Construction project managers lead teams of construction workers on large-scale building projects, coordinating their efforts to complete their projects on time and within budget.
To succeed in this role, it's important to possess specific skills that will help you communicate effectively with your team and clearly with your clients and vendors.
Project managers become masters at their craft, always able to quickly meet new requirements and even find ways to save money from time to time without sacrificing quality.
They know how important deadlines are so that projects are finished before the due date!
By mastering these 12 skills, you'll be able to take on any project—a hospital or a skyscraper—and come out on top.
Let's dive in to learn more about these skills!
1- Industry Knowledge
A construction project manager must have expert knowledge of every aspect of project management.
Specifically, they should know how to oversee every construction process step, from design to building to implementation and on-site oversight.
They also need a strong understanding of materials, costs, and budgets. Construction projects are constantly changing and evolving, with new ideas and technology coming to light daily.
Every top construction project manager understands the fundamentals of managing a construction project and how to use innovation to their advantage.
Construction project managers are learners at heart, always striving for knowledge regardless of where it might come from or what form it takes; whether it's online courses or podcasts, they will take any opportunity available.
Luckily, modern tools can make life easier; but at the end of the day, having an inherent understanding of innovation will always lead one down the right path.
2- Great Communication Skills
Construction errors are often the result of poor communication between project managers and their team members.
A lack of clarity can lead to different viewpoints, making it difficult for everyone involved to work towards a solution.
Communication skills are incredibly important for project managers. Whether you're working directly with your team, clients or partners, your goal is to gather feedback and effectively convey relevant information.
As a good communicator, you should be able to inspire confidence in others and facilitate successful teamwork by making sure everyone is aligned with deadlines and goals.
Communicating clearly and giving frequent updates on progress help build trust among all parties involved.
Ensuring open lines of communication through both verbal and nonverbal methods such as technology will ensure all participants understand each other's positions during conversations about problem-solving strategies. This allows everyone to get buy-in when significant changes need to be made—adjusting timelines or keeping a project on budget.
3- Leadership Skills
As a construction project manager, you're responsible for every aspect of your project.
It takes leadership skills to get a job done right, from managing employee quality to coordinating client schedules and resolving conflicts.
Construction projects are never done all at once and can happen simultaneously.
A competent construction project manager needs to know how to stay organized, so they don't miss anything important.
They can discern what is worth prioritizing over others and work around it, ensuring the project stays within its allotted time frame while still being efficient.
Besides that, monitoring an employee can make them feel like you don't trust their abilities.
If you're satisfied with how they perform day-to-day tasks, why not let them do so without interference?
Instead, be ready to help when the need for assistance arises for each one of your employees.
4- Flexibility to different Circumstances
Construction projects are often complicated and unpredictable because so many small details and changes can quickly become major issues. Managers must be able to make adjustments when unexpected developments happen but also stay aware of all the little things to create a thorough plan before starting work.
For construction projects, planning never stops once you start working; even if it takes months or years before completion, you should always update your plans accordingly so that your original goal remains within reach until the end.
Being adaptable can help you defuse situations on-site before they become problems for your client or you.
And by flexing your schedule to deal with unexpected complications that crop up on-site or back at the office, you can keep your project on budget and schedule.
5- Risk Management Skills
Life can be unpredictable sometimes.
It may come as no surprise if the wrong materials were delivered or the structure fails at a critical moment - but it does not always end up how we want it to go.
However, what distinguishes an average project manager from a great one is recognizing that life's uncertainties exist and need to be accounted for.
To prepare for all potentialities, PMs will take time during preparation phases to list out all foreseeable contingencies, which can then be turned into achievable objectives once they arise.
Furthermore, these risks vary significantly with every undertaking - which makes them hard to anticipate beforehand and challenging to defend against while they are underway.
Nevertheless, those willing enough will even think ahead of time about finding solutions to minimize these threats - including introducing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to their teams.
6- Work Planning and Time Management
As a construction project manager, you'll need to be able to balance many different tasks, projects, and clients all at once.
You'll also need to be able to adapt your schedule quickly and efficiently to meet deadlines.
Effective time management is key to keeping on top of a busy work schedule—plan out each day with specific tasks, block out large chunks of time for particular projects and spend more time doing work than organizing it.
Above all else, be realistic about how much you can do per day: even construction pros have trouble maintaining their productivity over long periods! Plan everything well in advance so that you can run through your daily tasks without any last-minute surprises.
