All project managers face challenges in managing all types of teams, and with remote teams, those challenges are intensified.
Modern technology may have disrupted the traditional set-up in the construction industry, but it is not without its disadvantages.
While remote tools and applications removed the cost and inefficiencies in traveling from job site to job site, checking the progress of the project, or catching up with employees, new challenges in communication and employee relations have sprung up.
The sheer size of construction teams can make employee management overwhelming for a project manager working off-site.
Here are a guide on some actionable tips and techniques on how to manage remote employee time tracking for construction project managers.
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What Is Construction Management?
Construction management is the process of overseeing the development of buildings and structures.
It involves the comprehensive management of various aspects of a construction project, from the initial planning and pre-construction phases to the construction stages and eventual completion.
Construction project managers are responsible for coordinating and supervising diverse teams, including builders, architects, project engineers, and other professionals, to ensure that the project is executed efficiently, within budget, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Key responsibilities of construction managers include,
- Choosing suppliers
- Monitoring budgets and resources
- Preparing schedules
- Supervising worksite teams
- Ensuring compliance with safety and building codes
- Collaborating with vendors, engineers, architects, and other professionals
- Providing progress updates to clients and stakeholders
Construction Management Skills Every Construction Project Manager Should Have
|– Developing project plans
|– Creating realistic timelines and milestones
|– Initiating, planning, launching, performing, closing
|– Adapting plans to changes
|– Regular and effective communication with stakeholders
|– Conducting project meetings
|– Utilizing email, text, and collaboration platforms
|– Motivating and managing construction teams
|– Understanding team strengths and assigning tasks
|– Providing constructive feedback
|– Managing budgets, schedules, and deliverables
|– Using project management software
|– Adapting to sudden changes
|– Recording and managing construction costs
|– Limiting delays and controlling spending
|– Selecting and using construction-specific technologies
|– Implementing tools and software for efficiency
|– Using automated reporting systems
|– Standardizing routine processes
|– Prioritizing and implementing safety practices
|– Developing and following site safety plans
|– Keeping construction projects on schedule
|– Using tools like Gantt charts for timeline management
|– Staying informed about industry changes
|– Subscribing to construction magazines and industry news
|– Maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders
|– Including stakeholders in project meetings
|– Learning from mistakes for continuous improvement
|– Identifying areas of improvement after project completion
|– Knowing when and how to delegate tasks
|– Monitoring team members’ progress
|– Compiling and managing project documentation
|– Using document management systems for organization
What Do Construction Management Projects Typically Look Like?
Construction management projects typically follow a structured process that encompasses various phases, tasks, and considerations.
The construction project process begins from the initial stage of receiving a bid and proceeds through pre-construction, tools and equipment preparation, execution, commissioning, warranty period, and finally, project completion.
Understanding the typical flow of construction management projects is essential for effective planning, coordination, and successful project outcomes.
1. Initial Stage
Customer Collaboration: The process begins with the customer sharing their ideas and collaborating with a construction management company to draft the project design.
Contract Negotiations: This phase involves negotiations related to the project contract, terms, and conditions.
Team Assembly: Assembling the project team, including contractors, financial planning consultants, architects, engineering firms, and other stakeholders.
Field Testing: Conducting field tests and assessments to ensure feasibility and address any potential issues.
3. Tools & Equipment
Gathering Resources: Gathering all necessary tools, equipment, and resources needed to initiate construction, adhering to the agreed-upon design and budget.
Construction Phase: The actual construction work takes place, with careful consideration of project workflows and individual responsibilities.
Task Delegation: Delegating tasks as needed to ensure the smooth progress of the project.
Systems Testing: Conducting thorough testing of systems and equipment after the construction phase to ensure functionality.
Client Meeting: Meeting with the client to discuss the best practices for operating and maintaining the newly built facility.
6. Warranty Period
Occupancy: The owner officially moves into the building, initiating the warranty period as defined in the contract.
Project Completion: Finalizing all details and conducting a comprehensive review of the project, gathering feedback from the client.
Throughout the entire process, construction project managers play a pivotal role.
