Project management has to do with organizing, planning, and overseeing the stages forming a part of a significantly sized construction project. Normally, this complex and taxing task is done by an employee know as a construction project manager who acts on behalf of either the builder or contractor hired to carry out a given project. Although the processes and requirements of construction projects can vary from one project to another, the following skills are essential for a construction project manager to be successful in any given project.
1. Technical Construction Skills
A construction manager must be in a position to appreciate all the technical aspects of the entire process of construction. For instance, they must understand construction processes and be conversant with different construction materials, technologies, and equipment. They must also have the knowledge and experience to deal with construction challenges as they arise. In a nutshell, construction managers must know what construction involve and what needs to be done where and by who.
2. Communication Skills
Most of construction managers’ time is spent in communication. Communication skills are important in helping these professionals convey ideas, visions, goals, and even issues. Project managers also need communication skills to produce reports and make presentations. Poor communication can lead to misunderstanding and a massive waste of time and resources. Thus, construction project managers must be able to communicate efficiently and effectively to deliver projects on time and at the minimum cost possible.
3. Negotiation Skills
These skills are closely related to the communication skills. Much of construction project managers’ communications have to do with negotiations. They have to negotiate on things like schedules, budgets, and use of resources among other compromises that have to be made. The ability to negotiate leaves all stakeholders satisfied and is, therefore, an essential skill for the success of a project manager.
4. Leadership and team management
Most construction project managers have the necessary technical know-how to manage construction projects. But leadership is probably what makes some project managers more successful than others. The most important resource that a project manager has to manage is people. Thus, project managers must be good leaders and team managers. They must be able to set goals and inspire people to work towards the attainment of those goals. They must also be in a position, to synchronize the activities and the efforts of different people and groups working on a project to ensure that the main objective of the project is achieved. In a nutshell, project managers must be able to offer leadership.
5. Risk Management
All construction projects involve some risk. But most of the risks are not unexpected. Project managers have to account for these risks. They have to anticipate the risks and provide amicable ways of preventing them or dealing with them if they occur. Thus, risk management is an integral skill for construction project managers.
From the foregoing discussion, it is apparent that construction management is a taxing job requiring a wide range of skills. A construction project manager must have adequate technical construction skills, communication skills, leadership skills, risk management skills, and negotiation skills to deliver successful construction projects.
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