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To some, construction projects may seem like something simple and straightforward. Alas, this is a mistake that only an outsider can make. With so many tasks to be completed consecutively and many different subcontractors working towards the same goal, running these projects successfully is as difficult as it gets.

There are so many potential delays, disputes, and expensive mistakes for anyone to sleep soundly while the project is ongoing. Not to mention that it’s an innately hazardous industry, which makes things even more complex.

With all of this in mind and without further ado, here are some of the most important construction management tips to help you enhance the efficiency of the project.

Stick to Three-Point Estimation Method

The first thing you need to do is to make an estimate that you’ll base your plans on. One of the ways to approach this is a three-point estimate method. Here, you’re supposed to make an:

  • Optimistic
  • Pessimistic
  • Most likely estimate

The reason why this is so important is that the majority of people make an optimistic estimate, but things never work out this way. Whenever there’s something that deviates from the plan it’s almost never for the better.

Just think about the unplanned eventualities regarding potential work days:

  • How likely is it that you’ll have more rainy days than you expected? Very likely!
  • How likely is it that an extra work day will just materialize itself out of nowhere? Completely impossible! Even having no bad days is highly unlikely.

Now that we have this out of the way, let’s check out the situation regarding materials:

  • How likely is it that the materials you receive will have faulty items or that your team might mishandle (for instance, drop) some of them? Very likely!
  • How likely is it that you’ll receive more than you’ve ordered? Nearly impossible!
  • Is it possible that not a single plank, brick, or shingle gets mishandled or damaged? Not really!

In other words, while there is this thing known as positivity bias, where you expect things to just magically work out for the best, this is not going to happen. What you’re fixating on is the third point – the most likely estimate. The reason why you’re spending so much time on optimistic and pessimistic estimates is so that you can create a strong reference point.

Also, from the budgeting and timeline perspectives, the pessimistic estimate gives you a chance to prepare for the worst-case scenario and have a contingency plan.

Keep Track of Your Budget

The next thing you need to focus on is your budget. The main reason why construction projects fail is due to the fact that they’ve run out of finances. This brings us back to the previous section and a scenario in which one has failed to take into account the pessimistic estimate.

Without enough money, you can’t keep paying your team, ordering new supplies, hiring more equipment, or even performing maintenance on the tools that you already have. Budgeting is probably the most important objective of construction management.

The reason why this is so challenging is due to the fact that there are many stages of the construction project, each coming with its own set of costs. For instance, in the pre-construction, you have to factor in the costs of:

  • Architectural consultants
  • Taxes
  • Insurances
  • Land surveys

Then, there are the fixed expenses like:

  • Land preparation
  • Demolishing pre-existing buildings
  • Labor costs (although this will differ according to the number of working hours)
  • Cost of materials
  • Subcontractor fees

Remember that just being able to cover all the expenses is nowhere near enough. You’re running a project that’s supposed to generate revenue, which is why you need an adequate profit projection. Now, there are numerous budgeting tools out there that you could look into, however, it might be a safer bet to just hire a professional accountant. In this day and age, hiring a virtual accountant to help you out on this project might be an adequate solution.

In the end, the most important of all is that you keep tracking the situation as it develops. Track all of these expenses and pay attention to the costs of each stage. This way, you’ll be ready to react at any time.

Have a Good Team and Great Communication

Having a good team is both a matter of safety and productivity. How? Well, some people are just more likely to play by the rules, and in the construction industry, this is directly related to the level of safety on the site. In other words, the success of the construction project starts with your hiring efforts.

The biggest challenge of hiring the right people for the construction industry lies in the fact that this field has a problem with available talent to start with. You see, there are not a lot of industries out there with such a low appeal to the younger demographics. This means that your potential talent pool is narrower than ideal.

Next, the fact that the appeal for the younger audiences is so low also poses a problem when it comes to embracing new technologies. Embracing new tech and adjusting to new trends is something that younger audiences do quicker (on average). While communication radios are used on construction sites for ages, they are becoming more sophisticated.

Lastly, in order for all of this to come together, you need to find a way to improve your onboarding process.

Now, establishing a team hierarchy is really not that big of a problem. However, during a construction project, there are so many teams on the site. The construction industry heavily relies on hiring multiple subcontractors for all participants on the same project. In this scenario, a clear hierarchy is impossible to establish.

There are a couple of things you can do in order to move these things in the right direction. First, you can make an automated reporting system. This way, no report will be omitted due to a human error.


As we’ve already mentioned, there’s so much to handle in the construction industry, and it all comes down to effective leadership. You see, construction workers are some of the hardest-working, most responsible people you’ll ever meet. They’re also quite stubborn and have high integrity, which leads to a number of conflicts. These are the conflicts that a leader needs to resolve to everyone’s satisfaction.

Then, there’s the issue of all these subcontractors who, although subordinate to the construction project manager, the investor, or the general contractor, seem to be equal amongst themselves. It’s more than clear how this could cause a number of disputes. Needless to say, in the construction industry, disputes breed new delays.

Third, it’s important to understand that while everyone’s working towards the same goal, only the people at the very top of the project see the full picture. What does this mean? Well, the fact that one subcontractor’s team will be one day late on the schedule may not seem like that big of a deal for them, but what about the team that’s supposed to come after them? The problem lies with every team’s work relying on another team’s work. After all, you can’t do the roofing until you get to the roof. This is something that only the right leadership can solve.

In Conclusion

The last thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that working on each of these issues individually might improve the effectiveness of your work as a whole. The parts are serving the whole, but you still must do everything with a bigger picture in mind. This is what leading a project is all about.


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