They oversee the project from inception to completion, taking on a leadership role in various aspects.
Project managers handle project cost estimations, team assembly, and ensure the day-to-day workflow is on schedule.
They manage both big-picture concerns and primary task delegations, serving as a central figure to bring different groups of people together to support a common goal.
Top 10 Construction Project Management Tips
If you are a construction project manager, then here are a few construction project management tips you can follow to streamline your construction operations.
1. Curate Project Details and Plan Before Starting a Project
Before embarking on a construction project, it is imperative to curate comprehensive project details, fostering a deep understanding of the client’s requirements, project scope, and specific objectives.
This initial phase sets the tone for the entire project life cycle, influencing subsequent decisions and actions.
Curating Project Details
Gathering intricate project details involves conducting thorough discussions with the client to comprehend their vision, expectations, and any unique specifications.
Such a collaborative approach ensures alignment between the client’s goals and the project’s execution.
Additionally, a detailed examination of the project site, environmental considerations, and regulatory requirements is essential.
Having this sort of information forms the basis for creating a tailored project plan that addresses the specific needs and challenges unique to the construction endeavor.
Planning Before Starting a Project
Once project details are curated, thorough planning becomes the linchpin for success.
Project managers should create a comprehensive plan that encompasses every facet of the construction process.
- Project Scope Definition: Clearly defining the scope to establish the boundaries and deliverables of the project.
- Budgeting: Creating a detailed budget that accounts for all project costs, including materials, labor, and potential contingencies.
- Timeline Development: Establishing a realistic timeline with well-defined milestones, enabling effective project tracking.
- Risk Assessment: Identifying potential risks and developing mitigation strategies to navigate unforeseen challenges.
- Resource Allocation: Efficiently allocating resources, including manpower, equipment, and materials, to optimize productivity.
By curating project details and planning comprehensively, construction project managers mitigate risks, enhance communication, and set a strong foundation for project success.
Following this strategic approach ensures that the project team is well-informed, resources are utilized efficiently, and the client’s expectations are not only met but exceeded.
2. Outline Your Communication And Collaboration System
Effective communication and collaboration are essential when it comes to time tracking for remote employees.
One of the reasons communication breaks down when working with a remote team is the lack of a standard communication platform.
Just like there are software solutions for construction cash flow management, there are literally hundreds of communication and collaboration tools available.
If your employees use different tools, the team will be disorganized and communication will be ineffective.
Set one communication tool that can be used by everyone.
It may cost you a bit to get all the necessary licenses but the benefits they bring are worth it.
There are several types of software that your team needs,
- Project Management Software – Construction projects are usually huge and complex and it takes a lot of people to get the job done. Without a proper project management tool, it becomes overwhelming. Put everyone on the same page by investing in tools like Asana or Trello.
- Team Communication and Conferencing Software – Sometimes, a quick email is not enough to send a message. There will be times when you need to bounce ideas back and forth and you can only do that by meeting in real-time. For this, you need conferencing software like Skype and GoToMeeting.
- Employee Scheduling Software – Construction projects require reliable employee schedule management. Most sites operate extended hours and have several job positions and multiple shifts to fill at any given time. To effectively manage hundreds of employees, you need employee scheduling software like Buddy Punch.
3. Communicate With Your Team Every Day
It is critical to communicate with your team on a daily basis.
By doing so, you foster a team environment.
Daily communication is necessary to keep tabs on everyone, know what each member is working on, and check the progress of the project.
But on top of these organizational tasks, building team chemistry and culture is a key part of daily communication.
It’s hard to recreate that “team feeling” found in traditional work environments when it comes to remote teams.
There is no water cooler for you to meet and talk casually about your plans for the weekend.
That is why you need to create a non-work-related chat channel where you and your team members can make social connections and participate actively every day.
4. Show Strong Leadership and Learn To Delegate
A construction project manager (CPM) plays a pivotal role in guiding the team, ensuring smooth operations, and achieving project goals.
Here are key tips for showing strong leadership and mastering the art of delegation in construction project management:
Lead by Example
Setting Standards: Demonstrate a commitment to high standards of work and professionalism.
