One of the secrets behind successful construction projects is the project manager. Construction managers are faced with numerous responsibilities that ensure a project’s success, from handling administrative tasks and liaising with clients and other stakeholders to ensuring that all projects are completed on time and within the set budget,
It’s an extremely lucrative role within the construction field. That’s why there are over 230,000 construction project managers in the industry. However, not everyone has the right skills to become a construction project manager. If you’re thinking of becoming one or are a business owner interested in hiring the best person to handle your building projects, here are some of the best skills every construction project manager needs.
1. Effective communication
Right from the start of projects, project managers spend most of their time communicating with stakeholders. You’re likely to spend the majority of your time as a project manager doing some form of communication. That’s why excellent communication skills are one of the best qualities of an efficient construction project manager.
Poor communication can halt or slow down tasks, leading to uncompleted assignments and late deadlines, which can affect your ability and reputation as a construction project manager. Part of knowing how to communicate involves knowing how to approach people and developing meaningful and professional relationships with co-workers and stakeholders. It also requires clearly expressing your vision of what you want to accomplish on a project. All you have to do is think about what you want to communicate and how you want to carry that message.
2. Negotiating skills
You can expect to be involved in several forms of negotiation as a construction project manager, from engaging with suppliers to handling team conflicts. To excel at your job, you need to be an excellent negotiator and know how to keep all parties content to ensure that all goals are properly aligned.
There would be some topics like budget, resources, and timelines that you cannot avoid having as a construction project manager. Usually, these topics can get quite sensitive, so you must be skillful enough to realize when you need to be persuasive enough to avoid going overboard and damaging any relationships.
Another great tip is learning to use different negotiation tactics depending on the situation. There might be times when you would have to either compromise, collaborate or even compete. No matter what you choose, you must ensure you know how to navigate these situations cleverly for your project’s success. whether you’re purchasing insulation or negotiating with clients.
As a project manager, you must have impressive leadership skills. You can demonstrate those skills by coaching, motivating, and guiding your co-workers to ensure that all projects are completed on time.
Good leaders also create positive work environments and encourage open communication. When your co-workers or employees feel they are actively contributing and making an impact while working on projects, it can boost efficiency. You can also help them grow by delegating tasks, setting goals or achievements, and regularly evaluating your team’s performance. Additionally, you must recognize and appreciate their contributions, so they know you value their input.
4. Technical Expertise
In addition to soft skills, a successful construction project manager must have the technical know-how to complete projects. Project managers capable of understanding the technical aspects of projects can better communicate with their teams and understand potential risks or emergencies.
The best way to receive this skill is by attending school, having several years of solid work experience, and professional licensing. If you’re in Florida, it’s fairly simple to obtain your Florida general contractor license. It serves as proof of your qualification.
You must also have a firm understanding of industry knowledge, including the new types of software applications, construction techniques, and building materials available in the industry. These days, basic industry knowledge is not enough to make you a successful project manager. Instead, make it a goal to continuously learn to build on your skills.
5. Efficient planning skills
Even though some projects might not go on well as planned, you must have excellent planning skills as a construction project manager. That’s because when you have thoroughly planned for a project, curveballs should rather make you flexible enough to make changes and carry on with work.
One way to make planning go more smoothly for you is by using project management software to handle all aspects of your planning, from scheduling meetings to tracking progress. You must remember that plans change all the time, so even if you developed a solid plan in the pre-construction phase, you must continue revising and introducing new ones as long as they help improve your project.
6. Proper financial management
You cannot have a successful construction project without a proper budget. It is one of the biggest responsibilities of a project manager. Any misstep in your budget can negatively impact your entire project.
As a project manager, you must ensure that your budget always makes room for any other expenses that might incur while working on a project. You must also track all expenses and keep records of the transaction. Additionally, you should be capable of making accurate forecasts and exploring more financing opportunities when the need arises.
7. Critical thinking skills
In construction, you must have excellent problem-solving or critical-thinking skills. That means ensuring that you always take proactive approaches in your line of work. With this skill, you can expertly navigate difficult or tricky construction projects.
If you constantly react to changes that disrupt your project, you need to work on your critical thinking skills. You can analyze facts deeply, weigh your options, and be objective. Once you can work on your critical thinking skills, you will deliver excellent results and have a solution for problems before they arise.
8. Time management
Due to the nature of construction project management, learning how to manage your time should be extremely important. If you are good at handling multiple schedules and knowing when to anticipate any challenges, you will be in a position to complete successful projects.
Poor planning is one of the main causes behind failed construction projects. It would help to create a thorough and well-detailed project plan to improve your time management skills. This document should include your business needs, the scope of your project, and a timeline of activities and resources you will need to help complete timely projects.
9. Team management
A team-oriented construction project manager ensures effective collaboration between all team members when working on a project. A good manager can use these skills to help their teams grow and work towards achieving a shared goal. A great way to create an environment of teamwork is by allowing workers to comfortably contribute and share opinions for the benefit of your project.
10. Being open to feedback
A top-performing construction project manager with extensive knowledge in the field still needs feedback to continue growing. While working on a construction site, for example, some field workers might notice something before a project manager does. You must ensure that you listen to all concerns or alternative ideas that might improve operations. Your workers, clients, and other important stakeholders are all people with whom you should be willing to hear opinions and feedback.
The road to becoming a construction project manager is long and requires years of experience. But it also requires having the right skills and traits to help you excel in your job. If this field is a career you’re considering entering, this list of qualities and skills should help you know if it is a perfect choice. Of course, you also need to have appropriate academic qualifications to not only increase your knowledge but also boost your credibility.