By Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media & SmallBizDaily.com
Your choice of a construction project manager can make or break the success of your project — and, ultimately, your construction business. Whether you’re promoting someone from within your construction company or interviewing job candidates from outside the business, it’s important to take your time when assessing your options.
Here are some of the skills a good construction project manager should have and how to select the right person for the job.
To be successful, a construction project manager needs excellent organizational skills. They must keep track of all the elements of a project, from materials and equipment to scheduling and logistics. Previous experience in construction management is ideal, of course. However, if you find someone with strong project management experience in other industries that could translate to the construction field, it can be worth providing them with on-the-job training.
Time management skills
Your construction project manager should know how to prioritize the various elements of a construction project, both throughout the course of the project and on a daily basis. They should also be able to help construction workers in the field make the most effective use of their time on the job site. You can help your project manager save time and manage the team more effectively by giving them useful tech tools like project management software, time tracking software for crews, and mobile devices to improve communication.
You know how many things can go wrong on a construction site. Whether it’s delayed delivery of materials, a stretch of bad weather that just won’t quit, or roadblocks in obtaining necessary permits, each day brings a new challenge. In order to be effective, your construction project manager needs to be flexible and able to roll with the punches. Look for someone who has a Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D at the ready to keep your construction projects moving forward.
As with any management role, a construction project manager needs good people skills to keep all team members on the construction crew working in harmony. Unlike some management roles, however, the project manager typically spends a good deal of time in the field with their workers. This makes sensitivity to people-issues even more important. Choosing a construction project manager who’s able to create a positive team environment and encourage collaboration, rather than one who is negative and critical, will boost employee morale and foster a more effective team.
The construction job site is no place for guesses or estimates. In order to keep construction projects on track and under budget, your project manager must be extremely detail-oriented. They should understand the importance of monitoring multiple factors like man-hours and materials used. Whether they are monitoring these details themselves or delegating the task, a construction project manager must be persistent in their focus on accuracy.
Openness to new technology
From drones to the Internet of Things (IoT) to mobile time tracking apps, technology is transforming the construction industry as we know it. A good project manager will not only welcome new technology tools that can make their job easier but also encourage the rest of the team to embrace technology. Your construction workers will take their tone from the project manager, so be sure you select someone who is comfortable learning new things.
Once you find that perfect construction project manager to hire or promote, equip them with the training, support, and technology tools they need to do their best.
Rieva Lesonsky is the CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for free TrendCast reports.