Lead by example to inspire the construction team to meet and exceed expectations.
Work Ethic: Showcase a strong work ethic, punctuality, and dedication to the project.
Clear Instructions: Communicate clearly and concisely.
Provide detailed instructions, expectations, and project goals.
Ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.
Open Dialogue: Encourage an open dialogue within the team.
Actively listen to concerns, feedback, and suggestions.
Effective communication builds trust and collaboration.
Empower Your Team
Skill Assessment: Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team member.
Delegate tasks based on individual skills and expertise to maximize efficiency.
Encourage Growth: Empower team members by providing opportunities for skill development. Support ongoing training and education to enhance their capabilities.
Task Allocation: Understand the strengths of your team members and allocate tasks accordingly.
Delegate responsibilities strategically to ensure that each member contributes effectively.
Avoid Micromanagement: Trust your team to handle assigned tasks.
Micromanaging can hinder productivity and demotivate team members.
Provide guidance but allow autonomy.
Build Trust and Collaboration
Team Building: Foster a collaborative team environment.
Arrange team-building activities and create opportunities for social interactions.
Trust and camaraderie enhance teamwork.
Transparency: Be transparent about project progress, challenges, and changes.
Proactive Approach: Anticipate potential issues and develop contingency plans.
A proactive approach to problem-solving demonstrates leadership and mitigates the impact of challenges.
Involve the Team: Involve the team in solving problems.
Encourage creative thinking and diverse perspectives.
Collective problem-solving strengthens team cohesion.
Recognize and Reward
Acknowledgment: Recognize and acknowledge the hard work and achievements of the team.
Publicly praise individual and collective contributions.
Incentives: Consider implementing incentive programs to motivate the team.
Rewards, both monetary and non-monetary, can boost morale and performance.
Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop for continuous improvement.
Regularly evaluate project processes and team performance.
Implement changes based on lessons learned.
Flexibility: Construction projects are dynamic, and unforeseen challenges may arise.
Be adaptable and lead the team through changes effectively.
A flexible approach contributes to project resilience.
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5. Keep Everything Organized and Manage Budgets
Keeping everything organized ensures that each phase of the project operates seamlessly, preventing delays and cost overruns.
A well-organized project management system includes comprehensive documentation, such as project plans, contracts, and safety protocols.
Having this centralized repository allows for easy access to critical information, reducing the risk of miscommunication and errors.
Regularly updated project schedules and timelines contribute to better task management, ensuring that the project progresses according to plan.
Managing budgets is equally crucial, as cost overruns can significantly impact project viability.
Construction project managers must meticulously plan and monitor expenditures, accounting for materials, labor, equipment, and unforeseen contingencies.
Utilizing budgeting software and regular financial reviews help in tracking expenses against allocated funds, allowing for proactive adjustments and risk mitigation.
6. Embrace Automation
Automation tools and technologies offer a range of benefits, from reducing manual errors to accelerating repetitive tasks, ultimately contributing to overall project success.
In construction, automation can be applied to various facets of project management.
Project scheduling, budgeting, and resource allocation can benefit significantly from automated processes.
Utilizing project management software with automation capabilities allows for the seamless execution of routine tasks, enabling project managers to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their role.
Automation not only expedites mundane tasks but also enhances accuracy, as it minimizes the risk of human error.
Tasks such as data entry, progress tracking, and communication updates can be automated, ensuring that information is consistently up-to-date and readily available to all stakeholders.
Moreover, embracing automation aligns with the industry’s trend toward technological advancement.
Construction project managers who incorporate automation into their workflows position themselves to adapt to the evolving landscape of construction management, fostering innovation and efficiency in an increasingly competitive environment.
In essence, the integration of automation emerges as a key driver for success in modern construction project management practices.
7. Take Safety Measures Seriously
Project managers must prioritize and take safety measures seriously to create a secure working environment for all team members.
Construction sites inherently involve various risks, from heavy machinery operation to working at heights, making safety protocols crucial.
