It doesn’t matter whether you have recently gained your project management qualifications or have been a qualified project manager for a number of years. One thing that you will quickly discover if you choose to make the move to the construction industry is that the work of a construction project manager can, at times, be particularly stressful.
There are a number of reasons for this. Stress might be a result of time pressures, the uncertainties that are often involved within the construction industry or as a result of the dynamic social structure. Obviously, there are things that a project manager can, and should, do when working on a project that will help them to keep these stress levels to a minimum. However, it is widely accepted that working in construction in general can be more stressful than a number of other fields. A recent study carried out by the insurance company AXA, as part of their 2018 Stress Index, found that the construction industry is in fact the third most stressed industry in the UK. It’s report found a staggering 82 % of employees in the sector stating that in a typical week they were stressed at least some of the time.
How can we keep stress to a minimum?
There are a number of project management skills that are vital to the construction project manager when it comes to ensuring that stress levels are kept as low as possible.
Arguably the single most important skill that any project manager can have is the ability to communicate, and listen, to every member of their team. This means that from the most junior member of the team to the stakeholders the project manager needs to be able to communicate effectively with each individual. They must do so well in order to ensure that they fully understand exactly what is going on with the project. This will not only allow them to see when there are potential issues occurring, such as deadlines looming that will not be met. It will also enable them to divert any necessary resources in order to avoid this happening. When people communicate then problems, and therefore stress, can be reduced.
Project management software
The right project management software, whether you work in construction, or any other type of industry, can really help you keep on top of every aspect of your project. From the initial planning stages, through to risk management and beyond you will be able to keep an eye on everything that is related to your project. One tip is to opt for software that will allow you to communicate with other members of the team. Then, you will also be able to see when there are possible problems that have arisen as soon as they have occurred. This will allow you to get to work sorting them out straight away. This way, you won’t have to deal with them when they have got to a point where they have caused issues with your budget or timescales, thereby making things far more stressful for you.
Another useful tip is to use construction contract management software to streamline your contract management. This effectively eliminates some of the more time consuming parts of managing a contract, helps to reduce errors, and makes it easier to see what's happening as the project moves along. By eliminating the stress of dealing with unexpected contract issues, you can monitor and correct issues in real-time while propelling your project forward with fewer emergencies or interruptions as you work.