A construction project is a massive undertaking that requires proper management. The construction industry is full of examples where poor management led to poor results and, in some cases, disaster. Construction project managers need to know the most common mistakes when handling projects and find ways to avoid them.
Not everything will go smoothly during a construction project, regardless of how well you manage it. However, you can spare yourself a lot of trouble by knowing the following construction management mistakes and how to avoid them:
Lack Of A Project Scope
To successfully manage a construction project, you need to have a comprehensive and transparent scope of work. When planning the project, you should develop a project scope statement that will encompass the entirety of the construction project.
The scope statement needs to be understood by every member of the construction project. Otherwise, an unclear project scope will lead to not meeting project goals such as the timeline and budget. It will also lead to a lack of clarity and agreement among those involved in the project. It is impossible to know what has to be done and how without a project scope.
To avoid this mistake, ensure that the project scope is established before the project begins. As the project manager, it will be your job to ensure you have a project scope that holds every team member accountable.
Following a clear-scope development process that has yielded positive results in the past should also be immensely helpful. The scope of work should be clear, brief, realistic, and easy to understand. It would be best if you went over the scope of work with your clients and team members, so everyone has realistic expectations of the project.
Poor Resource Planning
Resource planning and management are crucial components of any construction project. If you do not plan how to utilize resources during a construction project, there will be plenty of waste which will greatly reduce the chances of a successful project. Hiring a qualified and experienced property manager is one way to ensure better resource planning in a construction project.
However, there are too many moving parts in a construction project for a project manager to handle manually. Therefore, it is beneficial to have construction project management software that could help with resource management. Resources such as building materials, equipment, and human resources need proper management for the project to be successful.
Lack Of Communication
A typical construction project involves dozens of people, and there may be hundreds in some cases. Regardless of how many people are working on a construction project, all of them must know exactly what is going on at all times.
Communication is one of the most vital aspects of project management, but unfortunately, many construction projects are plagued by poor communication. Communication issues in a construction project can lead to delays and cost overruns.
The way to avoid communication bottlenecks in a construction project is to create effective communication channels. As the project manager, you should create a system where all team members can know what is going on with the project at all times.
Construction management software can help ensure that messages reach their intended targets. The software can also generate reports that team members can update and clients can access. However, face-to-face communication is essential and has been shown to improve productivity, employee engagement, and satisfaction, so weekly meetings could be beneficial.
Unrealistic Project Schedule & Timelines
Creating a construction project schedule is essential and should be one of the first things you do as a project manager. The schedule will include how long you expect the project to last, for which the client will hold you accountable. Unfortunately, many project managers create unrealistic project schedules, including timelines that are impossible to achieve.
Most companies will do so to make their bid more competitive and give them an advantage during the bidding process. However, they fail to fulfill their promises by not finishing on time or hurrying the project so that the results are poor.
The solution to this mistake is to be realistic about what it will take to finish the project successfully. Also, leave plenty of wiggle room or a margin of safety when creating project schedules and setting timelines. Only then can you be sure to deliver on your promises even when issues go wrong during the project.
Lack Of A Risk Management Plan
Risks are a part of every construction project, so construction project management should include a detailed risk management plan. Considering the dangers involved in a typical construction project, it is a shocking revelation how little project managers factor risk management into their plans.
Should any risk come to pass during the construction project, your risk management plan is what will ensure the project remains on track without overextending your budget or missing key deadlines. Another result of poor risk management is legal issues that can arise when various risks occur.
The solution hereby is to create a risk management plan when planning for the project. Consider as many scenarios of things going wrong and develop adequate responses to those cases. Insurance is another essential factor of risk management that will save your sanity as a project manager.
As a project manager, the last thing you want to do is micromanage an entire construction project. It will negatively affect the work environment, but it will also make employees rebellious and unproductive.
Unfortunately, many project managers want to be involved in every part of the construction, which usually has devastating results. Proper project management is about delegation, especially in construction.
To avoid micromanagement, you should learn to delegate tasks as a project manager properly. A great leader has trust in their team and subordinates. Set goals for each team and trust them to meet them. You can have periodic assessment meetings to monitor their progress and focus on creating a positive work environment in which everyone can flourish.
There are many mistakes you can find happening on any construction project. Micromanagement, lack of a risk management plan, setting unrealistic schedules & timelines, lack of communication, poor resource planning, and the lack of a project scope are only a few. If you follow the advice on avoiding such mistakes, you greatly increase the chances of success for your construction project.