Aaron Money, Director at The Market Design and Build, a specialist loft conversions, home extensions and design and build company based in London, discusses the key qualities he believes every site project manager should hold.
If you can lead, you can deliver – and with a diverse range of workers on a construction or residential building site at any given time, the ability to effectively delegate tasks to the right people is an essential characteristic that any project manager must possess. Good leadership isn’t just about telling people what to do, it’s about instilling confidence in workers so that they trust your direction. Likewise, fostering an environment where everyone is “all in it together” and each person feels valued is imperative, since productivity is always better when morale is high.
As with any construction project big or small, there are bound to be hurdles along the way, whether it be health and safety concerns, unpredictable weather or supplier complications. A good construction project manager will be able to quickly recognise an issue and use their excellent problem-solving skills to reach an adequate solution, avoiding further disruption.
As a construction manager, it’s your duty to ensure site staff are kept safe from harm, so the ability to foresee potential problems or health and safety risks and put appropriate contingency plans in place to prevent their escalation is also vital.
Building projects are complex and multi-faceted processes which involve many different steps and tasks, not to mention often tight deadlines and timescales. If one task slips behind, it can cause a delay in the entire project, which is why personal organisation is key. Project managers must be able to effectively prioritise tasks and plan and manage schedules accordingly so that key deadlines are met and the project runs as smoothly as possible.
Most project managers will tell you that a significant proportion of their time is spent communicating with others. As such, it is a no-brainer that one of the key characteristics for their success is their ability to excellently liaise with workers, suppliers and other project stakeholders, by conveying any objectives and issues with confidence and ease. Good communication and regular catch-ups between site staff and managers means better relationship building and the increased likelihood of a successful, stress-free project.
Apart from specific technical capabilities and skills which are required for the construction sector, good project managers must be approachable, enthusiastic and invested. Dedication to the project and the team is integral and the ability to quickly spot and communicate problems will mean delivering a successful project on time and within budget.
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