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The ABC’s of Construction Management: Anticipate, Budget, Communicate

Construction Management


The ABC’s of Construction Management: Anticipate, Budget, Communicate

If you have spent a few years in construction,  you may see how things can be done better.  It may range from how employees are scheduled, how tools are shared or how equipment is utilized.  Your ideas are needed in construction management.

Anticipate: A Construction Manager Looks Ahead

The primary role of a construction manager is to oversee a project from before it starts until it is completed.  Looking ahead, the construction manager should be able to see beyond the moment. They should be aware of the challenges, be clear on the mission, and be ready to intervene should workers veer off course.

The ability to anticipate problems is essential to effective management in any job.  However, it is especially important in construction. There are so many elements: supplies, equipment, and schedule, just to name a few.

Understanding how the process works are as important as understanding the blueprints. In order to keep the workers on task, the construction manager needs to know enough about each element of the job. They should be able to see when the work is getting off schedule and know why it is happening. This can be the result of poor planning, but it may simply be the result of events beyond the manager’s control. 

The weather and absences due to illness really cannot be controlled or planned for. An unpleasant surprise, such as a sinkhole, may crop up to plague the project.  Excessive mud due to heavy rain can bog things down.  Utilizing industrial crane mats can reduce the chances that your crew will spend its time pulling trucks and equipment out of the mud.

Budget: A Construction Manager Watches the Bottom Line

Watching over the budget is more than counting how many nails are left in the box. A construction budget relies on well-maintained vehicles that don’t break down and slow the schedule down. It means knowing where to go for help if a vital supply is missing or running low.

Worker morale and dependability can have a positive or negative effect on the schedule, driving up budget costs. Likewise, the construction manager keeps an eye on safety protocols.  Accidents can bring a project to a screeching halt. They expose the company to potential liability, and, of course, they may end a worker’s ability to earn a living.

A simple checklist used daily can prevent carelessness.  A quick inspection each day ensures safety vests, goggles, and hardhats are used.  Machine maintenance is performed regularly to prevent a potential accident.  Following OSHA guidelines is much less expensive than getting off schedule due to an injury on the job.  Likewise, making sure that the work will pass city building codes is essential. 

Communicate:  A Construction Manager Knows the Crew

Construction managers must be able to work with engineers and architects. This means understanding complex concepts and communicating them to the crew.  They have to be able to explain the job in practical and technical terms.

Construction site
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 A good construction manager hires effective workers that have the skills to see the job through.  It’s not enough to be the boss. They have to lead by example as they supervise the day’s activities.  Labourers will rely on their instructions to be effective at their tasks. To maintain a schedule while encouraging skilled work, the manager will need to speak the language of craftsmen and equipment operators. 

Managers must be ready to step in to prevent arguments that can lead to productivity problems.  Personality clashes can slow down work.  Lazy individuals can leave jobs half-finished.  The more the manager can anticipate and head off these problems, the more effective the workforce will be.

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