A construction project can be a fairly complicated thing, with lots of moving parts that must be carefully maintained to keep everything moving along at the pace the client expects. Without motivation and attention to detail, a project has the potential to get majorly delayed– which isn’t great for the client, the construction company, or anyone else involved.

So what exactly goes into managing a construction project?

Project management in general can be a big undertaking, and construction management is definitely no exception. There are a lot of people who need to do specific jobs, and the quality and timeliness of everyone’s work affects the project as a whole.

For a construction manager, work starts well before the ground at the job site has even been broken. Surveys and pre-construction meetings are just as important as any other step in the process.

During the pre-construction process, the construction manager will work with the client, architects, engineers, and anyone else involved in the project to get a good understanding of the project scope in addition to negotiating contracts and putting together a project timeline.

When it comes time to start the actual construction, the construction manager must delegate tasks and make sure everyone involved is clear on their personal responsibilities during the project. A well-organized and completely informed team makes for a much smoother construction process!

Does a construction manager just tell people what to do?

Although management often involves delegating tasks, the construction manager doesn’t just order people around. The job requires people skills in addition to organizational skills and an ability to think of the big picture while taking care of the minutiae of a project.

Telling people what to do is also more complicated than it sounds. Often, a construction manager will create something called a work breakdown structure.

A work breakdown structure is a visualization of every step of a process. It helps everyone’s productivity and organization to put together a visual representation of each portion of a project.

Rather than just saying “the project needs to be done”, the manager can break everything down into individual tasks and projects. This process lets everybody involved know what’s expected of them, and most importantly, how it fits into the project as a whole.

What responsibilities does a construction manager have?

Construction is a job that involves heavy machinery and materials that often must be handled from various heights. This alone opens the door for plenty of potential safety risks. When managing a construction project, a manager must be aware of these potential risks and develop a plan for mitigating or eliminating them.

There are rigorous safety standards for construction work, and a construction manager has to be well-versed on how to make a project as safe as possible. That might involve providing education to everyone involved in the project, in addition to providing safety equipment like harnesses.

In addition to keeping everyone on the team safe, placing a high priority on safety practices means that a project will get done more quickly and efficiently.

Communication is key

Because the construction manager often acts as a liaison between construction workers, clients, architects, engineers, contractors, and everyone else who’s involved in a project, having excellent communication skills is an absolute necessity.

This means keeping everyone informed of the current project status, and being open to communication from everyone– receptive to calls, emails, and text messages and generally staying organized with communication strategies.

Do you have what it takes?

At Redstone, we know that completing excellent work means that we have to have an excellent team– and if you’re a hard worker with the motivation and skills to manage a project, we’d love to have you.

If you believe that your communication and delegation skills are a great match for construction management, take a look at our careers page to see what professional opportunities are currently available and apply today!