Mind-blowing modern skyscrapers. Elaborate cathedrals. Breathtaking pyramids. No matter how far back we go in human history, the greatest construction achievements have one thing in common: expert, organised project management. Methods of construction project management, however, have changed every bit as much as the materials we build with.
These days, construction project management generally accounts for around a fifth of a project’s total cost, but the savviest managers know that’s a cost that pays for itself when the project is completed on time and under budget.
As it turns out, there are a few modern rules for construction management. These simple rules will keep your projects flowing smoothly and your customers satisfied. And following them will make sure that you’re outshining and outpacing the competition.
Does that seem out of order? Shouldn’t safety or planning be the first rule?
No, actually — and the reason is simple. Technology will enhance your ability to adhere to every other rule on this list perfectly, and you simply cannot scale up your business without it. But technology is the area where many construction managers are tempted to cut costs. The right tech, however, is absolutely indispensable and foundational to your business, and choosing it should be priority number one.
Your competition is increasing all the time, and this puts you under the gun more than ever to complete projects efficiently. The one single solution that pervades every aspect of your construction business is the type of technology you’re using.
If you’re going to stay competitive, technology is an investment every bit as essential as your payroll. The right software allows you to scale your business and scale your projects, as well as seamlessly communicate with your team and your customers. And just like any good investment, the money you spend on technology is money you’ll make back.
The best software allows you to work on the cloud, meaning you can access your data from anywhere you have internet access. CostMiner’s takeoff and estimating software is cloud based, affordable, and saves you time by eliminating redundant steps with reusable outlines, ability to takeoff multiple dimensions, and a handy counting feature so you catch everything.
Before you get started, make your big construction plan. Which employees are working on this project? Which subcontractors will you be using? Who will be your suppliers? What are the legal and zoning considerations for your project? What permissions will you need to obtain?
List your benchmark deadlines and plan for your key players to be brought in on the schedule you set with your customer.
Utilize your technology! List every supply you will need throughout the process, using a construction cost estimator like CostMiner. Your software will streamline this process and make efficient use of your time.
Once you have your supply list, familiarise yourself with any availability issues you might need to plan for. Have a supplier and a backup supplier for each item so you aren’t caught off-guard when the inevitable disappointments happen.
Safety is, obviously, critical. Going above and beyond to follow each and every safety regulation prevents you from unnecessarily jeopardising your employees, your customers, and your business. Cutting corners with any safety measures is quite the opposite of good construction management, so never do it!
Before getting started with any construction project, ensure that everyone on your team has up-to-date training, and see to it that you communicate all the applicable safety rules and laws. Post proper signage near hazardous materials, hazardous areas, and machinery.
In any sport, a good coach recognises the value of teamwork and knowing how to communicate with his or her players to help them achieve the maximum productivity and success. Construction might not be a sport, but the same principles of teamwork and effective communication apply.
As a construction manager, learn to think and communicate like a great coach in the following ways:
Have you notified everyone of all the rules and regulations on your building project? If at all possible, it’s a good idea to gather everyone before you begin, to provide the opportunity for everyone to ask questions.
Your team has to know the game plan and any changes that come up along the way. Failure to communicate effectively with your team is one of the quickest ways to ensure your project will be over its budget and past its deadline, and you absolutely don’t want that.
Keeping your client updated is essential to their satisfaction. One of the benefits of software like CostMiner is its ability to generate a progress claim certificate as you enter the project progress into the estimating spreadsheet.
Be available to both your customer and your team so you can deal with problems quickly as they arise. Taking the time to understand your employees and their perspective will build their trust and increase their job satisfaction and productivity.
You’ve been at this long enough to know: you’ve got to stay flexible. It’s unlikely a building project has ever been completed without changes to its original plan.
Prepare yourself intellectually and emotionally for this inevitability. Try to anticipate potential changes by keeping an eye on the factors that affect your project — your supply chain or the weather, for instance. Have backup plans at every step so you can pivot quickly when the unexpected occurs.
Research indicates that a surprisingly small number of managers are strategic thinkers. By keeping a strategy-focused mindset — which is something that can be consistently improved with practice — you will rise above your competition and improve your (and your team’s) job performance.
After all, managers these days don’t have to process as much raw data and make calculations, because there’s technology to handle the more tedious details for you. The types of decisions you need to be good at are strategy-based: forward-thinking, adaptable, and analytical. Adopt an entrepreneurial mindset that always factors your company’s bottom line and reputation into the decisions you implement.
As you follow these rules, you’ll find that construction project management becomes more intuitive, and you’ll be better positioned than ever before to grow your business and take on more complex projects.
By making use of the highly affordable CostMiner takeoff and estimating software, you’ll find so many of your tasks are simplified, freeing you up to take on more and bigger projects and keep a closer eye on your on-site management duties.
For instance, if you’ve been doing lengthy manual takeoffs, the ease of completing them digitally from your PDF, DWG, or AutoCAD images will shave untold hours off that work for you. From there, you can simply enter the parameter values for your job, and CostMiner can prepare an estimate, along with a quote for your customer. CostMiner is cloud-based, so it’s available wherever you have internet access and a supported browser.
Ready to learn more about CostMiner’s features? View demos and tutorials, or even better, sign up for a free trial at CostMiner.
Contact us today and make lengthy takeoff and estimating an automated breeze.