Skills Required for a Construction Project Manager
Construction Management, no matter the size of the project, has always been a difficult job, and with technological advancements, projects are becoming larger and more complex. Construction Project Managers have to supervise a large personnel team, have to ensure safety and security, they have to deal with economic uncertainties and keeping that in mind, come up with an effective budget plan. They have to predict any types of future occurrence and design the total project schedule. They also have to work in an extremely competitive market. They have to ensure the smooth running of the project, keeping it in line with the plan and without any major setbacks. Overall, Project Managers need to deliver successful and they need to do it on time and within budget. Thus, one can understand that the job is stressful as it continually keeps project managers on their toes.
To hold such a critical post, one must possess a set of skills. These set of skills are the reasons why some project managers shine compared to others. Below, let us take a look at some of the skills of a successful construction project manager.
- Emotional Intelligence: This is one of the most important quality for a construction project manager, as they need to work with a large number of stakeholders which requires people management, they have to work in an adverse environment where there are noise and air pollution and potential safety hazards. At the same time there are numerous external factors which might affect the project like political, economic or even environmental factors. All these can take a toll on the mental and emotional health and in such undesirable situations, it is essential to understand and manage not only own emotions but also the emotions of the people around. They need to solve the project related problems arising everyday and to do that sometimes might need to make quick and difficult decisions.
- Effective Planning: Planning is one of the most important skill for not only Construction Project Managers but also for everyone in their designated jobs. Project Managers not only need to plan on what should happen for the project to be successful but also need to plan for what might happen and how to avoid such setbacks. There are numerous quotes talking about the importance of planning and hundreds of guidelines on effective planning. Today there are many software and computer aided tools which can be used to make this easier.
- Leadership & Effective Communication: To be able to communicate effectively is a part of Leadership Skills. Construction Project Managers who can Communicate well with the stakeholders, be it the team member or be it investors or competitors, are the successful ones. They also need good negotiation skills to convince the people around that their course of actions or planning is the most suitable one for the success of the project. Nowadays there are software, applications and more which helps project managers keep in constant contact with their team members wherever they are located
- Teamwork & Delegation of Tasks: Construction Work is not a single person job, but it requires teamwork and delegation of effective delegation and distribution of tasks. Effective delegation is not only just assigning tasks to the team members but also making sure that the right task is given to the most suitable person so that the best outcome can be obtained in the least amount of time and with the least cost. It also requires continuous monitoring and encouragement and feedbacks. They need to be the team leaders and ensure proper teamwork. At the same time, Micro-Managing is an example of poor delegation and should be avoided by construction project managers.
- Time Management: If not careful with the time, Construction Project Managers can easily be swamped with abundance of tasks and eventually the project will fall short of the schedule. Proper Time Management means understanding how to prioritize tasks according to significance, urgency and importance. Effective time management helps to complete the project on time thus, reducing costs.
- Risk Management: Finally, all Construction Project Managers need to know how to plan for and manage all sorts of Risk factors. There are uncountable uncertainties in construction projects. The raw materials might not arrive on time, the cost might increase, there might be social or political incidents which might hamper the operations of the project, natural disasters, on-site accidents and so on. Construction project managers need to think and plan ahead about all the solutions to reduce these risks. Use of software and Tools can identify a range of risks, from safety issues to potential trade clashes and help in Risk management for the Construction Project Managers.
by Siam Mim