Building, design and construction projects, no matter the size, will always present a unique set of obstacles and challenges. With budgets to adhere to and strict time scales, as well as the need to balance a variety of responsibilities, it takes a number of special attributes to effectively plan and oversee a construction project. Project managers will want to ensure the smooth running of the job, keeping it in line with the plan and without any major setbacks.
We spoke with The Market Design & Build, which specialises in architectural services, design and build projects and home improvements in London, to discuss the four essential qualities that every construction project manager should possess.
Hurdles can occur during any construction project - whether that be unpredictable weather conditions, supplier mix-ups, or health and safety issues – delays or complications are simply a given. It is how those in charge handle such problems that will determine whether a project will be successful.
Good construction project managers are able to swiftly identify an issue which might impact deadlines or budgets and use their problem-solving abilities to decide upon an appropriate solution.
When it comes to health and safety, the construction manager must ensure workers are safe from harm. As such, being able to foresee potential risks to health and safety, and put the correct contingency strategies in place, is vital.
Teamwork and leadership
Strong project managers must be able to effectively lead, so that they can successfully deliver results. With a diverse team of people, encompassing a range of skill sets, the capacity to delegate tasks to the correct people is one key quality that construction managers should possess.
Leadership isn’t simply about ordering people to carry out tasks, but instead, it should involve instilling the right amount of confidence in them so that they can trust your direction. Thus, creating a workplace culture in which all people, at all levels, are valued equally, often means an improvement in productivity and morale, which can only improve the outcome of projects.
Building projects are often complex and consist of many different tasks and stages. If workers or managers make an error or slip behind on one single task, it may cause delays to the rest of the project.
As such, having strong organisational skills is vital. Project managers must be good at prioritising tasks and planning and managing schedules accordingly, so as to not miss or slip behind on key deadlines. This helps ensure to the smooth running of the project.
Any project manager, no matter what industry they work within, will undoubtedly agree that a large chunk of their time is spent communicating with other people, which is why having excellent communication skills is important.
The ability to expertly liaise and form relationships with key suppliers, workers and project stakeholders is essential, and project managers should be able to relay issues and objectives to them in a straightforward manner. Regular communication between on-site staff and managers increases the chances of a hassle-free project.
Besides the specific technical skills and accreditations needed to become a project manager within the construction sector, such people must be enthusiastic, approachable and invested in the project’s success. Likewise, the ability to quickly and rationally spot and deal with problems means the project can be delivered on time and to budget.