Shrinking profit margins, an unstable economy, and labor issues are just some of the problems that can zap your bottom line. Putting together your projects efficiently and effectively can boost your reputation as a reliable builder and provide flexibility and a better revenue stream.
Start your project off on the right track by following these tips.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Avoid the ready, fire, aim mentality by insisting on productive and effective pre-construction planning sessions between clients and your project manager. Both parties need to understand each phase of the project, how it will be carried out, and what is involved in order to come to a mutually satisfactory conclusion.
Planning during pre-construction can eliminate many costly mistakes, clear up misconceptions, and provide the opportunity to familiarize both parties with the needs and constraints of the project. With fewer surprises come more satisfied customers.
The project manager:
- Provides an accurate project estimation
- Leads and manages the preconstruction process
- Makes certain the design meets all functional, quality, cost, and scheduling requirements
Resource management is at the heart of efficient project execution. During preconstruction, resources needed to determine scope definition, estimation, value, logistics, and procurement requirements are brought together to coordinate construction and identify any obstacles that may lay ahead.
The project manager teams with the client to match goals and objectives, finalize drawings and documentation, and prepare the bid. The manager can also assist with budgeting, construction cost estimations, risk management, and life cycle analysis.
Meeting goals and expectations requires a project plan that includes:
- Procedure manuals
- A communication plan
- Document control
- Quality assurance processes and policies
An accurate estimation decreases the chances of cost over-runs and increases ROI. The estimation helps:
- Match budget to scope and quality expectations
- Provide accurate reporting
- Mitigate redesigns
- Anticipate changes in market conditions
- Provide risk analysis
Ensuring schedule compliance is the most productive area of cost and project management. Construction and project managers work to keep the project moving while anticipating and eliminating mismatched orders and plans from various sources.
Providing for flexibility is of extreme importance in optimizing investment in labor. Creating and enforcing regular project team meetings to review work performed and future activities help keep everyone from the client to the construction crews, procurement, and vendors on track.
Remain productive through efficient meeting administration. Provide an agenda and anticipate questions with prepare answers. Don’t micromanage; you should be able to trust your team to do their jobs without hanging over their shoulders. And deal with problems quickly.
Select vendors carefully. You will be counting on them to provide materials and services on time to help you keep to your schedule. A trusted vendor saves time and money plus allows you to go about the more important aspects of your work.
During and after projects take notes to use in improving the next project you work. This is especially necessary during extremely successful as well as poorly performing projects. Learn from your experiences, good and bad.
Learn from what your competitors do as well. This is the only way to differentiate your company from them when looking for future work.
And drag communications into the 21st century. Take advantage of mobile technology to maintain timely communications. With today’s smartphones and apps you can review blueprints, documents, use email, and perform other tasks while on the go. There are many phones on the market that are designed to withstand the rigors of the construction site.* Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net