Construction management is a fast-growing, and well-paid field. But with the good job come many, many responsibilities.
A construction project with a bad manager will have nothing but problems. Difficulty getting materials and jobs finished on time are just the beginning. Other issues will involve unhappy construction contractors, people leaving the job site, and project failure, or a poor-quality final product. Needless to say, a good manager is an important part of any construction project. But what are the characteristics of a good construction manager?
1. Good organizational skills
We already mentioned that a construction manager has a lot to juggle. Well, the only way to do those things for sure is to have superb organizational abilities. Think of the construction manager’s organizational skills as sort of the foundation for the rest of what she/he can accomplish. Good organization will open up the way for better planning, delegating, budgeting, and every other skill will also improve.
2. Excellent planning
Coming hand-in hand with good organizational skills is the ability to plan things well. A good construction project manager will have a schedule with even the most minute details and information available. Some specifics that will reflect a quality manager’s planning abilities are the following:
- A highly-detailed schedule that is made easily available to anyone who needs to look at it. It should include:
- Meeting and deal dates with other stakeholders in the projects
- Arrival of important materials
- A total project timeline detailing when certain parts of the project, and the whole project will be complete.
- Pre-scheduled emails and important messages. This enables relevant parties to receive the communications they need at the right time.
Good planning equates to good time management.
3. Good communication
The ability to competently tell people what you need them to know – and get important information from others can not be understated. Good communication is the hallmark of not just a good construction manager. Just about anyone in a professional field who communicates well is a pleasure to work with, has an easier job, and makes others jobs easier too. Communication needs to be written and verbal, remaining to the point, professional, and not personal. Within the purview of good communication one should be able to take criticism, while being able to deliver constructive criticism to others.
Nobody can do a whole construction project on their own. A good manager in any field needs to know how to delegate. Sometimes, a manager needs to lead by example, other times, he/she needs to rely on experts to do their jobs. Good delegation isn’t just telling other people to do work though. To delegate well, a manager needs to ensure that someone has the skills, authority, and/or knowledge to do a job well. A manager also needs to ensure that the correct number of people is assigned to a job. Good delegation makes the best use out of everyone’s time and capabilities.
Figuring out what needs the most attention can be incredibly difficult in construction. In a large building project, there are hundreds or even thousands of moving parts. Prioritizing well means dedicating enough time, manpower, and planning to a part of a project to ensure that it gets done right, on time, and on budget. Bad prioritizing is all too common, and it usually just means that the main focus of the project is the bottom line. When the only goal of any project is saving money, then you will always have a lower-quality final product. Good prioritizing will see a manager who has a good balance of time spent on-site and at the office. Additionally, a good manager will prioritize people’s lives. Construction sites are dangerous places, there are many risks, including falling, crushing, electrocution, and more. A manager needs to fully understand that more than just money and time are on the line, so are workers’ lives. Finally, good prioritizing will reflect across the whole project- better scheduling, getting more from negotiations, and a better adherence to the project timeline.
Construction managers are constantly talking to people. They need to negotiate all the time. Whether it’s with clients, construction contractors and subcontractors, suppliers, or their own team, managers need to be able to negotiate. Good negotiation skills will lead to better prices, a faster project timeline, and a more cohesive project over all.
There is a lot for construction managers to do. One of the most important parts of the job is understanding everything that they are responsible for and that they must work with. It is absolutely key for the contract manager to understand several big parts of the project.
- The contract document needs to be read and understood. The contractor and and customer both need to meet their obligations, and these will be detailed in the contract. Knowing and understanding the contract minimizes conflicts, miscommunications, and understandings, and ensures everyone knows their job.
- Scope is a large part of what a manager needs to understand as well.
- What is the scope of the manager’s job?
- What is the scope of subcontractors and other workers’ jobs?
- What is the scope of the project?
- Costs need to be accounted for and understood. A construction manager needs to know the costs for the following:
Understanding costs and the potential revenue from each cost will help everyone and everything in the project go more smoothly and be more productive.
Let us manage your construction for you
A construction manager’s job is certainly not an easy one. If your business is ready to start putting shovels in the ground, then we can definitely help. Reliable Commercial Construction has been doing this for over 35 years. We have the experience, skills, and team to get your job done, and to do it well. Contact us today for a free quote, and to find out how we can help manage your project.