It is a well known fact that the construction industry is comprised of various complicated work processes. The industry has a varied collection of projects that are built with the joint effort of various entities. In one given project, carpenters, masons, designers, engineers and many other parties interact together to get the job done. And once that’s done, the cycle starts all over again as the project ends and people move on to the next one and work with unfamiliar faces again.
With that going on, it’s a huge struggle for managers to deliver projects that would please their clients, on time and within budget. In order to help construction managers become better at their jobs, we decided to round up some smart tips for all of them. We hope that this helps them become much more efficient at their jobs.
Get the right reporting/scheduling tool
A scheduling tool is an essential tool for managers to keep track of supplies and tasks on site. Reporting tools allow managers to keep track of the project’s progress, manage construction workers on-site and monitor schedules in order to make sure that all the dependencies are adjusted.
Without a scheduling tool managers have absolutely no idea or control of the entire project’s pace and that may let thinks escalate to a point where various parties handle unnecessary costs.
Currently, the latest technology is the use of real-time tech to bring construction project’s scheduling and planning to life. Even now, many managers are using various planning tools that can only be updated once the workers are at the office and the managers need to send emails and call them on site in order to get the latest update.
Many days and weeks are wasted in this process which is why real-time technology has reached the construction industry now. Workers now work on updated schedules, they report their progress and instantly the progress is monitored by the managers on site. Allowing various contractors to save money on travelling time. Any delays are reported as problems and relevant entities are informed in real-time. This can have a huge impact on the current work processes and improve efficiencies rates which according to Ulrik Branner are at 30% in any given project.
- Be data focused
Data brings you knowledge and knowledge is power. There is a reason why experienced people are given so much importance in the construction industry. Managers understand the need for people to learn by doing. Of course, that doesn’t mean that people need to invest years to gain insight and awareness form working various projects. It can be achieved by many managers if they go data savvy.
The tip here is to use data that is available to every manager. Approximately 95% of data is either thrown away or not used at all in construction. That just shows that managers are not using most of the data that is generated.
Almost every manager is using some kind of a project planning tool. All you need to do is learn from past mistakes and past achievements. Build your next project around a data foundation.
- Be on top of your project
Tools and the effective usage of data helps managers be on top of their construction project. It’s a big hassle when one second everything is going according to plan and the next everything goes south. Does that mean that managers are not doing their job well? No, of course not. There are just too many steps in the project cycle and all of them performed by various entities that have their own systems.
There are a lot of dependencies riding on a job being done right. Then there are changes made by engineers, advisors, clients or subcontractors. The construction manager needs to take into account all of these things and many times the cycle is going to stop and the work will come to a halt.
How does one handle that? Use real-time technology, hire subcontractors that you have worked in the past and trust to get the job done right, and make sure that your workers are well informed. There are software that are designed to help managers make the right decision and be aware of a potential problem beforehand.
- Train and grow your team
Want to get your project done right? Make a super team. A team that understands the importance of getting the tasks delivered on time. A team that you yourself invest hours in training and developing.
It’s lazy to just want skilled workers from scratch. Of course, we want qualified individuals but we also want to make sure that they have the spirit to grow and want to learn. With the right kind of mindset, a construction manager can have a team to rely on.
Equipment and software training is vital for the the future development of a manager’s construction worker.
- Focus on site safety
Site safety and security is very important if managers want to avoid health issues or crisis during the construction processes. To start with, guidance and information to the workers about certain safety rules and regulations is imperative. Another important thing is daily checklists. Make sure that there are posters that remind workers of wearing protective gear. Managers also need to invest in protective gear. An unfortunate incident on a construction site can lead to many damages to contractors. Site safety helps to avoid those unnecessary costs.
- Build relationships with various contractors
Your job on a construction site doesn’t start from your first day at a construction site. There are various stages that come before that. Most of the delays and variations that come to the construction plan midway are due to poor planning beforehand by the contractors, clients and architects.
The design phase needs to be realistic that should be a straightforward open process in which both contractors, subcontractors and architects are involved. If architects create an artistic building without taking into account the actual building process, then there will be a lot of delays, claims and variations to deal with in the end. And that ruins relationships with a lot of parties that are trying to achieve the same goal.
Many cases go to court due to various misunderstandings and petty issues that escalated. So a tip here would be to build relationships for future work together.
- Be an approachable manager
Often times managers focus on getting the job done and that’s it. It’s understandable that they deal with a lot of pressure. But try to be a manager that workers can talk to. Try to be someone who can be approached to discuss issues or problems. It’s a good way to collaborate with the team.
- Learn and develop from past projects
Everyone makes mistakes, everybody has problems, everyone deals with crisis. What’s important is what you do after that. Do you learn from it or do you wipe it from your memory and move on with a clean slate.
Data from a project gone wrong is insight to your next project. Data from a project gone right is information for the next one.
- Focus on self growth
It’s not enough that the construction workers are the only ones to grow and train. It’s important for the managers to develop along with the passage of time. Having a mindset that is 15 years old does not work in the year 2018 anymore. It’s high time that we keep up with the world around us. So a tip here is to keep up with the latest happenings such as green construction, 3D printing in construction – you never know when an opportunity may arise from that.
- Be friends with technology
Technology can be intimidating to those that are not directly linked to it. It can be surprising and difficult to get around. It can also be a bit unrealistic but it brings many benefits that should be explored. It can also be difficult to implement in your complicated work processes but it brings with it many advantages.
The idea here is to not reject it the minute you hear of it as many managers do. The aim is to know that there are a lot of technologies out there that can be implemented to get the job done right, without delays and within budget.
We hope this list of tips helps the current construction managers become more proactive in their construction project. Construction is on a verge to change and with that comes the need for managers to put their game face on!
Shaneel Nasir Akbar is a content marketing assistant at GenieBelt.