Excelling as a project manager is more complicated than just managing the day-to-day of a new build. The best will be able to realise the developer's vision by meeting all operational specifications within suitable timeframes and to budgetary requirements. These individuals also need to be able communicate with C-Level management about project progress and work with site estimators to periodically refine budgets.
To strike this fine balance, project managers need to possess qualities that include analytical skills and a willingness to collaborate with other construction project experts. But more importantly, all project managers will face certain tasks that need to be completed to the highest quality for a construction project to succeed.
Here's a quick guide to these key practices.
1) Tying project objectives to tangible goals
This is one of the first tasks a project manager should take on when signing on to a construction project. It's not essential, but is very helpful for planning ahead. When receiving the project brief, budgetary information and construction timeframes, project managers should take this information and map it out using their own research.
For example, taking a budget for labour and dividing this according to a construction project manager's initial preferences for subcontractors enables a clearer view of how funds can be split. Defining objectives clearly while constantly refining the data available helps generate the most accurate view of operations.
Translating broad construction objectives into specific goals simplifies project management.
Having clear objectives makes it easier for project managers to boil these down to personal tangible goals and timeframes. You can then assign responsibilities to the right individuals and hold all parties accountable for their actions as the project progresses. Creating this personalised list of goals provides a clearer route to success than vague project objectives.
Without trying to translate project objectives into more manageable step-by-step actions, project managers will struggle to clearly define everyone's role and stick to key timeframes.
2) Performing a risk analysis - and revisiting it
A risk management plan is another vital task that project managers should complete sooner rather than later. Performing this analysis requires two parts
The first considers successes and failures in past construction projects, identifying key risks from these previous builds. You can then see what events occurred that you didn't account for and apply this learning to the project at hand.
The next part involves analysing construction budgets and timeframes, as well as the individuals involved in the project, to identify where delays may arise. Consider the current lay of the land and factors that may affect your project further down the line to build a total picture of the risks facing your project.
Figuring out where risk lies in the project ahead is vital.
A risk analysis is an indispensable task for making project managers more proactive about identifying and addressing issues that come up over the course of a build. But once you've created the document and shared it with important stakeholders, you need to ensure that you constantly revisit and revise this information based on feedback from across the project. If your risk analysis isn't a living reflection of the issues facing your project, it isn't as effective as it could be.
3) Entrenching project engagement and communication practice
The project manager is the intermediary between a variety of parties involved in a construction project. From the C-Level executive reporting to the board to subcontracted labourers, every individual should be on the same page about the tasks to be completed and the relevant timeframes. Without this clarity, stakeholders in the project quickly lose morale and engagement with project outcomes. This is one of the toughest states of mind to come back from, so it's vital project managers take the necessary steps to prevent it.
The best way to guarantee consistency is through a communication plan which lays out responsibilities of the project manager for keeping everyone abreast of progress and changes within the project. This formal document improves accountability and formalises the best process for communication. It should also lay out how stakeholders should communicate with each other beyond the project manager. This makes it easier to centralise information and ensures estimators, team leaders and others involved in the construction project can reach the right person when needed.
Project managers need to ensure clear communication between all parties.
Partnering with experts in the building and infrastructure sector
Completing the above tasks will set diligent individuals on the path to success. But so much of a project manager's role comes down to industry relationships. Unreliable suppliers or working with inadequate materials is a trump card to even the most prepared project manager, so partnering with experts in building and infrastructure products is vital.
Weldlok®, a division of NEPEAN Building and Infrastructure, is a proven brand in the construction industry offering project managers peace of mind that the materials being used are of the highest quality and compliant with Australian standards and building codes.
Fostering these positive working relationships is just as vital as any other task facing a project manager - so contact the Weldlok® team to learn what they can offer.