Managing each construction project successfully is the key to building a business, turning a profit, and creating a base of satisfied customers. Yet, recent statistics show that 50% of engineers and contractors report that at least one project per year underperforms. Additionally, only 30% or less of projects come within 10% of their original deadline and budget, and almost 70% of general contractors have difficulty closing out on a quarter of their projects.
How can you avoid becoming one of these sad statistics? The key is construction project management. Understanding how to successfully implement project management methods can help you reduce your risk of financial failure, build a credible portfolio, and stand out as a contractor who delivers on time and within budget.
Construction management is the organization and direction of each phase of a project, from conception to completion. It involves managing the various facets of the building process, such as:
Completing each phase requires specific goals and milestones. A management team therefore needs personnel with the skills and experience for all phases of the project and the communication needed to keep things moving smoothly.
Data is said to be the new oil. As a result, there are countless tools available for collecting, analyzing, and leveraging data for any industry. Digitalization of your operations will help you maximize the benefits of tools for 3D modeling and the automation of billing, tracking, managing, and communicating throughout the project lifecycle.
2. Strategic Team Building
Your team includes more than just the subcontractors and others who work with you on a project. It extends to suppliers, vendors, and even those who handle administrative tasks. Treating them as part of your team will go a long way toward the successful resolution of common management issues and the completion of the project on schedule and within budget.
3. Purpose-Driven Documentation and Communication
Creating a logical flow of communication, reporting, and documentation will help you to quickly overcome delays and foster a culture of accountability and responsibility. Proper documentation also helps ensure compliance and avoid liability issues.
4. Transition Management
Proper planning leads to a smooth transition from phase to phase in a project, especially when phases overlap by necessity. Strong relationships between team members facilitate such transitions, and goals and milestones are good ways to measure progress. Mediation and good communication help to ease the friction caused by trade overlap. But the real key to good transitions is a transition plan: a document that assigns tasks and responsibilities and the activities that need to take place to move from phase to phase. The final transition is the most important—the handover process. The success of this final transition often is determined by the transition of earlier phases in the project lifecycle.
Being aware of current issues in the construction industry will also help your team to plan ahead and avoid unnecessary delays or failures. Here are just a few examples:
Issue: Supply chain disruption
Solution: Use available digital platforms and online tools for locating, ordering, and purchasing materials on an efficient schedule.
Issue: Labor shortages
Solution: Treat the people you have right and keep them happy. Continually scout new talent and offer incentives to promote company loyalty.
Solution: Select a platform that can help you automate your project management from design to construction and completion.
There are ways to save time and money without sacrificing due diligence and proper compliance. Experienced contractors are aware of construction management tips and tricks for streamlining the process.
Time can be your biggest drain on resources. Prioritization and delegation are ways to save time. Managing time starts with managing your attention. Choose what your priorities will be and what you can delegate to others. Resist the urge to micromanage by choosing a team you can trust.
Managing a team is like putting all the pieces of a vast machine together so that it will work. If each piece fits together just right, the result will be a smoothly running machine. When creating your team, be selective. Make sure to assign definite roles, tasks, and responsibilities. You might even want to consider providing incentives or prizes for certain milestones or accomplishments.
If the phases of a project can be likened to the pieces of a vast machine, the communication between key individuals can be likened to the oil that lubricates it. Remember to include contractors, subcontractors, officials, and other players as part of your “team.” That way your team members will be inclined to view them as collaborators and treat them as such.
Another great way to go about getting consistent communication is by initiating good communication. When subcontractors and other team members receive quality communication, they're more likely to reciprocate. On the other hand, when there is no expectation of communication set by the GC or project manager, subcontractors are less likely to provide it themselves.
Other tips and tricks abound, such as the automation of reporting and expense tracking, prefabrication of select components, training and education initiatives, and so forth. People and communication skills, management philosophies and best practices, and team-building strategies are soft skills that will help you rise above the competition and build a portfolio of successes.
One of the components of successful construction project management is having drawings and models to work from. HOVER can create an interactive 3D model of your project that can be used for measuring, designing, estimating, and planning. Homeowners and contractors can sign up to create an account, or schedule an appointment to consult with one of our representatives.