Managing a construction site is hard work. A construction manager must keep the project within financial plan, on schedule, and all these must be in accordance with several codes, laws, guidelines, etc. However, construction managers average around 120 responsibilities, according to The Construction Management Association of America. This means they have to be strategic and thoughtful about working in an environment impacted by constant change.
With a lot of factors to keep track of, the more competent you can be, the easier the job itself will be. Your job will openly impact the quality of the project itself as well as the revenues made and the time taken.
So, how do these project managers keep everything running smoothly to make sure their teams deliver projects on time and within budget?
Being in the contracting business for years, Pro Crew Schedule’s founder and a contractor himself shared some important things he has learned about construction managers’ roles in the industry.
For first time construction managers or those who find themselves struggling in handling their crew members well, here are six tips on how you can effectively manage a construction site.
Create Smooth Communication with the Crew
Like we always say, communication is essential to every phase of any construction project. Without it, a project is highly likely to fail.
Establish a flow of communication with everyone on the ground — and every stakeholder and supplier in the plan. This transparency will make the process smoother and will reduce the number of emails and phone calls whenever a problem arises.
One of the simplest ways to create a flow of communication is using a collaboration software. By syncing comments, photos, documents, and calendars in a single location, you can monitor updates, budgets, and scheduling changes as they occur.
A robust software also allows you to relay these changes to other managers and accounting offices in real time through instant alerts, automated actions, and easy-to-visualize dashboards, providing a nearly email-free and paperless method of project management. That means more time for construction managers to spend at the construction site meeting contractors to coordinate the next stage of work.
Continuously Improve Construction Plan
According to Project Management Institute’s five phases of project management, planning falls at the second step but construction managers should start planning long before actual construction begins. After that, he should expect to do continuous revision and development of plans until the project ends. The design, pre-construction, and procurement stages of a construction project each require extensive planning — and each may need to be revised as the next stage unfolds.
Anything can happen at a construction site. If you encounter unexpected environmental problems during the pre-construction phase, the design may need to change. Even slight adjustments can affect the overall plan and timeline.
This remains true during the actual build. While you will be working with experienced professionals in electrical engineering, plumbing, scaffolding, and carpentry, they still need a focused direction to coordinate their efforts with each other.
A good builders software like Pro Crew Schedule empowers construction managers to manage stakeholder access to processes so that the different business owners and contractors only see what you want them to see. With the plumbing software, for example, if a plumbing contractor needs to share fixture measurements they can submit an update and without delving into a sheet with details that aren’t needed to complete their work. Construction managers can provide limited access to specific columns and rows to contractors, maintaining full control over permissions.
You’ll often need to work with stakeholders throughout the timeline to develop and refine plans as delays and equipment failures arise. Like any construction managers, you will execute and monitor developments, but plans often change in construction project management.
Map out Project Schedule Correctly
On a construction site, you need to always be on schedule. The key to planning is being locked in on the regions where you’re most assured and more loose in the regions where problems are likely to arise. The use of a builders schedule software can help you make sure that everything goes as planned and on time. This way, you can avoid costly construction delays.
Budget Projects Well
In construction, the permits, wages, materials, and equipment needed for projects are often exchanged between an array of financial sources and vendors. From the initial bidding process to the project closeout, construction managers are responsible for tracking and monitoring all costs, especially as they relate to initial budgets.
Even relatively small construction projects contain hundreds of moving parts and individual costs, so to remain effective you need to use software that can also help you manage costs as you move through the key phases of construction budgeting. In addition, through your software platform, you should have access to templates for construction project management.
A good construction project management software should enable you and all of your stakeholders to input costs, budget changes, and other calculations to keep track of your project’s finances, alleviating the need to coordinate with every participant or to calculate your budget. Additionally, having an e-signature feature reduces time spent collecting signatures for every invoice, which means you and your contractors can devote more attention to the task at hand.
Keep a Close Eye on All People and Movements at the Site
Once you get the work underway and everything planned in, it can be enticing to take a step back. This, nonetheless, can possibly set you up for adversity. Once the work has started, follow along with everyone’s headway, assisting when needed, commending workers when it’s earned.
You’re the project manager so manage!
Start Using Automated Reporting Systems
No construction project manager has the time to reply to hundreds of emails a day — or use the phone to call and address every question about budgets and progress. In addition to concentrating comments and schedules, you can cut down further correspondence by implementing automated reporting systems. Fortunately, this feature is also available in any good construction management software like Pro Crew Schedule.
Construction project management requires the weekly distribution of various spreadsheets and status reports, and automated delivery tools will save significant time over the span of the build. This automation will ensure the right reports go to the right people on time, allowing you to focus on other tasks and communication. Other reporting systems, such as safety and health management, can prevent hazards, track incidents, and streamline work site analysis when issues do arise.
Pro Crew Schedule benefits not only construction project managers, but also their teams, subcontractors, partners, and stakeholders. It helps teams improve visibility and streamline workflows through real-time updates, automated reporting, and integration with popular apps.
Use the Best Builders Software
Keeping tabs on everything on the construction site is tough. If you’re doing it by yourself, it’s virtually impossible. That’s why you need construction project management software like Pro Crew Schedule. With the software you can track your budget to make certain it’s staying within your original estimate.
It also has reactive technology built into it, so if something doesn’t go as scheduled, the software changes things consequently. With this kind of software, you can unwind a little bit knowing that you’re ready to face whatever challenges your project might bring.
Making a Great Crew
Try to ask experienced construction managers on how to know whether their team is performing well or not, most of them would tell you:
“When projects are delivered on time and under budget.”
In order to do that, construction managers should know how to create a great team. It is then the job of the manager to understand the “big picture” or “intent” of the project, so the team can act proactively to keep things moving in the right direction.
For this to work, the team must have understanding of the general direction of the project. Some construction managers strive to keep lines of communication open, whether via text, emails, or updates on traditional spreadsheets to manage operations. This is where modern builders software comes to play.
Project management tools can help increase project visibility to ensure that your team knows where the project is headed.
Finally, a number of project managers points out that when their team focuses on building strong relationships, communication flows more smoothly, which is reflected in more effective collaboration. To end, remember that construction is as much a function of creating and maintaining relationships with people, as it is actually building a building.