Skills of the Trade: Construction Project Management

Communication

Communication is a very important aspect of being a Construction Project Manager. Establishing lines of communication between you and your team is vital to any successful operation. In the construction industry, it is imperative to have effective communication throughout a project's life-cycle. Communication between skilled workers and their manager is vital, without it a project's schedule could be significantly effected all in part to poor communication. A CPM must also be able to communicate effectively when he gives his meetings before the start of the day. They must also have visibility of the project. The CPM must be able to communicate to his team the conditions and progress of the project and plan out the day in accordingly.

Task Management

Being a Construction Project Manager comes with many responsibilities. One key skill that is important in the day to day duties is the ability to delegate tasks. It is the duty of an effective manager to assign workers their role as it pertains to the project. Without a effective leader to assign tasks, the project will lose its stamina and the structure of the team will cease to exist. A successful Construction Project Manager should be able to delegate tasks depending on the structure of the project. Workers may be assigned specific tasks related to their skill and it is the duty of the Project Manager to ensure that these tasks are completed on time to ensure the project progress remains on schedule.

Prioritization

Being able to prioritize is also a key skill in being a successful Construction Project Manager. Issues may arise in any project setting which may put the next step in the project manager's hands to reassess and control the situation in order to keep the project running on schedule. When instances like this occur, the Construction Project Manager must prioritize the activities and delegate task appropriately. Depending on the type of delay, workers may have to be re-assigned tasks and other key players on the project team would have to be made aware of situations as they arise. The Construction Project Manager if successful, should be able to prioritize and delegate tasks as he sees fit, thus enabling the project to keep running smoothly and on schedule.

Problem Solving Skills

Construction Project Managers have to been keen when issues arise during the project. Having the ability to solve problems as they occur is a key trait of a Construction Project Manager. Every construction project no matter big or small comes with challenges and obstacles that a Construction Project Manager must be prepared to resolve with ease. While it may be great to imagine the project may have no problems, it is best to be prepared and ready to deal with situations as they arise since your team will look at you for guidance. Projects in some cases may experience backlash from the community or even receive some political involvement that in some instances can delay progress. In this case, is best for the Construction Project Manager to have a great set of problem solving skills just in case a re-evaluation of the project causes changes which may avert the project schedule. If Plan A doesn't work, you must also have a B, C, and D. An effective CPM must also be able to mange finances. Since projects are entirely cost and schedule, a Construction Project Manager must be able to track productivity and earned value while also tracking what is being spent on the project.

Team Work Mentality

As the saying goes, "There is no I in team", much of the project is not successful without the leadership and skill of the Construction Project Manager, but over all it is the team of skilled workers and other key team members that keep the project running smooth and on schedule. Without the cooperation and dedication of the team there is no project. The Construction Project Manager serves in this leadership role in order to create an environment that motivates and embodies the phrase "team work." It is important to set team goals and team milestones. Spending time in the field with workers, giving positive feedback, and even rewarding the team when they reach a goal, is an act that shows that you appreciate your workers and their performance on the project.

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