If you are on the project management team, you know the buck ultimately stops with you. But, if you are like many contractors, you might not have a plan in place to ensure everything is completed on-time and within project scope.
Although construction delays are common, they can be minimized if you follow these five simple tips.
5 Rock Solid Project Management Tips
1) Define the Scope of Work
As early as possible, a project manager should outline the scope of the work that is to be completed. This important initial precaution can prevent a mix-up that could cost you time and money down the line. For example, a general contractor may limit delays if they know roughly how much labor will be needed at the outset of the job.
2) Communicate Effectively
Communication can be a big issue at a construction site. It’s easy for messages to get misconstrued as they pass from one worker to another.
The best project management teams are hands-on. They regularly communicate with employees and subcontractors by phone or in person.
3 Quick Communication Tips
- Use direct language
- Avoid ambiguities
- Relay important messages in both verbal and written form
3) Manage Employees and Subcontractors Efficiently
Project management is about more than monitoring tasks and schedules. As a manager, a lot of responsibility falls on your shoulders. Consequently, you need to develop a system to be successful. For example, a construction company may hold regular status meetings to keep projects running smoothly.
Another key is holding every member of the team accountable for their duties.
This RACI chart can be used to track accountability:
- Responsible for performing the work
- Accountable for the project’s results
- Consulted about aspects of the project
- Informed about the project
If roles and responsibilities are clearly established, your operation will likely run more efficiently.
4) Always Have Contingency Plans Ready
Since construction is always unpredictable, project management teams must plan for the unexpected. For example, do you have a plan in place if your supplier runs out of the construction materials you need to finish a job? If the answer is no, you could be headed for serious delays or even a derailment of your project.
Project managers can keep their jobs on schedule by following a simple five-step process:
- Document changes
- Assess their impact
- Find a solution
- Have the changes approved
- Execute a solution
5) Be Prepared for Changing Weather Conditions
The weather is one of those things a project manager cannot control. However, they can prepare contingency plans in advance of a storm or other schedule-altering weather event.
Project delays may also be minimized by making weather predictions based on previous year’s conditions. For example, you might think twice before scheduling outdoor jobs during the middle of August in New York when the heat may exceed 100 degrees.
As a manager, you always have to be looking ahead. After each project ends, conduct an analysis of delays in your schedule in order to improve upon your efficiency in the future.