6 Essentials A Construction Manager Must Know
Basically, the work of a construction manager entails supervising a construction project or more from its inception to completion. You are also required to consult with developers, architects, and engineers of the building or buildings you are supervising form from time to time. Examples of Construction projects include industrial, commercial or residential houses, roads, and bridges, among others.
You must be able to work closely with almost everyone in the construction site to ensure that the project goes as expected within the set deadlines. A construction manager might also need to consult government officials and lawyers to ensure that all projects meet regulations laid down in the region. Other duties include preparing timetables, cost estimates, budgets, and contractual agreements with workers and subcontractors.
Now that you got a glimpse of what a construction manager does, here are six essentials that anyone interested in the professional must know.
1. Communication Is Key
As a construction manager, remember that you are a leader, and people following you will operate as per your directions. Therefore, you must ensure that you communicate articulately at all times. Most of the mistakes you will find with completed buildings or in construction sites happen because of poor communication. And apart from you communicating excellently with different teams, ensure that team leaders working with you understand the essence of excellent communication.
Also, an excellent communicator does not always give directions; you must also learn to be a good listener. If you can listen and express your instructions accurately, then you will work coherently with everyone involved in your construction project. Luckily for you, today we have numerous ways to communicate regardless of where you are — take advantage of technology to avoid delayed messages.
2. You Must Learn to Plan Adequately
Construction projects tend to be complicated, and only a leader who has equipped himself with excellent planning skills will succeed. There are a lot of things that require planning when it comes to construction. Think about the deadlines and budgets for different phases of your project. They say that failing to plan is planning to fail. Consider ideas and equipment that will make your project success within your budget. For instance, ask yourself if excavator dry hire or wet hire is the best option. Should you pay wages or salaries to construction workers?
While planning everything in the construction project, ensure that you allow flexibility and transparency. Let your people know all the processes involved in the project and identify people who will be responsible for each. With a good plan, it will be easy to measure the productivity and progress of each project together, and hence modification if need be.
3. Risk Management Is an Essential Skill
Construction projects come with numerous risks, and most are life-threatening. As a reliable construction manager, you must recognize that reality and put measures to protect everyone and everything on site. Some of the things you can look out for include fake construction materials, unqualified workers, and weak foundations, among other risks.
If you can identify most of these risks before the beginning of the project, you will get a plan to avoid them during construction. Also, be prepared to determine if a project is going wrong as early as possible by carefully monitoring the progress of each project. You can manage construction risks if you can work closely with your teams to identify these risks and the best course of action.
4. It Is Okay to Say No Sometimes
As a construction manager, you are the person responsible for managing the scope of your project. You must remain assertive with the decision you make to avoid numerous changes to the scope and direction of your projects. It might lead to different results than you or your bosses expect. It doesn’t mean that you set a rigid plan with no possibility of allowing a change — sometimes, it might become necessary.
However, if you feel like the developers or architects are bombarding you with too much, unnecessary or unrealistic changes, stand firm on your grounds. They choose you as the project manager for a reason. Learn to be open and honest about your opinions on the same without losing control.
5. A Construction Manage Never Stops to Learn
Advancement is something every professional should consider in their work to ensure skills match the changing dynamics in the world. A construction manager is not exempt. You must keep on learning to stay updated. Remember that most technologies and methodologies used in the construction industry two decades ago are no longer in use.
Some of the new aspects of the industry include integrated project delivery, lean construction, and new construction equipment and methodologies. Therefore, a construction manager must become a perpetual learner to remain relevant in the industry.
6. Build Trust With Your Team
Imagine trying to direct people who do not trust you. It is hard for them to believe anything you say. Therefore, work on winning their trust, and this includes everyone working on the site. We are not saying it would be easy, but if you can do it, you will reduce construction risks at a high rate.
People will be more comfortable to share their ideas, transparent, honest, and highly motivated to achieve your common goal in the construction project. They will also be open to present any form of conflict to you as their leader, which makes it easy to fix issues in the construction site.
The Bottom Line,
No single person can complete a construction project on their own, and that’s why you need a team that you can rely on. Always remember that you do not become a successful construction manager by merely telling people to this or that. It takes more, and these essentials here will get you started.