1. Create a Flow of Communication
Communication is essential to every phase of any construction project. 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 a work execution platform. By syncing comments, photos, documents, and calendars in a single location, you can monitor updates, budgets, and scheduling changes as they occur.
A robust platform 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 you to spend at the construction site meeting contractors to coordinate the next stage of work.
Make a Habit of Continuous Planning
Planning may be the second of the Project Management Institute’s five phases of project management, but construction project managers should start planning long before actual construction begins, and continue revising and developing 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.
Smartsheet Dynamic View empowers construction PMs to manage stakeholder access to processes so that the different business owners and contractors only see what you want them to see. With Dynamic View, 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 PMs 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 PM, you will execute and monitor developments, but plans often change in construction project management
Observe and Ask Questions
Field elements can dramatically impact the workflow of construction projects. There will be many times when you need to actually see an issue in person before you can resolve it.
Familiarizing yourself with the construction site and the duties of every professional working under you will make you a better project manager. Construction is a constantly evolving industry, with new equipment, practices, safety requirements, and advancements every year.
Administering and managing a successful project requires continuous improvement and learning. A great deal of communication may be streamlined, but the work still requires regular site visits and conferences with the contractors and designers on the ground.