How can leaders create a construction management strategy that works?
To help you build a winning construction management strategy, we asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best insights. From defining your goals at the start to preparing for the unexpected, there are several tips that these leaders give to help you map out and execute a winning construction management strategy for your next big project.
Here are 10 tips given by business leaders on creating a winning construction management strategy:
- Before You Start, Define Your Goals
- Create a Margin of Safety
- Focus On Communication
- Standardize to Scale & Know Your Inputs and Outputs
- Work With the Right People
- Understand the Market
- Include the PMRR Concept
- Rely on Technology
- Work Out the Details Before Beginning
- Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Before You Start, Define Your Goals
Understanding your goals, and the goals of all stakeholders is the top must-do item before creating a construction management strategy.
This applies across the board in construction management, equally to those defining a strategy for a large commercial construction division as to those managing a single project.
Goal setting (and sharing with stakeholders) allows you to understand what the strategic objective is. Without a clear strategic objective, your strategy may take your construction agenda in the wrong direction.
Create a Margin of Safety
The construction industry is undeniably evolving at an accelerated pace, and it is up to you to keep up with the latest trends and better your business practices accordingly.
One of the main issues facing construction management lately has been the huge swings in supply and demand, with a demand for time making it much more desirable to build, and now it becomes much more expensive and less lucrative to finish projects.
To hedge against such vicissitudes, you need to build a margin of safety, retaining earnings and attractive debt facilities when times are good, so your operation can survive when times are dire.
By hedging in this way, you can protect yourself against the downside risks that are endemic in our industry, and which can devastate construction companies that do not prepare.
Focus On Communication
Any leader in construction management will tell you that good communication is essential to the success of any project.
Construction sites are often chaotic places, with a lot of moving parts and multiple stakeholders. It’s difficult to keep everyone on the same page, but it’s important to try.
One way to do this is to have regular meetings, both formal and informal, where you can update everyone on the status of the project and solicit feedback. You should also encourage open communication among team members so that people feel comfortable raising concerns or offering suggestions.
By creating a culture of communication, you can help ensure that your construction management strategy is successful.
Standardize to Scale & Know Your Inputs and Outputs
Construction Management can easily be siloed as a stand-alone discipline, beholden to the plans from engineering and measured only by the final as-built outputs, thereby carrying the burden of cost overruns and schedule delays.
How projects get set up can vary even between PMs on the same team, and companies who realize that the only way to scale is to drive standardization, and drive hard at creating repeatable processes that are highly configurable to support the inevitable ‘uniqueness’ of each project.
Creating project templating (WBS, reporting, schedule of values…) will bring consistency in project setup and allow for clear in-flight reporting (hopefully real-time when using a modern mobile CM tool) well before a project is deemed at risk.
Work With the Right People
I think the most important tip for leaders in creating a construction management strategy that works is to make sure they’re working with the right people.
The people who are going to be working on your project are the ones with their hands in the dirt and their boots on the ground, so you have to make sure you’re working with people who care about your business as much as you do.
You need people who are going to put in the time and effort, who will get things done on time and within budget, and who can help bring your vision to life.
Understand the Market
The first tip for leaders in creating a construction management strategy that works is to take the time to understand what’s going on in your market and how it’s changing.
You need to know where your clients are coming from, how they’re getting there, and what it is about your services that makes you stand out from the crowd.
We can do this through market research or simply being out in the field and watching what happens around us so that we can make sure that there is a well-thought-out plan to stay relevant and competitive.
Basically, the idea is when you understand what is going on in your market, you can create a strategy that works for it.
Include the PMRR Concept
A realistic construction management strategy evaluates employee productivity and work performance. It entails defining expectations and establishing goals, objectives, and assessments over a certain period.
The Inclusion of the PMRR concept ( Planning, Monitoring, Rating, and Reward) is the best way to create a functional construction management strategy.
Planning: Create a list of the organization’s short- and long-term objectives. Identify the departmental, employee, and team goals that contribute to the overall organizational goal.
Monitoring: Build a robust monitoring system to track the advancement of the previously listed goal and if they aren’t making enough progress, rain and give them the necessary tools.
Rating: Evaluate the team’s & employee’s efforts by considering the objectives. They will become more responsible if you rate their development or let them rate themselves.
Reward: Depending on how well an employee performs, that could be some incentives.
Karen Cate Agustin, Business Analyst, Investors Club
Rely on Technology
You already know that data is your ally and that leveraging it can help you avoid assumptions from leading to costly errors. Even so, you may not always have relevant data for a particular construction project.
In that case, don’t be afraid to leverage newer Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) tools, like Building Information Modelling (BIM), Digital Information Management (DIM), and construction robotics, to visualize, engineer, and analyze a potential construction strategy before actually building in the physical world.
You can access these virtual environments on desktops, mobile devices, and augmented and virtual reality platforms. Also, you can collaborate remotely with experts from anywhere in the world if you need help starting.
Work Out the Details Before Beginning
A clear roadmap of what you want and require makes for a very effective construction management strategy.
Gather all information regarding the job, including its requirements and the team, to actualize it, all while still in the project’s planning stages. The more data you have, the better you can manage the project and prepare for unexpected situations.
The information can be obtained from clients, construction specialists, vendors, and your research and observations. Ensure your team understands the project’s building and safety codes and how to use the materials and equipment while adhering to the stipulated budget and timelines.
Before kicking off, you might use a checklist to ensure they account for all site considerations.
Yongming Song, CEO, Live Poll for Slides
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
In construction, the unexpected is always a possibility. Even with an in-depth risk analysis, you still risk encountering the unforeseen. Whether it’s an issue with the weather, a late delivery, or a faulty piece of equipment, construction projects are susceptible to delays.
As the project manager, you need to be prepared for anything that might pop up. Your strategy should therefore be flexible enough to accommodate any changes that occur and you have a contingency plan in place for when things go wrong.
Neil Platt, Director, Emerald Home Improvements