When possible, delegate less urgent tasks to others or set aside some extra time at the end of each day to get caught up if necessary.
We live in a digital world. Any project manager can easily assign tasks to their team members using construction estimating and project management software such as 247PRO. This way, you can manage all tasks in one place and work on other stuff while saving time.
7- Financial Management
In construction, finances are paramount. A construction project can't start without an appropriate budgeting plan.
Knowing how to manage finances - especially regarding a specific project - is one of the most vital responsibilities for any construction project manager.
Any small mistake could cause their project to go over its allocated budget. They need to be able to keep track of expenditures, forecast budgets, and explore different options for financing if necessary.
The person in charge of this task needs to be able to forecast future costs and explore funding options.
As a project manager, you will be vital in communicating financial information to team members and your clients.
You can also easily create construction estimates before signing contracts with the software 247PRO.
8- Always Open To Feedback
A good project management service provider knows the industry, yet it doesn't mean they will no longer require feedback.
Experienced employees see things that even well-versed construction project managers might miss.
For this reason, a project manager needs to be open to feedback from clients, bosses, coworkers, and team members.
The construction industry constantly changes, meaning you will have to learn new skills daily.
Of course, no one can expect you to be able to master all these new tools right away. Instead, ensure you're always open to feedback and listen when someone teaches you something new.
A great project manager stays up-to-date on current trends in their field by learning from those around them.
You don't have to be perfect, but you should at least try your best!
9- Emotional Intelligence
The construction site includes more than just heavy machinery.
Project leaders need to master more than mere organizational and time-management skills; they also need emotional intelligence- which we refer to as EQ- to motivate their workers without compromising the project's goals.
This sounds much easier said than done, but it's important for a project manager to make an effort because developing their EQ will allow them to be capable of leading others successfully through this challenging task.
As a construction project manager, you have to get along with your clients and your team, or else projects will likely fail.
This skill is important in any work environment but is especially critical for managers working on a team of different personalities with different skill sets.
If you can read people effectively, you can defuse conflicts before they become serious issues.
In addition, empathy helps you recognize when an employee needs help.
10- Transparent planning
As deadlines and expenses constantly pile up, managers must plan appropriately for the project and changes.
Project managers must keep track of all projects happening at once, whether setting out of the foundation or planning the electrical and plumbing lines.
Transparency is crucial in this process because these tasks require constant check-ups so you can see what is happening, evaluate productivity, and take immediate action when necessary.
Of course, things may change even if you think you know everything about a project before you start—or even if you've just written down a complete plan as they should!
The world is ever-changing, and you don't want to miss out on something great because your plan was too rigid.
That doesn't mean you can throw caution to the wind, though.
You need to prepare for contingencies and be able to react quickly when new information comes your way. It's hard, but it's important!
11- Build trust with clients and partners
What do you think is the foundation of a high-performing team? It is trust. Trust between members can be hard to establish with the constantly changing, project-based nature of construction work, but it is essential for reducing risk.
When you have the trust of your coworkers and superiors, there are no doubts about anything said or done, thus leading to greater productivity. Getting clients to trust you isn't just about taking good care of them. It's also about communicating effectively.
When customers know that they can get in touch with you whenever they need to, they feel more confident that you can help them and deliver on your promises.
As a result, they are more likely to stay loyal and make repeat purchases.
Similarly, if potential partners trust you can communicate well with others, they will be more likely to hire or do business with you.
In short: trust is a powerful asset for any manager.
How do we earn it? By being true to your word, keeping your commitments, and doing what you say you will do—every time.
12- Work quality, Budget, and Schedule
No matter how creative or beautiful a project is, no one will care if it is built on a budget, on time, and with quality workmanship.
As a construction project manager, you will be held responsible for ensuring all three.
The responsibility can sometimes be daunting, but if you're prepared and aware of what to look out for in terms of hurdles, it can lead to great opportunities.
Do your homework before signing contracts – never commit to a contract until you know precisely what you're getting into.
If there will be unexpected problems or costs during construction (there always are), find out about them upfront.
You can negotiate with the contractor about who pays for what.
There are many benefits and pitfalls to being a project manager; however, honing your skills and using the right set of tools will enable you to flourish when designing successful construction projects for clients. It is never too late to improve these skills or become more advanced in this field, either - which means that there is always room for growth and improvement!