There’s a lot that goes into managing a construction project successfully. Mounting responsibility, approaching deadlines, the inevitable set backs along the way – such is the daily grind of the project leader. Unfortunately, amidst this chaos are opportunities to make a myriad of costly mistakes that can derail any project, and leave both the client and the construction team frustrated, out of pocket, and ultimately unhappy. Here are four of the most common mistakes that you’d be wise to avoid the next time you undertake a construction project.
1. Ignoring safety.
It’s important that safety always comes first no matter what kind of construction project lies ahead. If this isn’t a priority, then a loss of resources, time and even human life can be the unfortunate result. Apart from making sure everyone is up to speed regarding occupational health and safety, the best thing a project leader can do by his or her staff is to only hire equipment from reputable hire companies – such as Mabey Hire – who make safety a key priority. Not only will this help keep your staff safe, but it will help you complete your project in time and hopefully within budget.
2. Sub-par communication.
Effective communication is absolutely key to managing any kind of construction project to its successful completion. Without it, you’re just asking the construction Gods for trouble. Everyone on all levels of the construction project should feel as if they are in the loop and able to voice their concerns to eager ears. Crew members should be in constant contact with their duty managers; duty managers with their project leaders; and project leaders with their clients. Lastly, it helps to schedule regular meetings with your staff to keep everyone up-to-date, and to allow time and space for your staff to air any grievances.
3. Unrealistic expectations.
In order to deliver your construction project in time and within budget, it’s important from the outset that your expectations conform to reality. If they don’t, then you and your client are likely to experience costly and frustrating delays, as well as possible financial ruin. You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation so that you can realistically judge your team’s capabilities. Once you have this, you can devise a plan that’s doable and lets both the client and your team know exactly what’s expected of them, as well as when it should be completed.
4. Micromanaging and doing everything yourself.
Lastly, try and avoid becoming the micromanager in your team, and give your crew the time and space they need to get the job done – themselves. Micromanaging your team, and trying to do everything yourself, will often slow down the pace of the project. And this isn’t good for you, or your client. Instead, delegate tasks to your team and then let them be; at least for a short while. Charge them with the responsibility to get the job done, and then let it go. Sure, you’ll need to check in with them at predetermined points along the way to make sure they’re on track. But don’t get too involved in their decision making; it will only make your business suffer.
So there you have it. Make sure you avoid making these costly mistakes the next time you’re in charge of a construction project. Don’t skimp on safety, communicate effectively, set realistic expectations for your team, and refrain from trying to do everything yourself.
What other common mistakes do project leaders make when managing a construction project? Please leave your comments below and contribute to the discussion.