Construction project managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing construction projects from start to finish. They manage resources, assemble and lead teams, mitigate risks, maintain quality standards, and much more. They also ensure that the projects are finished on time and within budget.
Needless to say, this is a complex, multifaceted job that is crucial to the project’s success. Great construction project managers must, therefore, possess a unique set of skills and traits to ensure the success of a project. Here are six of them.
Skills and Traits of Successful Construction Project Managers
To be an excellent construction project manager, you need at least some construction knowledge and skills. You don’t have to be an expert in the field, but having a good grasp of each step of the construction process and the best practices in the industry can go a long way.
Aside from having a good foundation in the basics of construction, you should also be familiar with architectural and engineering drawings, building codes, technical specifications, and other regulations. Additionally, you should keep abreast of new strategies and methodologies in the industry so you can effectively communicate and collaborate with other teams and individuals involved in the project.
Any project manager needs to have leadership abilities, and construction project managers are no exception.
The job of a construction project manager entails assembling, guiding, as well as inspiring a team of people to achieve project goals. Good leadership abilities, therefore, include setting clear expectations for your team, delegating tasks appropriately, and resolving conflicts if and when they arise quickly and effectively. As a leader, you will be expected to bring out the best in your team, and you can only do that if you foster a collaborative and productive work environment.
Problem Solving Skills
Construction projects are often highly complex and challenging. So, as a project manager, you’ll often have to think on your feet and develop creative solutions to keep things on track.
A good project manager should be able to analyze complex situations and make informed decisions. At the same time, they should also be flexible and able to adapt or revise plans when necessary. Remaining calm under pressure, even when not everything is going according to plan, is also of utmost importance.
You can’t have good problem-solving and decision-making skills without effective communication with the people you work with. Communication is, after all, the glue that holds the projects together. As a project manager, you’ll need to regularly communicate not only with your team members, but also with clients, suppliers, and regulatory authorities.
By keeping everyone informed and managing expectations, you’ll foster a good working environment and build strong relationships, all of which will ensure smooth project execution.
Resource and Time Management
As a project manager, you will be expected to manage resources and time efficiently, meaning ensuring that the project stays within budget and on schedule.
In practical terms, this means you will have to allocate labor, equipment, and materials efficiently. You’ll also be responsible for estimating costs, monitoring expenses, and handling contract negotiations. Financial reporting is also part of the job.
All construction projects carry significant risks, such as weather-related delays, material shortages, and last-minute design changes. Thus, successful project managers should be adept at identifying and managing potential risks.
The project manager should be able to not only determine and evaluate risks proactively but also develop contingency plans and effectively assign resources to minimize their impact on the project. A good manager should also continuously monitor the project’s progress and take corrective actions when necessary.
Seeing the Big Picture of Your Impact on the Organization
In addition to having the skills and traits mentioned above, a good project manager should also be able to see the big picture of their impact on the organization. After all, good workers care not only about the success of their individual projects but about the success of the entire company.
So how can you see this bigger picture and make a greater impact within the organization? By measuring and improving managerial performance. If you wish to identify areas for growth and development, it’s essential to regularly evaluate your performance as a project manager. You can do this by seeking feedback from your team members and clients and having one-on-one meetings with them.
Remember, the impact of your work as a construction project manager goes beyond your individual projects. By consistently measuring and improving your performance, you’ll not only ensure the success of your every project but also contribute to the overall success of the organization.