4 Tips for Beginning a Career
in Construction Management

See also: Strategic Thinking Skills

Construction management is a complex job that entails budgeting, paperwork, and scheduling. Although the duties of a construction project manager vary depending on the company, they are responsible for overseeing and supervising construction projects from the beginning to the end.

Being a construction project manager, you will oversee the budget and liaise with key stakeholders such as owners, engineers, architects, and your employees. However, the construction sector is always changing, and you will need to adapt to changing circumstances.

Construction managers on site looking at a drawing.

The following tips will help you become successful in construction management:

1. Understand the Details before You Start

Planning is one of the most important tips for successful construction project management. It will help if you have the foresight to anticipate what will need to be done and an idea of how to resolve arising issues. Gather all relevant information about a job and its obligations and assemble your team while still in the planning phases of a project.

A high level of detail orientation is important in effective project management. Detail reviews determine the resources you need to complete a construction project. The resources include tools, materials, heavy equipment, as well as human resources.

You would also be wise to always work in tandem with your suppliers and subcontractors in the initial stages as this will ensure that you lay out realistic and attainable milestones and timelines. At this stage, you need to critically analyze and understand project risks. Address them with proven techniques before finalizing your plans.

It will help if you can always keep in mind that drawings and blueprints are not perfect. In most instances, conflicts will pit drafts against execution. Such conflicts are common in structural, building, landscape, and mechanical codes.

2. Embrace Technology

New construction technologies are emerging every day.

Some of the most prevalent ones in modern construction sites include:

  • Connected equipment and tools
  • Drones
  • Robotic heavy equipment
  • 3D printed buildings
  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Mobile apps

Construction management software providers such as Archdesk offer tools that can enable you to execute your duties efficiently. Technology is vital in some areas of the construction industry.

Some of these areas are:

Offsite Construction

Offsite construction is mostly employed in construction projects such as schools, prisons, hospitals, and dormitories that feature repetitive layouts in their design. Offsite construction works as an auto manufacturing factory as it is carried out in a controlled environment.

Even if it is a small task such as electrical wiring installations or wall frame constructions, you will have workers with tools and materials working consistently. This can improve your employees’ productivity by minimizing waste.

Offsite construction has led to the emergence of prefabricated buildings. This involves manufacturing components at remote locations and then transporting them to the construction sites for assembly or installation.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Data can enable construction firms to make better decisions, improve productivity, enhance safety, and minimize risk at construction sites. You can use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems to predict future outcomes of construction projects from stored data. This can help you stay ahead of the competition in estimating and bidding on advertised construction projects.

It can also minimize the time spent on tools, retrieving tools, materials, and equipment at construction sites. You can track your employees using mobile devices like smartphones and wearables such as smartwatches.

Additionally, you can use deep-learning algorithms to detect and report errors in work done. These errors may range from excavation works to plumbing and electrical systems. The use of artificial intelligence in the construction industry is that it can identify building components even though they are partially visible based on their shapes, sizes, and locations.

Venture capitalists are investing heavily in the future of construction technology, although construction firms are underinvesting in it. Since 2009, investors have invested more than $4 billion in more than 500 deals. Therefore, you must embrace technology if you are looking to build a successful career in construction management.

3. Improve Your Communication Skills

Effective communication is a critical skill that all construction project managers need to learn. Being well-versed in the oral and written aspects of communication is an added advantage . Make sure that any communication originating from you is clear and precise.

You may have to establish a plan to decide on an effective type of communication for various situations. Although some situations need you to make a call or arrange quick in-person meetings, an email or text message is all it takes to deliver your message.

It is also important to have a chain of command to protect sensitive information by controlling the kind of data shared and who it is shared with.

For instance, some tools such as change orders and RFIs have to be done via written communication to create a paper trail. On the other hand, it is good to take accurate notes when meeting project members and other stakeholders as this will allow you to follow up the meeting with an email to determine if everyone on the team is on the same page.

4. Proper Time Management

Effective time management is vital since you will be involved in all aspects of the construction project. If you cannot manage your time properly, you are likely to fail at managing the construction project.

It is best to determine things that require immediate attention and those you can take care of later. Never prioritize activities that you can address later at the expense of more pressing matters. Remember that you do not have to reply to each email as soon as it arrives.

You can also delegate some duties to other people in your project team. There is no need to micromanage everything when you have competent people in your team. As long as you can communicate effectively, trust them to make wise decisions and accomplish their assigned tasks.

Construction management is a satisfying career. Completing a project and handing it over to its owner brings a sense of satisfaction. With the above tips, you can kickstart your career and enjoy success. Adopting technology will increase your productivity and generate higher profit margins.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.