Construction Manager - Tips on How to be a Successful Manager in Construction

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With the adverse effects of the recession on the construction industry, the already competitive environment for construction manager jobs became even more aggressive in so many ways. Thus, it is of utmost importance that a construction manager, also called project manager and construction superintendent, becomes known in the industry as an effective, efficient, and successful professional.

Being a successful project manager is both easy and difficult. On one hand, it is easy because the parameters set in the construction manager job description provided at the start of the project serves as the basic guide for subsequent actions on the job. Just adhere to - or better yet, exceed when and where necessary - the expectations of the roles, responsibilities and results on the job description and you are deemed successful.

On the other hand, it can be difficult as the translation from the ideal world on pen and paper to the real world of steel and concrete is filled with challenges, issues, and problems. Construction managers are required to think out of the box while still staying within the parameters set by the client.

With that being said, a project manager can become a successful one by adopting the following simple but effective tips. Keep in mind that these tips are based on the general roles and responsibilities outlined in most, if not all, construction manager jobs.

Build Confidence and Trust

People need leaders and leaders must inspire confidence and trust among people. A construction manager must possess the right professional qualifications and personal attributes that will his subordinates follow his leadership in all aspects of the project. The construction manager job description often states such leadership value by specifying supervisory experience for a certain number of years.

So, how is confidence and trust built? Keep in mind that these values from both the subordinates and the leader are earned over time through the following actions:

• Clearly defining the roles, responsibilities and results expected from each member of the construction team
• Regularly reviewing the project progress in relation to the agreed parameters and then addressing the issues that crop up during these meetings.
• Firmly leading the group in the way expected of a professional with a string of successful construction manager jobs behind him

Plan and Plan Well

A construction manager, like any other manager in other industries, must have effective and efficient planning skills for obvious reasons. The project must go according to plan in all aspects, which means that the master plan has supporting plans that ensure success.

Take note that planning skills are also part and parcel of the construction manager job description. This is an assurance on the part of the employers that the project manager can plan for the future while still being able to solve the problems of the present. After all, anything and everything that can go awry in the plans can and will happen so it is best to have the skills to cope with changes in the plan and still achieve the desired results.

Manage Change

Since we are on the subject of change, successful construction managers also know how to adapt to changes on and off the project site. There will be unexpected and expected additional complexities, challenges and opportunities that will come along, all of which will challenge the skills of even the most experienced project managers.

Keep in mind that the job of the construction manager is to manage change so that it will not overwhelm the staff and workers on the project. Effective change management involves clear communication, appropriate adjustments to the affected aspect of the project, and adoption of new ideas when and where necessary.

Keep an Open Communication

In the construction manager job description, it is explicitly stated that the applicant must be able to communicate effectively in written and oral aspects. The construction industry may appear macho on the surface but caveman communication of grunts, nods, and gestures are grossly insufficient to communicate exactly what needs to be done.

Meetings must be made with an atmosphere of open communication channels. Just as much as the project manager has the right to ask questions of the team members the team members can return the favor within reasonable parameters.

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