Project managers should instill a safety-first culture within the team, emphasizing the importance of following established safety procedures and protocols.
This involves conducting regular safety training sessions, ensuring that all team members are well-versed in emergency procedures, and providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to mitigate potential hazards.
Regular site inspections and audits should be conducted to identify and address any safety concerns promptly.
Additionally, project managers should collaborate with safety professionals to stay updated on industry best practices and regulations.
By fostering a culture of vigilance and accountability, project managers can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries, promoting a more efficient and secure construction project.
8. Schedule Effectively
Utilizing employee scheduling software can significantly enhance project efficiency and streamline operations.
The dynamic nature of construction projects, with numerous tasks and team members involved, requires a sophisticated scheduling approach.
Employee scheduling software offers features tailored to the construction industry’s specific needs.
It allows project managers to create, update, and communicate schedules seamlessly.
With such software, project managers can assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress effortlessly.
Automated notifications help teams stay informed about schedule changes, reducing the risk of miscommunication.
Additionally, employee scheduling software often integrates with other project management tools, fostering a cohesive workflow.
Construction projects often face unforeseen challenges and changes.
Employee scheduling apps provides the flexibility to adapt to unexpected events, facilitating quick adjustments to keep the project on track.
9. Celebrate Successes on Internal Blogs and in Newsletters
Positive reinforcement is a key element in motivating employees.
For remote teams, internal blogs and newsletters are the best avenues to highlight their achievements.
If they come up with useful techniques or achieved construction safety goals, make sure to create articles about them, including photos of the remote team.
The upper management will not always be able to see what your workers on the field are able to do so it is important to showcase them in any way you can.
10. Meet Your Team Face To Face
Remote teams may have eliminated the need to travel from worksite to worksite but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to meet with your team anymore.
For remote teams, socialization is a big deal and a visit from you will mean a lot to your employees on the field.
Find the time to visit them a few times a year and treat them to a team event to boost their morale and connect with them.
Meeting with your team face to face can help to boost morale and strengthen the employer-employee relationship.
Managing remote teams has its own challenges but the key is to treat remote teams as part of the family.
There are hundreds of good people out there doing the hard work and representing the company.
Making them feel like they are close by even if they are far can go a long way.
How To Manage A Construction Project Step By Step?
Managing a construction project involves a series of steps to ensure successful planning, execution, and completion.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to manage a construction project.
1. Define Project Scope and Objectives
- Clearly outline the project’s goals, objectives, and deliverables.
- Define the scope of work, including project specifications and requirements.
2. Assemble a Project Team
- Identify and assemble a skilled and qualified project team.
- Assign roles and responsibilities to team members.
3. Develop a Project Plan
- Create a comprehensive project plan outlining tasks, timelines, and dependencies.
- Use project management tools such as Gantt charts for visual planning.
4. Create a Budget
- Develop a detailed budget that includes all project costs, materials, labor, and contingency.
- Monitor and manage the budget throughout the project.
5. Obtain Necessary Permits and Approvals
- Identify and obtain all required permits and regulatory approvals.
- Ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations.
6. Risk Management
- Identify potential risks and develop a risk management plan.
- Regularly assess and address risks throughout the project lifecycle.
7. Procurement and Sourcing
- Source and procure necessary materials, equipment, and subcontractors.
- Negotiate contracts and agreements with suppliers and subcontractors.
8. Implement Project
- Begin the construction phase according to the project plan.
- Monitor progress and address any issues promptly.
9. Quality Control
- Implement quality control measures to ensure work meets specified standards.
- Conduct regular inspections and quality assurance checks.
- Establish clear communication channels within the project team.
- Provide regular updates to stakeholders on project status.
11. Change Management
- Manage changes to the project scope effectively.
- Assess the impact of changes on the budget and timeline.
12. Safety Management
- Implement and enforce safety protocols on the construction site.
- Conduct regular safety training for all workers.
13. Document Management
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date project documentation.
- Keep records of changes, approvals, and communications.
14. Monitor and Control
- Regularly monitor project progress against the plan.
- Implement corrective actions as needed to keep the project on track.
