Managing construction projects is not an easy task and this is something that every construction project manager will tell you. Mistakes happen often, and it is inevitable, as in any other business. However, when it comes to construction projects, mistakes can lead to very unfavorable financial consequences for the company. Not to mention that they can ultimately affect the reputation of the business, which is the last thing you want. Because of all this, it is good to keep in mind which are the most common mistakes that all construction project managers make and how to avoid them. You can read more about this below.
1. Not taking the time to read their contracts
One of the most common mistakes that construction project managers make is that they do not take the time to slowly and thoroughly read their contracts and get acquainted with all their rights and obligations. While this is a tedious job for most managers and may seem unnecessary, the truth is that not reading the contract can lead to serious consequences for the company’s operations. The last thing you want as a manager is to wait for an unforeseen and unfavorable situation to happen, and only then to start dealing with your contractual rights. Think about this in time and also think outside the box. This means that, while reading the contract, you need to ask yourself ‘what if this or that circumstance happens – is my company protected by this contract’.
In case you are unfamiliar with the legal language and you are not good at reading the contract, make sure to hire someone who will clarify all the points to you and do it in a way you can understand what your obligations and rights are during the execution of a particular construction project.
2. Inadequate selection of team members to work on the project
Another mistake most construction project managers make is not carefully choosing team members to work on a particular project. This is especially the case with unprofessional managers and those who have a lack of experience in the field. They often choose team members according to their availability, not according to how good they fit for that particular project. A good project manager primarily takes the time to get to know all the team members and understand the pros and cons of each one. Once he or she is aware of this and has all the project items in mind, the manager can select the right team members and ensure that the project is completed in the shortest possible time and in the best possible way. Keep in mind that having more people doesn’t always mean that is a better option. Sometimes only a few experienced team members can be a better choice than a larger number of those who are not as good fit for the project.
3. Not using an adequate project management software
Another mistake that many construction project managers make is not keeping up with technology and not using project management software that can make their project management much easier. Software like Jonas Premier is of great importance nowadays because it makes it much easier to plan and control the process. If you want to be a more successful construction project manager, it is necessary to educate yourself about the best apps for construction projects and learn how to use them. Although this will require a little of your extra effort and time, it will certainly pay off in the end, because it will make your work process easier and much more efficient. Your clients will certainly appreciate it, which significantly increases the chances of them hiring your company again in the future.
4. Lack of communication with team members
When you are a construction project manager one of the most important work responsibilities is communicating with team members. And you need to constantly improve it to ensure that the whole construction process runs smoothly. It often happens that changes in deadlines occur without managers communicating it properly with their team members. As a result, there can be a big misunderstanding with clients and problems that would not have arisen if you had talked to your colleagues in time and presented them with a bigger picture. All new changes and decisions should be communicated to team members as soon as they occur. This will prove beneficial for the project itself, and you will also respect a better reputation among your colleagues, which will lead to more successful collaborations.
5. Doing some additional work without signed change orders
If you, as a construction project manager, have a multi-year relationship with your subcontractors based on trust, you may not have difficulty charging for the extra work you did during the project. However, if this is not the case (for example, you have just started working with a new subcontractor), it is necessary to ensure that the subcontractor signs a change order for additional work. If this is not the case, you may do work that was not originally provided for in the contract, and then find yourself in a situation that you cannot charge for it because you have no legal basis to do so. Also, keep in mind that you should never rely on verbal promises. Think ahead and make sure you have a signed change order before you do any task not previously agreed in the contract. This will prevent any misunderstandings with subcontractors and also ensure that you have a successful cooperation that ends with mutual satisfaction.
Managing construction projects is a pretty complex task, so it is not surprising that a large number of construction project managers make a number of mistakes. This happens in every business and it is normal, but if you have information about where most people in your position are doing something wrong, then you can take actions in order to prevent yourself from doing the same. Take the time to read your contracts, carefully choose team members for each project and communicate with them regularly, don’t do any extra work without having a signed change order and finally, make sure you use project management software that will make project construction easier.