Managing construction projects, from planning to client turn over is a challenging job. Although you thought everything would be great as long as the project is implemented according to plan, more often than not, that is not the case. As the project progresses, plans change and priorities shift, and it is your job as a contractor or manager to be flexible about these adjustments. You may try different approaches to address these; what matters most, however, is you are ready when it happens.
- Contingency costing plan. Most projects are usually awarded a few weeks or even months after the bid was submitted. With the fluctuating cost of materials, tight schedules, and human resources adjustments, you need to have a structured contingency plan for most scenarios. Consider alternatives with your material sources, renting instead of procuring equipment, subcontracting options, and any other ways to stay on budget, schedule, and work quality. Learn to implement an effective priority scheme and keep your focus on the deadline while maintaining a healthy monetary resource.
- Keep your clients happy. Customers keep your business afloat, and keeping them satisfied with your work should be one of your top priorities. Sometimes, you need to make some compromises, and should this happen, keep in mind that it is better to spend more on additional workforce or urgent material than being charged for project delays. You may have exceeded your budget, but at least you get to keep your client, which in turn, can give you more projects.
- Do the best with what you have. Effective construction management does not depend heavily on what you only have, but rather what can you do best with it. Don’t let these temporary setbacks make you lose your focus. If, for some reason, you haven’t yet reached your target number of workers for your warehouse project, or the major materials for the retaining wall are yet to arrive, utilise your available resources with the tasks that they can finish right away. You can then look for solutions to address other concerns. You’ll notice that while you’re implementing your mitigation plan, you are not way behind your schedule. And as the new workers come in, and the materials arrive, you can shift your focus to meeting the project deadline.
- Proper coordination. This is more than just a series of accomplishment reports and charts, getting everyone involved is also an important aspect you need to prioritise. Each individual and group in your roster must be aware of their role and importance to the whole process. Other stakeholders, including the client, must always be updated on the progress of the project. By doing such, you will be fully aware of what aspects of the project need immediate attention.
We can all agree that managing a construction project requires constant monitoring, taking care of human and financial resources, and attention to detail. Yes, it will be hard, but with due preparation, and knowing how to prioritise, you can hit the project goals in time.