Six Ways To Become a Successful Construction Project Manager

ThinkstockPhotos 821933106By Eric Weisbrot

Construction project management can be a lucrative business for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to be successful. However, creating a thriving business is not often mastered in a training course or a during a stint at college. The experience that comes from winning – and losing – on the job lays the foundation for long-term accomplishments. But licensed and bonded construction project managers need to also embrace the following steps in order to be effective.

 

Communication is Key

The construction industry is a people business, and project managers are at the forefront. From suppliers and vendors to contractors and job owners, project managers have to hone their communication skills in all forms. Written communication is just as important as verbal, so it is beneficial to master these traits early on. Remain focused on the point of your conversation or written message without adding in fluff, and keep it professional.

Understand the Costs

Project management involves several moving parts, not the least of which is the revenue and expense breakdown of each job. Being profitable requires a keen awareness of all the costs from start to finish. Overlooked expenses include securing the appropriate construction surety bond, having surplus capital for contingencies, and business systems and technology. The most successful project managers understand these necessary financial factors and take steps to control.

Visit the Site

In some cases, construction project managers take a more passive approach to overseeing a project. There are few visits to the job site over time, and while this saves time, it doesn’t often lead to the most successful results. Making your way to the job site on a regular basis is one surefire way to ensure success throughout the project.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Speaking of time management, construction project leads need to know where their time is put to best use. For some projects, that means being on site each day, managing a new team of contractors or interacting with the project owner. Other projects, a manager’s time may be better spent controlling costs from afar. Recognizing the time management component is essential to being successful, but it is also necessary to know each job will present different management needs.

Work on Negotiation Skills

The ability to negotiate well is crucial to success when working with customers, suppliers, subcontractors and vendors. Know your proposals inside and out, where costs can be cut, and how variations play a role in revenue so that you can negotiate effectively. If you’re not confident in your negotiation skills, consider a short online course or find a mentor in the industry who has a track record of success.

Delegate when Necessary

You also need to know when to pass the buck. Delegation is an essential tool for getting the job done on time and in budget, but it can be challenging to let go of certain tasks. List out the things that need to be done, and delegate out the work you either do not have the time or energy to focus on or that you don’t feel confident in executing.

Experiencing success in the construction industry takes on different forms for various project managers, but following the guidance here lays the groundwork for getting the job done right each time.

Eric Weisbrot is the chief marketing officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.


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