Are you a manager always distressed with projects that pass your projected expenses and deadline? It may be because of something going wrong in the process or due to an external force. For instance, buying building materials in small quantities to avoid wastage can become expensive in the long run. Also, a contractor who agreed to a low rate may need to be experienced, which could ruin the project.
As a manager, your responsibility is to ensure that the project comes in on time and within budget. You are also responsible for the safety of the workers and all others involved in the project. Also, consider the environment where the project is taking place. Here are some tips to avoid these problems and improve your efficiency.
1. Create an Actionable Plan
Planning is a fundamental step to ensure the success of any project, whether small or large. It is easier to track progress and make necessary changes with a plan. In construction, you must determine what you need to do, when you need to do it, and how you will do it. That includes creating a budget and timeline for the project.
How much material do you need for the project? What about workers? How long will it take to complete the project? Answer these questions before construction can begin. For instance, you will not spend one week constructing a bridge. Draft a construction schedule that breaks down the project into manageable tasks.
Conducting research will help you establish the appropriate budget for your project. Once you have that, add a 20% contingency to cover any unexpected costs. That will help you avoid overspending and headaches when the project is midway. Ask experts if you are working on a new assignment you have not handled before.
2. Employ New Technology
Ancient methods of construction are no longer efficient. New technology can help you save time and money on your project. It can also improve safety for workers and the environment. For example, concrete mixing used to be a time-consuming process. But with new concrete mixing trucks, the entire process can take only a few minutes.
In the past, workers had to push, pull, or carry heavy loads of construction materials, causing many injuries on the job. But new machinery, such as telehandlers and forklifts, can help move materials around the construction site. That reduces the risk of injuring workers. A roller conveyor will improve your efficiency in handling materials. Use it when moving sand, soil, rubble, and other construction materials from one point to another.
Consider using GPS tracking for your construction vehicles. You can monitor their location and ensure they are working as delegated. Let each driver know that you are monitoring their progress and will take disciplinary action if they are slacking. You will avoid costly delays due to vehicle misuse and idling.
3. Improve Communication
The construction industry is reliant on teamwork. Without communication, the project will suffer. For example, the electrician needs to know where to install the power outlets. The plumber must know the location of the water pipes. It can be challenging to achieve that without proper communication.
Hold regular meetings with the project manager, construction workers, and other stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page. You can assign tasks, answer questions, and resolve problems during these meetings. Also, document and distribute everything discussed to everyone involved. That way, there is no room for misunderstanding.
Use technology to improve communication on the site. Radio transceivers are an excellent way to stay in touch with workers. You can use them to give instructions, answer queries, and resolve problems in real time.
4. Delegate Tasks Appropriately
Who should handle each task on the construction site? Ask yourself that question to avoid disruptions. The project manager cannot do some things. That is why you have workers, milestones, and a construction schedule. Delegating tasks is essential to ensure the project moves as planned.
Truck drivers should transport the construction materials from the supplier to the site. Likewise, electricians must focus on installing the electrical wiring. Do not ask the plumber to install the power outlets. That will only lead to confusion, delays, and accidents.
Duty delegation will help you track progress, identify potential risks, and take corrective measures. Also, it will help you manage your workers better. Refrain from micromanaging everything on the site. Know who is responsible for a specific task and stick to that. It will make it easier for you to identify the responsible party when something goes wrong.
5. Be Flexible
There will always be changes in construction projects. The weather can disrupt the process, materials can delay due to mechanical breakdown, and workers can fall sick. All these factors are out of your control. The only thing you can do is be flexible and adapt to the changes.
Therefore, allocate some extra time for unexpected delays. For example, the project should take 15 days, but you can schedule it for 20 days. You can still complete the project on time without compromising quality. If a worker falls sick, ask someone else to fill in. Be open to changes and willing to try new methods to improve the project's outcome.
6. Mitigate Risks
Every aspect of the construction process comes with risks. Workers can get injured, the equipment can break down, and the project can go over budget. As a construction manager, you must devise ways to lower the impact of such risks.
Conduct a risk assessment of the project to identify potential threats. For instance, you may encounter falling debris when constructing bridges. To mitigate that, put up nets around the construction site. Likewise, you can use hard hats and other safety gear to protect the workers.
Also, use technology to identify weak points in your construction. A computer model can help you locate the areas most likely to experience failure. That way, you can take preventive measures before the accident happens. Ensure you train your team on how to handle risks and emergencies.
Construction involves several risks. As the construction manager, you must take measures to minimize them. That way, you can protect your workers, equipment, and budget. Managing workers, machinery, and materials is a challenging task. But you can streamline the construction process and improve your project's success by following the tips discussed above.
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