Within the construction world, project managers are more commonly referred to as general contractors. From managing the construction of both residential and commercial buildings to paving roads and raising bridges, they are required to have a vast amount of knowledge in the industry.
It is up to the construction project manager to supervise large personnel teams, while also maintaining a safe and productive work environment. They also manage the project budget, develop task strategies, and collaborate efforts between all other involved parties.
When learning what it takes to become a great general contractor, some specific talents need to be added to your toolbelt. Along with strong experience and knowledge, here are ten key skills every construction project manager should master.
1. Team Management
As in any leadership role with a company, a construction project manager has to — well, manage. Your ability to get your group on the same page and establish a team mission will play a vital role in being an effective team manager. Every day will present new challenges for your team and it will be essential to your success that these things are handled promptly and professionally.
Project managers are not meant to perform duties and tasks on their own, which is why they have a team to support them. Delegating assignments will give you the necessary time to focus on keeping your team on track and ensuring all job functions are moving forward. This includes making sure you have the right people working on the responsibilities best suited to their talents and skills.
An effective leader is a good communicator, a motivator, and a team builder. There is a never-ending list of characteristics that make a good leader, but here are a few you’ll find near the top:
- Must be knowledgeable of their industry and keep up with the ever-changing trends.
- Know their team on a personal level and earn their respect.
- Avoid micromanagement and focus instead on helping the team with their daily tasks.
- Lead by both word and deed as opposed to a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.
- Make the tough decisions others aren’t able to make.
Any construction project manager is going to find they are constantly juggling multiple responsibilities at one time. Maintaining a high level of organization will keep your mind clear and open to that tasks you need to achieve on your day-to-day schedule. Using project management software is a great way to help you maintain a routine and ensure everything on your checklist gets done.
Good communication skills are crucial to the success of any person within a business, but a project manager needs to be on an entirely different level. The majority of their job includes talking to people, including their team, outsourced vendors, clients, and more. While you should do everything you can to develop this skill set before becoming a manager, it is something you will always be improving.
German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, once said that “things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” It is your responsibility as a construction project manager to determine what things matter most and take priority. Paying close attention to the items on your to do list will be an immense help to figuring out what needs to be completed first and what can be pushed back.
We’ve all heard the overused saying that if you fail to plan you plan to fail, but it continues to ring true every time. You must have a plan that is easily accessible for all members of your team members to follow. By using powerful planning tools, assigning tasks, and setting up attainable milestones, you will be a more successful leader.
8. Risk Management
Within the world of project management, risks are not always a bad thing, but simply something different than what was originally planned. This can range from anything like an unexpected change in the scope of work or reaching a milestone sooner than anticipated. A construction project manager in particular will have to master the skill of managing risk, as construction can be one of the most volatile industries in the business world.
9. Goal Setting
Setting goals is similar to planning, but with a more focused emphasis on the long-term needs of the company. These goals, often referred to as milestones in project management, don’t have to be monumental or elaborate to be effective. They can include anything as simple as hiring someone for a new role or providing scheduled updates to stakeholders about a project’s progress.
10. Open to Feedback
Just because someone reaches the ranking of manager, doesn’t mean they instantly know it all and no longer need to progress. The most powerful manages are always open to feedback and suggestions from those both above them in their business and those they manage. They must always be open to learning new ways of doing things that may end up being more beneficial to their overall success in the long run.
Becoming a Skilled Construction Project Manager
There are so many ways to improve your abilities as a construction project manager. As you work to develop the skills listed above, be sure to check out our blog for more tips and tools you can use.
We share comprehensive tactics you can incorporate that will help you keep your team on track and become a better leader. Our content also offers insight into software you can integrate to make your job easier.
Logan Derrick is a full-time business writer and content marketing strategist. For years, he has worked closely with several project management professionals, learning from them and increasing his own knowledge of the industry. Having held multiple management positions in fields ranging from customer service to marketing, Logan has found a passion for helping others learn about project management, marketing, and the powerful tools available to professionals today.