5 Ways to Maximize Your Construction Project Management Process

The best construction project management techniques in five steps.

A construction manager leading the team.
A construction manager leading the team. Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Construction contractors are the closest thing to a one-man band in the construction industry. You need to ensure and manage not only the quality, budget, and timeliness of your work but the peace of mind of your clients and those working under you. Luckily, as the construction industry has advanced and become more complex, so has construction project management software.

Here are five tips to help you and your team confident and capable, and your clients happy.

Tip 1: Be About the Team

If you want to be a successful manager you need to be all about the team. After all, it's your team that is actually doing the constructing. The foundation of every well-functioning team is communication. In the case of construction, this means in addition to having clear communication between you and your team, the architect/designer, client, and you must be on the same page and talking regularly. The plethora of project management tools and technologies make this task significantly less daunting. But no matter how good software gets it will never solve all of your problems for you. When it comes down to it, it’s up to you to make sure you are taking care of your team and supporting healthy communication.

Tip 2: Budget Wisely

Some consider staying within the budget for a construction project a quest doomed for failure. Prove them wrong by budgeting wisely, and adding at least 10 percent to your budget for unexpected costs.

This will make your relationship with the client easier and help you avoid that awkward conversation at the end of the project asking for a larger budget. Budgeting safely by factoring in unexpected costs enables you to guarantee that at the end of the project the client will be satisfied. Whether it be on account of you staying within the budget or handing him a partial refund.

Tip 3: Take Design Seriously

Contractors aren’t expected to be design experts, their main goal is to manage and ensure the project gets completed. However, don’t use this as an excuse to throw the design by the wayside. Encourage the client to consult an outside professional about the design to make sure the design is solid. This will increase trust, and help the project move along smoothly. Delays caused by design flaws can be easily avoided by choosing to look seriously at the design before the start of the project.

Tip 4: Use Lists of Goals

Even when communication between you and the client is good, too much communication can kill the relationship. The client should not need to constantly field questions and clarifications about their expectations. Creating and referring back to a comprehensive list of goals can significantly reduce this kind of nagging communication and accelerate the entire project. If you are looking for more proof, even the great Johnny Cash used lists to make sure he stayed on task. In order to make it easy to view and share these lists with your client you can use a project management or task management software.

Tip 5: Understand the Big Picture

It is essential to look at and understand the bigger picture before starting a construction project.

From how an addition will affect existing construction to how green technology should factor in, contractors need to know everything about the project. It is essential to be able to communicate the bigger picture to those working under you as well articulate it to your client. Understanding the big picture will also help you and your team remember the details of the project, as well as prevent any potential disasters before they occur.