How to be the best construction project manager

How to be the best construction project manager

There’s a world of difference between a great construction project manager and a poor one – and construction teams quickly pick up on the difference, which has an impact on their productivity and working relationships. Here are five tips for becoming the best manager you can be.

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1. Communicate constantly

As project manager, you should be the person who has all the up-to-date information on any issues that are going to affect the project. You need to be talking to the project control office, the team, the client and the consultants. That may mean getting out of the comfortable project office, which is not always easy on a cold and blustery day, and talking and listening.

Communication has been described as the “project life blood” by a specialist writing for the Project Management Institute. It’s a good description!

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2. Show confidence in your contractors

You may have had a say in the appointment of the main contractor, or you might have met them for the first time on site. Either way, they will perform much better if you show that you have confidence in them and will help them meet any challenges they come across. Make sure you pass on appreciation for work well done. For example, if the Concrete Pumping Company has arrived on site as per schedule and done a great job, tell them.

It’s vital that the contractor and any subcontractors can communicate freely so the manager is fully aware of any issues.

3. Set an example, and the team will follow

The best way to lead is by example. For example, don’t just pay lip service to health and safety; be active in promoting it. Challenge people who aren’t following the site’s health and safety regulations, and always follow them yourself, including appropriate PPE.

4. Don’t be remote

Remote working may be common in offices, but if you are never physically present on site, you will have much less authority. The very fact that you may show up anywhere without notice will have a huge effect on the way the construction team behaves.

5. Be reasonable, but don’t be a pushover!

Sometimes people do have legitimate reasons for wanting to leave early or start late. Don’t be unreasonable, but make your limits clear.

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