PROJECT MANAGEMENT ON BUILDING SITE
In this text, I want to share with you my experiences that I gained working on construction sites. I hope that this text will be interesting to young people who are working on the construction site and who are preparing to become Project Managers. I plan to update site page if it is well visited.
There is no single answer to the question of how a project should be managed. Two experienced and good Project Managers will react differently in the same situation. So, you have to observe how others work but you have to build your own style.
If you are working in a Project Manager position, your time will pass in reading emails and responding, communicating with other project participants, working with your team, in meetings, site inspections, reviewing contractor documentation such as submittals, requests for design changes, time schedule, interim payment certificates, claims... preparation of reports, updating of logs, etc. On the position of Project Manager the working day is usually too short for everything you need to do. Use your time efficiently.
You will receive a lot of e-mails during the day. Some days about 30, but there were days when I received 150 emails. You don't have to answer many of them because you are only in cc, but you have to read them. I don’t read emails on the phone. I take the time to check my mail box 2-3 times a day. Usually I don't answer right away. Very rarely the issue is so urgent that it can't wait a couple of hours or a day. If you have to answer on complex question, I advise you to answer the next day, when the first, emotional reaction subsides.
Do not avoid spending as much time as possible on the construction site. Come to the construction site in the morning at the time when the contractors are coming. It's not easy to get up early, but believe me, it's worth it. Meet and talk to engineers, foremen, workers. You will find out information that you would not find out in the office such as why the works were delayed, why some materials were not delivered, etc.
If you want to be a good Project Manager, you will have to have authority on the construction site. This is best achieved with knowledge. Of course, knowledge is gained through experience. That is why it is your advantage if you have previous work experience as a contractor. There are no lies on the construction site. If you don't know something, don't try to hide it. Admit your mistakes. People on construction site will respect you more if you are honest.
And lastly, carefully form your team. Take care of the exchange of information within your team, do not try to make yourself an irreplaceable person. That will decrease your authority. Carefully share tasks and leave unpleasant tasks to yourself.