In the past, when there was no technology, managing a construction project was quite overwhelming. Construction managers supervised workers manually, kept documents in box files, and recorded data on paper.
Thanks to technological advancements that are making construction management easier. Project managers are now using technologies like drones to supervise workers, virtual reality to train workers, and construction management software to track employees’ performance.
In this article, we’ll look at the construction manager’s roles and responsibilities. With that information at hand, it will be easier to understand how technology can help managers streamline their duties in construction management.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Construction Project Manager
When it comes to construction, some refer to project managers as general contractors. While most people tend to confuse a project manager with a construction manager, they are two different roles.
In simple words, a project manager oversees every activity in a construction project, including budgeting, planning, and designing. A construction manager, on the other hand, manages the actual building process. Find out more differences in this source.
Now, let’s shift our focus to the construction manager’s project duties.
1. Managing the Construction Team
Good construction managers are team players with excellent managerial skills. They can think beyond the skills needed for a construction project to be successful. Notably, they have outstanding team-building skills that can improve the productivity of a team.
It is the responsibility of a construction manager to ensure that all employees work collaboratively. One of the best ways to achieve that is by motivating workers. Motivated employees are always more productive and willing to explore their potential to the fullest.
Good construction project managers should always get their teams on the same page in every situation. If any problem arises within the group, the construction manager should handle it professionally.
2. Communicating Effectively with Team Members
Another role of a construction manager is communication. For project management to be effective, construction managers must possess better communication skills. That’s because their job involves talking to project stakeholders, including clients, workers, vendors, and many others. A more effective team functioning precedes a more efficient project delivery, giving firms competitive advantages in a highly budget-sensitive industry.
Construction managers should strategically inform workers about the project’s progress, including the objectives. Effective and consistent communication encourages seamless project implementation, ensuring that a construction manager delivers quality.
3. Delegating Tasks and Duties
As project supervisors, construction managers should not perform every task in a project. They can assign tasks to team members, depending on each employee’s skill sets. With proper coordination among team members, managers can fulfill the design specifications of a project.
In general, a construction manager can keep every employee on track and ensure that the construction process runs smoothly without getting involved directly. By selecting the right people to work on their areas of specialization, a construction project will be successful.
4. Allocating Project Resources
Poor resource allocation can result in an overall delay of a construction project. While sometimes it may be difficult to avoid delays, those resulting from a construction manager’s incompetency to distribute resources can destroy a company’s reputation.
For any construction project to be successful, construction managers must effectively allocate vital resources without shortages. They must procure enough building materials for every construction phase from the start to the end of the project.
5. Managing the Construction Budget
Competent construction managers can complete a project successfully within the working budget. The construction manager must always evaluate the construction budget to avoid cost overruns. Any project completed on time but has gone over the budget is considered a failure.
One of the best ways to manage a financial plan is by consistently keeping track of all project expenses. Also, the construction manager can predict changes in the budget, including unplanned costs, and inform the project owners in advance.
6. Managing Project Risks
It’s no doubt that every construction project has unique risks associated with it. For that reason, construction managers must have skills for handling various risks. By identifying potentially risky issues in a project, the manager can devise ways to mitigate impending risks.
Various risks exist in a construction project, including internal and external risks. Some of the internal risks include poor design planning and lack of commitment. External risks, on the other hand, include natural calamities like earthquakes and unexpected regulatory requirements.
7. Managing Time
Project owners will always consider construction projects a success when completed on time. Construction managers must, therefore, be skilled at managing time. During planning, construction managers should set realistic timelines for projects.
When preparing a schedule, the manager should estimate an accurate duration for each phase of construction. That will prevent delays and promote timely completion of the project. For better time management, construction managers can use construction time clocks.
How Technology Has Transformed Construction Project Management
It’s no secret that technology is rapidly evolving project management in construction. Here are some ways on how technology has aided construction management.
1. Improved Communication System
Construction managers are currently using mobile technology to send project updates to workers. If there is an issue in the field, workers can quickly alert construction managers who will respond promptly.
2. Enhanced Collaboration
Today, construction managers are using technologies with well-established collaborative structures. Some construction apps have collaboration tools that construction managers can use to promote teamwork among employees.
3. Better Record Keeping
New technologies like cloud-based data storage have helped many construction firms to manage projects. Instead of using box files and paper spreadsheets, construction managers can keep vital documents in the cloud and access them from anywhere at any time.
4. Streamlined Workflow
With the help of technology, construction managers can set realistic schedules, provide accurate cost estimates, and complete projects on time. That has simplified management processes, and construction firms can even deliver quality services under tight timelines.
5. Real-Time Access to Information
In the past, it would take days or weeks to collect vital data and update all project stakeholders. With cloud-based software apps, employees can use their tablets and smartphones to access real-time information regarding a project.
Construction managers contribute significantly to a project’s success. With the help of technologies like construction management software, construction managers can easily track time, schedule activities, assign duties, and allocate resources. Through effective communication, resource management, and budget management, construction projects can be more successful than ever.