15. Project Closeout
- Complete all construction activities and obtain final inspections.
- Close out contracts, finalize documentation, and hand over the project to the client.
16. Post-Project Review
- Conduct a thorough review of the project’s successes and challenges.
- Document lessons learned for future improvement.
By following these steps, construction project managers can effectively plan, execute, and complete projects while ensuring quality, safety, and adherence to budget and timeline constraints.
What Construction Software Should You Use To Improve Project Management?
Here are some key points and recommendations regarding construction software.
- Project-Planning Templates: Use project-planning templates for construction to streamline the planning workflow and maximize project efficiency.
- Creative Confidence: Streamlining the workflow through proper project management strategies provides mental bandwidth for creative thinking and spontaneity in decision-making.
- Project Kickoff Checklist: Draft a project kickoff checklist for successful kickoff meetings, ensuring that key tasks, team introductions, details, and site considerations are covered.
Must-Have Tools for Efficient Construction Management Projects,
- Billing and Estimating Calculators: Web-based and affordable calculators to streamline calculations and save time.
- Centralized Document Management: A central location for all project documents to save time and improve accessibility.
- Real-Time Communication Platforms: Platforms with mobile capabilities for active decision-making, even for off-site team members.
- Work-Breakdown-Structure Templates: Templates for outlining key project deliverables and organizing teams.
- Construction Project Management Software: A comprehensive platform to set priorities, align goals, and manage resources efficiently.
How to Choose Construction Project Management Software
Choosing construction project management software is a critical decision that significantly impacts project efficiency and success.
The selection process should be meticulous, considering various factors to ensure the software aligns with project needs.
Firstly, prioritize software that offers real-time work visibility, allowing teams to monitor progress instantly.
Efficient resource management is another vital aspect, enabling project managers to allocate resources effectively and prevent bottlenecks.
Customizable automated workflows contribute to streamlined processes, adapting to specific project requirements.
A flexible interface is crucial for user-friendly navigation and adaptability.
Visual reports provide insights into project metrics, aiding decision-making.
Prebuilt templates save time and maintain consistency in project planning.
Collaborative features and extended app integrations enhance communication and functionality.
Scalability is key for accommodating project growth, ensuring the software remains effective as the project expands.
Resource management tools should offer transparency in budgetary constraints and adjustments.
How to Succeed in Construction Remote Management As a Project Manager?
To succeed in construction remote management as a project manager, follow these key strategies.
1. Embrace Technology
- Leverage project management software, communication tools, and collaboration platforms to stay connected with your team.
- Implement reality capture technology for remote project monitoring and progress assessment.
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2. Standardize Communication
- Establish a standardized communication platform for the team. This ensures consistent and efficient information flow.
- Utilize various communication channels such as email, text, and video calls to maintain regular contact.
3. Daily Communication Routine
- Communicate with your team daily to stay updated on project progress, challenges, and achievements.
- Use technology to facilitate virtual meetings and foster team connections, compensating for the lack of physical interaction.
4. Active Listening
- Practice active listening, as it is essential in a remote team environment. Encourage open communication and create an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing challenges.
5. Utilize Reality Capture for As-Built Construction
- Implement reality capture technology for capturing as-built conditions in real-time. Avoid relying solely on traditional methods like tape measures.
6. Remote Issue Resolution
- Resolve issues in the field remotely using digital media and collaborative tools. This can save time and resources compared to traditional on-site issue resolution processes.
7. Stay Informed and Updated
- Stay informed about the latest construction technologies and innovations. Continuously update your skills to adapt to the changing demands of remote project management.
8. Risk Mitigation and Analysis
- Implement automated risk analysis tools to minimize risks throughout the project lifecycle, from pre-construction to post-construction.
By integrating these strategies, project managers can enhance their ability to manage construction projects remotely, ensuring efficiency, effective communication, and successful project outcomes.
Construction Project Management Challenges
Several common challenges in construction project management are faced by project managers.
Let’s explore each of them in more detail.
1. Ineffective Communication Practices
Impact: Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and mistakes.
