In a nutshell, construction management is the practical application of knowledge, skill, and experience to ensure a construction project’s profitable and timely completion. The construction manager is a crucial element of the team and is responsible for bringing together the right players, building a schedule, and staying on top of daily progress.
It’s a challenging and demanding job but always well worth it all. To be successful, a construction manager needs to be organized, a strong leader, foster good relationships, and, perhaps most importantly, an effective communicator.
Project managers are also called construction managers. However, construction managers are typically employees of an organization, whereas project managers can be self-employed. While there are similarities between the two, our guide focuses on the role of construction managers.
Today, let’s go through a simple guide to help you manage your construction project. Here’s what you need to know:
- Start with a Plan
If you hope to manage a construction project effectively, you need to have a solid plan. Some projects have a preexisting plan, perhaps from an architect or engineer, which you can use as a guide.
If such a plan isn’t available, you will have to create it yourself. If you are new to construction management, consult with an experienced construction manager. A good resource for this is the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a good resource for this.
- Get Your Players Together
Part of the construction management process is hiring and assembling your team. For a project to be successful, it requires the right people, a perfect mix of the right talents in each position.
Each team member must be knowledgeable and committed, with the necessary skills, experience, and attitude. Throughout the project, these people will report to you, and you must keep them motivated, working well as a team and proceeding efficiently.
- Have an Alignment Meeting with Everyone
When the project begins, you will have to hold an alignment meeting. This meeting is especially important for guiding the designer, contractors, and subcontractors. Everyone must be on the same page at the outset because, throughout the project, team members will give you essential information, and you will have to act on it.
During the alignment meeting, you should establish a mutual vision and set clear expectations. You should also set the project timeline and decide on your budget and your team’s roles and responsibilities.
- Build in Flexibility
It is rare for everything to go according to plan in the construction industry. Various uncontrollable factors could derail your construction project, so you should plan for flexibility.
While you should start with a detailed schedule and budget, you should have backup plans for any contingencies. You should also build in time for unexpected delays and extra time for revisions. As the project progresses, you will have to carefully monitor the schedule and budget, revising as necessary to ensure your project is completed on time and under budget.
- Review Everything Before Construction Begins
Before your project begins, you should always make sure you have all the plans and drawings. These documents should be neat and organized, and they should include everything necessary to ensure a successful project.
If your project is a remodel, you should verify that the drawings include all changes. Every detail in the plans, including the construction materials and the building codes, must be accurate. You should also verify that the contract has been completed and approved by all parties, including the architect, engineer, and the owner.
The Bottom Line
Now you know the basics of managing a construction project. Keep in mind that even the smallest detail is essential. The most important thing is to stay organized and communicate between all the parties involved.
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