We all wish and hope for a successful and prosperous project but are often disappointed when things don’t turn out as we hoped for. How can you influence events so your construction project is more successful?
Here are some simple actions which will add immeasurably to your project’s success without requiring much extra effort.
- Poor safety costs lives and money.
- Lead by example; obey the safety rules and use the designated safety gear.
- Never pass an unsafe act by without correcting it.
- Ensure project inductions appropriately address the project risks.
- Poor quality costs time and money to rectify and negatively impacts reputation.
- While walking the project site look with a keen eye to ensure work conforms to the required specifications and standards. Don’t accept poor quality.
- The project team must understand the quality requirements and that poor quality won’t be tolerated.
- Check that completed work isn’t being damaged by follow on work.
- Subcontractors often play an important role in the project’s success.
- Pay them on time and treat them fairly. They’ll be more likely to give your project the importance it deserves.
- Address instructions in writing to their responsible person.
- Inform subcontractors immediately when their quality isn’t satisfactory, they fall behind schedule or they aren’t working safely.
- Develop your team – You depend on them.
- Provide feedback to your team – both positive and negative. Positive feedback is rewarding. Negative feedback will lead to improvements providing the feedback is constructive.
- Use their strengths and support their weaknesses.
- Send them on appropriate training courses.
- Pursue opportunities for further work for the company.
- The best advertisement for a company is to deliver a quality project on time with the least inconvenience to the client, neighbours and the public.
- Talk to the client, the client’s team (their engineers, project managers and architects), subcontractors and the local planning authorities to find out what new construction projects they are working on and how your company can get involved.
- Have sufficient business cards and company brochures available to give to prospective clients.
- Seek ways to improve productivity – even small improvements can positively impact profits.
- While walking the site check that people and equipment are utilised efficiently.
- Always ask yourself if there’s a better solution or way of doing a task.
- Ensure the company is paid for completed work.
- All work must be claimed in valuations which must be submitted in accordance with the contract.
- Follow up to ensure the client pays the invoice.
- Develop yourself.
- Look out for new and better methods of doing things.
- Attend courses – especially those aimed at the softer skills such negotiation, delegation, communication and time management.
- Manage your time more effectively.
- Learn to delegate.
- Carry a notebook (paper or electronic) to make notes of tasks and questions.
- Don’t be distracted by incoming emails – read them only when you have time to deal with them.
- Ensure both you and the project has an ordered filing system.
- Spend quality time with your family. They’ll be more supportive and time away from work should enable you to be more focussed at work.
- Unfortunately sometimes working late is unavoidable but don’t let it become a habit.
- Take time off to attend important family engagements, like school functions and sporting events.
- Don’t let work phone calls or emails interrupt family time – especially mealtimes.
- Take vacations or have a weekend away during the year. You aren’t indispensable.
What will 2020 bring for you? We all wish and hope for a successful and prosperous project but are often disappointed when things don’t turn out as we hoped for. How can you influence events so that your project is more successful?
What actions will you take this year to make your construction projects more successful?
Paul Netscher has written several acclaimed easy to read construction management books for owners, contractors, construction managers, construction supervisors and foremen. This article is adapted from his book ‘Successful Construction Management: The Practical Guide’. Other titles include ‘Building a Successful Construction Company: The Practical Guide’, and ‘Construction Management: From Project Concept to Completion’. The books are available in paper and ebook from most online stores including Amazon. Paul Netscher is also available to help your construction project or company. Visit www.pn-projectmanagement.com for more info.
© 2020 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.