The construction industry is vital for economic growth. It employs thousands of people. But the sector is not without risks. According to the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the construction industry reported 1102 fatal injuries in 2019 alone. The fatalities represent around 20.7% of workplace deaths in the US. However, a qualified construction manager with practical risk management skills can help minimize such shocking statistics with effective tools that optimize construction site workflow.
Managing a construction site for a residential or commercial project isn’t a walk in the park, and you shouldn’t ignore the potential risks. A simple mistake can quickly turn fatal or costly. For instance, unnecessary delays will make you miss deadlines. In an industry where wasted time equals money lost, it’s imperative that you prevent the slightest delays.
For this reason, you’ll need to hire a professional manager to help optimize construction site workflow for a well-done job and to help deliver the project on time. This article will discuss how pro construction managers optimize construction site workflow. Let’s start!
1. Developing a Workable Game Plan
A competent construction manager is a good planner. They’re responsible for developing a workable game plan that you can quickly execute with minor setbacks. A perfect game plan highlights every construction process and everything essential to optimize construction site workflow.
A solid game plan should clearly define all the stakeholders involved in the construction project and everything they require to deliver their jobs. Having all the project details is essential for the manager to lay the proper groundwork for a successful project. Therefore, a competent manager ensures the project’s scope is clear, including the responsibilities of specific project team members.
As a rule of thumb, a professional manager understands the easiest way to oversee the project’s life cycle is by following the five phases of managing a project:
Typically, a reliable manager will develop incremental benchmarks and deliverables based on the five stages of managing a project. They’ll also develop a trackable and measurable success strategy, schedule and budget targets, functionality and quality check-ups, and a measure to meet all industry and government regulations.
A workable plan helps to define the construction goal and mission clearly. According to Forbes, the plan offers a blueprint for all stakeholders involved in the execution of a project. Additionally, the manager should conduct an evaluation test at the end of each phase to ensure an effective evolution of the project.
2. Experts in Managing the Flow of Information
According to the Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, effective communication is vital in the construction industry. A construction project involves many stakeholders, from the initial stages of project design, financing, and management to completion. For this reason, there’s a need for effective communication and cooperation for the project’s success. For this reason, getting a manager pro at managing information is crucial to optimize construction site workflow.
A qualified construction manager is responsible for creating a strategy that ensures a smooth communication flow with involved parties, including workers and suppliers. Doing so heightens workflow transparency and makes the construction process smoother. The most straightforward way to manage information workflows is by using a work execution platform, such as cloud based construction management software. The platforms allow syncing of comments, calendars, photos, and essential documents in a single location, making monitoring budgets and important updates easy.
A robust system will enable you to relay essential updates and communication to other accounting officers or managers in real time via viewer-friendly dashboards, instant alerts, and automated actions. With such functionality, the system offers a quick, paperless, and near-email-free system to help optimize construction site workflow. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure only a few qualified personnel have access control to the back end of the system to minimize tampering with the system.
With timely conveyance of information and transparency, it becomes easy to deal with any challenging problem that may involve anyone in the construction circle. For this reason, solving any arising matter is instantaneous. It minimizes the involvement of third parties, such as a field construction union, to step in and negotiate on behalf of workers.
3. Assemble the Right Team
According to the Washington State Department Of Transportation, the success of a project greatly depends on the effectiveness of the team responsible for delivering it. For this reason, a construction project manager understands that choosing the wrong team for the wrong tasks is a step to project failure. With that in mind, assembling the right team is critical for any construction project.
A qualified manager has the know-how to assemble the right time to optimize construction site workflow. Working from experience, a manager will organize the right project team by aligning the right skills, personalities, and talents with suitable project needs. Doing so maximizes the team’s capacity to deliver in their line of specialization. Also, the manager ensures that each team player knows their responsibilities and the quality of work they’re responsible for delivering.
The right construction manager is the team leader. They’re responsible for cultivating positive dynamics, motivating teams to deliver on quality, and acting as a mentor or a coach to everyone else. Getting the team members to work in harmony can be quite challenging due to the emergence of different viewpoints. A team manager also works to help resolve such differences that may delay the project.
The best manager inspires the team at all times. Whether the construction process is seamless or all odds are against it doesn’t matter. For this reason, getting a manager with impressive leadership skills is necessary to tackle any issue that may arise.
4. Able to Document the Process
A construction manager understands that managing a project can be complex, so the process hinges on documentation. To optimize construction site workflow, a competent manager will put in the necessary measures to document everything involving the project, from contracts and building documents, truck freight shipping, and fleet management to accounting. It’s essential to record all processes and store the information safely.
