Five strategies of an effective construction project manager

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By Jim Lamelza
Special to Ontario Construction Report

Being an effective construction project manager takes more than an extensive knowledge of the construction industry. You have to overcome the obstacles in front of you and deliver your objectives time after time. While it sounds like a challenging job (and it can be), the right project manager can do amazing things seemingly without effort. According to The Construction Management Association of America, construction project managers average around 120 responsibilities. While we know that it does require substantial work, here are some tips to make your next project a success.

1. Be the leader

When it comes down to it, every team needs to have a leader. As a project manager, this should be the role that you fulfill. With that said, you will want to focus on being a leader, not a boss. What’s the difference?

You will want to lead by example and work to bring out the best of your team members.

It’s important for team members to commit to the project at hand, and you can make this happen by playing to their strengths while sidestepping their weaknesses.

2. Pay attention to the details

Every project is about the details. That can’t be overstated, and sometimes even the best plan will fail because an item was ignored or missed its target. You don’t want this to happen on your project.

Take the time to dig in and gather all of the details. Give each one a name and a number, and assign resources accordingly to make sure the details are given the attention they deserve.

3. Divide and conquer

Tackling a project is almost like eating a pie – there is no way most of us are going to eat the whole thing at one sitting. Instead, divide the project into measurable chunks and handle each part as needed to accomplish its goals.

4. Use milestones

One of the best ways to make sure that the project is on track and making headway is to use milestones along the way. As each target is hit, you can be assured that all is appearing well with the project.

Make sure to use milestones that make sense and cover a relevant portion of the work. You don’t want to make a significant or complicated part of the project as a single milestone since this could be a problem area affecting completion.

Instead, be sure that each milestone has comparable effort attached to it, and any problem areas are broken down into separate milestones accordingly.

5. Implement automated reporting systems

No construction project manager has the time to find new projects and keep updated on the many changes that occur on the ones already in the works. Nor do they have time to call every company they like to work with to see if they have anything going on requiring their services. In addition to saving time, you can increase your odds of winning by implementing an automated reporting system.

Construction project management requires keeping abreast of all updates and addenda, and automated reporting tools will save significant time. This automation will ensure the right alerts go to the right people at the right time, allowing you to focus on other tasks and communication.

A reporting tool like DataBid benefits not only construction project managers, but also estimators, sales reps and project development teams. With real-time updates, company tracking, and plans and specs you’ll never miss a new project lead or important update again. Your project reporting tool should be a system that helps you work more efficiently.

With a little effort and planning, your next project will be a rousing success.

Jim Lamzela is DataBid.com’s president.

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