5 Crucial Strategies of Successful Project Managers

May 15, 2020

Every construction project requires great detail and attention. Make sure you follow these strategies of successful project managers.

About 80% of high-performing projects are led by a certified project manager. Before you can add yourself to that group, you need to start strategizing.

Here are the five smart strategies for successful project managers. By using these strategies, you can plan your next construction project with ease. Your attention to detail and smart plan can help your team run smoothly and efficiently.

What are you waiting for? Keep reading to discover the five strategies you need for success today!

  1. Define Success

Before you can achieve success, you need to define it. Each project has it's own version of success. For example, you might need to complete a project on schedule and on budget.

You might want to provide the client with high-quality deliverables as well. Either way, "success" depends on your goals for the project.

Once you know the end game, you can plan the project accordingly. You can also break your definition of success into smaller benchmarks. That way, you can watch the project progress from one stage to the next.

If you miss the mark on a certain benchmark, you'll know you need to reassess the project.

Successful project managers break their responsibilities into five phases:

  • Initiating 
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring
  • Closing

Consider the project's critical success factors. What must the team accomplish before you can consider a project successful? Determining the critical success favor will help you plan the project around those factors. 

Once you've defined success, you can build those factors into your overall plan!

  1. Consider the Constraints

Projects tend to go over budget by 27% of the intended costs. One in six projects even saw the budget go over by 200%. If you want to accomplish the goals you've outlined above, you need to know what could impede your path.

Successful project managers know that any project is bound to hit roadblocks. It's how you respond to those roadblocks that can make or break a project. By understanding the potential challenges you'll face, you can plan strategies to work around them. 

What problems might your team face?

While you're still in the planning stage, take a look at your plans. Consider these possible facts that could cause problems in the future:

  • What isn't included in the project?
  • What is the project's budget?
  • How long do you have to complete the project?
  • What standards of quality is the client expecting?
  • Which resources do you have at your disposal?

As you review these factors, consider your limitations. What don't you have? If those factors cause the project to stall, what's your plan B?

In order to learn how to be a good project manager, you need to know how to adapt. You might start off with that seems like the perfect plan. However, unexpected problems always pop up.

Keep Planning

To become successful, you need to start planning before the project begins and keep planning afterward. Make yourself a part of every stage of the construction project. If there's a roadblock in one stage, you can adjust your plan before the next stage begins.

As a construction project manager, you'll need to work with different professionals throughout the project. You might hit a roadblock that's specific to a person. For example, what if the plumbing contractor made inaccurate estimates?

How will you adjust your budget?

You'll also need to work with your stakeholders throughout the project to keep them updated. By considering potential roadblocks, you can show them you're capable of monitoring the project and adjusting the plans accordingly.

Learning how to react and readjust to these constraints can help you keep the project on the right track. 

  1. Gather Information

Don't make assumptions about how the project will progress. Instead, break down all the information you have. Gathering the information you need will help you make a well-informed plan.

First, determine the scope of the project. Which processes are necessary to complete the project successfully? Then, consider how much time you'll need to complete those processes.

Next, determine the cost. You'll need to consider every potential expense in order to estimate an accurate budget.

Don't forget to make a list of potential risks as well. Determining potential risks will help you plan for and manage them.

Make sure you have a communications plan as well. Determine the flow of communication for everyone involved in the project. Prioritizing communication will help the project run smoothly.

For example, you might want to use a project management platform. That way, you can keep calendars, documents, and questions in synch. Having access to all the information you need can help you adjust the plan accordingly.

Do you have all the equipment you need to accomplish the project? You might need to add new equipment, such as an HXX vacuum excavation truck, depending on the project's scope.

As the construction project manager, you need to consider every component of your project and how they'll work together. Only then can you devise a plan.

  1. Draft the Process

Once you have all the information you need, you can start creating a process that will guide your project. Your process should include a project scope statement and plan.

The scope statement will provide a detailed description of the work necessary to complete the project on time and on budget. The plan will guide the project's entire execution. This plan might include how the team will communicate as well as other ancillary documents. 

Remember, determining a communication strategy is key for transparency. Otherwise, team members might inaccurately interpret pieces of the plan. 

  1. Remain Flexible

Above all else, successful project managers know how to remain flexible. Your project plan is bound to change over time. Think of it as a living, breathing document. 

Certain factors can always change the plan. By remaining flexible, you can make adjustments to the plan that will protect the budget and schedule. 

Build Your Success With Key Strategies of Successful Project Managers

A strong strategy is key to a successful project. By utilizing these five strategies, you can become one of the most successful project managers in the industry. Lead your team to an amazing victory with these five tips!

Explore the Construction section of the blog for more helpful guides!

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