Solution: Implement clear communication channels, use project management software, hold regular meetings, and encourage open communication among team members.
2. Budgets with Unrealistic Expectations
Impact: Unrealistic budgets can lead to financial strain, project delays, and compromises on quality.
Solution: Conduct thorough cost estimations, consider potential risks, and establish realistic budgets.
Regularly review and update budgets as needed.
3. Data Mismanagement Challenges
Impact: Poor data management can result in errors, lost information, and hinder decision-making.
Solution: Utilize project management software for data organization, implement standardized data protocols, and provide training on data management best practices.
4. Overall Organizational Disarray
Impact: Lack of organization can lead to confusion, delays, and decreased productivity.
Solution: Establish clear organizational structures, define roles and responsibilities, and implement effective project management methodologies.
5. Non-Compliance with OSHA Safety Standards
Impact: Non-compliance can lead to accidents, injuries, legal issues, and project shutdowns.
Solution: Prioritize safety, provide regular training on OSHA standards, conduct safety audits, and enforce compliance throughout the project.
6. Unclear and Undefined Project Milestones
Impact: Lack of clear milestones can lead to project drift, missed deadlines, and difficulty in tracking progress.
Solution: Define specific, measurable milestones, create a project timeline, and regularly assess progress against these milestones.
7. Insufficient Employee Training Programs
Impact: Inadequately trained personnel can contribute to errors, delays, and decreased productivity.
Solution: Implement comprehensive training programs, ensure ongoing professional development, and provide resources for skill enhancement.
8. Lack of Transparency with Stakeholders
Impact: Lack of transparency can lead to mistrust, dissatisfaction, and conflicts with stakeholders.
Solution: Establish clear communication channels with stakeholders, provide regular updates, and address concerns promptly to maintain transparency.
9. Resistance to Adopting Cutting-edge Industry Technology
Impact: Resistance can result in missed opportunities for efficiency gains and improved project outcomes.
Solution: Foster a culture of innovation, provide training on new technologies, demonstrate the benefits, and address concerns to encourage the adoption of relevant and beneficial tools.
Addressing these challenges requires a proactive and holistic approach, involving effective communication, proper planning, training, and continuous improvement throughout the construction project lifecycle.
What Final Deliverables Are Project Managers Responsible For?
Project managers are responsible for overseeing various aspects of the project, from its initiation to the execution phase.
During the planning phase, project managers develop a comprehensive project management plan that includes a roadmap outlining the project’s milestones, a detailed construction schedule, and a communication plan.
They collaborate with the project owner to understand their objectives and expectations, ensuring that the project aligns with the overall goals.
In the bidding process, project managers work with construction companies and general contractors to evaluate proposals and select the most suitable partners for the project.
They use construction management software to streamline processes, manage blueprints, and track change orders efficiently.
The WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) is employed to break down the project into manageable tasks, aiding in resource allocation and task assignments.
Project managers also conduct feasibility studies to assess the viability of the project, considering factors such as budget constraints and potential shortages.
Throughout the execution phase, they monitor construction professionals’ performance, ensuring that the project stays on schedule and within the allocated budget.
Regular project reports are generated to provide stakeholders with updates on progress and address any deviations from the original plan.
Ultimately, a successful construction project hinges on the project manager’s ability to navigate the complexities of the construction industry, implement effective project management processes, and adapt to unforeseen challenges.
The project manager serves as the linchpin, orchestrating the various aspects of the project to deliver high-quality final deliverables that meet or exceed the project owner’s expectations.
How Can Construction Site Managers Improve At Their Job?
Successful construction project management requires strong leadership skills to navigate the complex web of moving parts.
Site managers play a crucial role in forecasting and executing a construction plan effectively.
Leadership skills are particularly crucial when collaborating with superintendents to ensure seamless coordination of project objectives.
A well-defined construction project plan, coupled with proficient project initiation, sets the foundation for success.
Diligent oversight of the project budget is essential to prevent deviations from the financial plan.
Site managers must exhibit effective communication practices to maintain transparency with stakeholders throughout the construction process.