A vital component that needs documentation in construction is the building plans and specifications drawn by the design teams, detailing the project’s dimensions, structural elements, and materials. These documents are critical and serve to direct the building process. They also serve as a record to show the project as as-built documents after construction.
Tracking and recording project expenses and other essential accounting information are critical when managing a construction project. Additionally, recording and documenting every cost in each construction phase is crucial, as this information helps the owner know the cost of the footings, concrete floor coatings, roof structure, walls, and other building components. Documenting all the building processes from the planning, execution, and closure of the project makes it easy to answer questions and provide clarification to prevent conflicts and resolve legal issues.
5. Improve Workflows to Help Reduce Downtime
Managing a construction team isn’t a straightforward task – offsite or on-site. Therefore, it’s shrewd to hire a competent construction manager to help optimize construction site workflow by reducing staff downtime. A construction site needs a manager capable of managing multiple tasks simultaneously, including handling workers across diverse tasks and backgrounds.
Usually, building project delays mainly result from training new employees before commencing work. A reputable manager will be keen to deliver induction training for the novice before the starting date. The goal is to ensure workers understand their responsibilities. Also, during such interactions, a manager can learn everyone’s strengths. For example, a manager will easily spot a worker who can do specific tasks with ease, such as the installation of exterior commercial doors, which needs a specialist to do the job correctly.
It’s not overwhelming for interested workers to start their training early. To ease the process, a manager can deliver training in bite-sized chunks that can be quickly accessible from any device at any time or place.
6. Help Workers Deal With Mental Health
According to the National Library Of Medicine, construction workers have a high prevalence of mental distress due to injuries and pain. For this reason, a good construction manager will develop solutions to aid workers with mental health issues. Providing proper care to workers helps optimize construction site workflow.
Poor mental health is increasingly becoming a huge concern in the construction industry. According to the Chartered Institute Of Building, in 2019 alone, 26% of professionals thought of committing suicide. What’s more, 97% are stressed at least once annually. Primarily, such statistics are mainly driven by working long hours, job insecurity, late payments, lack of support from HR, and time away from families.
The best manager ensures the workers have unlimited access to the necessary resources and tools to avoid the upsurge of mental health cases among construction workers. Other interventions include taking care of their safety, paying them early, listening to their grievances, and supporting them.
7. Facilitating Real-Time Communication and Collaboration
Real-time collaboration of stakeholders means listening to everyone, from demolition contractors (where an old building has to make way for the project) to designers, architects, and engineers. Listening to views, including the outsourced teams responsible for services such as transporting construction dumpsters, helps optimize construction site workflow.
A big plus to collaboration and communication is giving and receiving feedback. Doing so helps the manager learn the teammates’ strengths and weaknesses. Such information helps in delegating roles and responsibilities based on expertise and experience. For instance, it makes sense to trust a worker with some level of metalwork experience to be responsible for tasks that deal with his area of expertise, such as installing commercial steel windows.
An experienced manager will ensure that all the team players are on the same page. Regular meetings (conference calls or weekly check-ins) are a savvy way to provide timely communication to enhance job collaboration. Also, it’s the best method to inform the teams of project challenges and other relevant updates.
Although emails are an easy way to communicate with the entire team, it can be pretty challenging for the workers to get online while in the field. Emailing can also be tedious, especially when the project has many workers. It will take a lot of time for the manager to read and respond to all the emails. Therefore, you should find a communication method that suits the construction work, like verbal meetings.
8. Consistent Tracking and Adjusting to Changes
A competent manager won’t assume everything is on track, as risks can develop at any stage during the project. For this reason, they’ll develop measures to regularly check and assess each construction process for errors, defects, and possible risks. Doing so will help the manager detect any developing risk or error early and seek possible solutions before the challenge gets out of hand.
Although setbacks are inevitable on the construction site, good managers will deal with them immediately to avoid missing deadlines. The designing, pre-construction, and procurement phases of a construction project require planning, which may need to be revised before proceeding to the next step. For this reason, the key is adjusting and adapting to the relevant changes immediately as they develop.
Nowadays, most careers are geared toward planet conservation. For this reason, a good construction manager will do everything necessary to keep the environment clean by adopting better waste management strategies such as scrap metal recycling.
Managing construction can be challenging due to the expertise needed to address both the process and the workers. For this reason, to optimize construction site workflow, you’ll need an experienced and reliable construction manager to do the job. A competent manager will adopt strategies, such as developing a workable game plan, enhancing real-time coordination and communication, and helping workers avoid mental health challenges to ensure an effective construction process.
Additionally, it’s vital to document the construction process to ensure a smooth construction process from design to closure. Lastly, good managers improve workflows by consistently tracking and adjusting to changes to prevent employee downtime. Hire a manager, and you can rest assured of a smooth project progression.by