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Guest Blog: Steps to Improve your Project

Guest Blog: Steps to Improve your Project

Make Your Construction Project More Successful: Follow these Simple Steps

Often construction projects run into difficulties because basic issues are overlooked or forgotten.

The contractor’s project manager is often rushed off their feet, attending to the client, organising the project and solving problems. Business owners and managers have little time to spend on projects, and when they do get to the project, their visits are rushed. Yet by applying a few basic actions – which don’t add a lot of time or require much effort – you can improve your project and find your problems reduced.

Here are some simple actions which will add immeasurably to your project’s success without requiring much extra effort.

  1. Poor safety costs lives and money:

    • Lead by example; obey the safety rules and use the designated safety gear.

    • Never pass by an unsafe act without correcting it.

    • Ensure project inductions appropriately address the project risks.

  2. Poor quality costs time and money to rectify, and negatively impacts reputation:

    • While walking the site look with a keen eye to ensure work conforms. Don’t accept poor quality.

    • The project team must understand the quality requirements and that poor quality won’t be tolerated. The team also needs to understand the project specifications and the client’s requirements.

    • Check that completed work isn’t being damaged by follow on work.

  3. Subcontractors often play an important role in the project’s success:

    • Pay them on time and treat them fairly. They’ll be more likely to give your project the importance it deserves.

    • Address instructions in writing to their responsible person.

    • Inform subcontractors immediately when their quality isn’t satisfactory, they fall behind schedule or they aren’t working safely.

    • Have regular meetings with your subcontractor and ensure all issues are addressed.

  4. Develop your team – You depend on them:

    • Provide feedback – both positive and negative.

    • Use their strengths and support their weaknesses.

    • Send them on appropriate training courses.

  5. Pursue opportunities for further work for the company:

    • The best advertisement for a company is to deliver a quality project on time with the least inconvenience to the client, neighbours and the public.

    • Talk to the client, the client’s team (their engineers, project managers and architects), subcontractors and the local planning authorities to find out what new projects they are working on and how your company can get involved.

    • Have sufficient business cards and company brochures available to give to prospective clients.

  6. Seek ways to improve productivity – even small improvements can positively impact profits:

    • While walking the site check that people and equipment are utilised efficiently.

    • Always ask yourself if there’s a better solution or way of doing a task.

  7. Ensure that the company is paid for completed work:

    • All work must be claimed in valuations which must be submitted in accordance with the contract and within the time specified in the contract.

    • Follow up to ensure that the client pays the invoice.

  8. Develop yourself:

    • Look out for new and better methods of doing things.

    • Attend courses – especially those aimed at the softer skills such negotiation, delegation, communication and time management.

  9. Manage your time more effectively:

    • Learn to delegate.

    • Carry a notebook (paper or electronic) to make notes of tasks and questions.

    • Don’t be distracted by incoming emails – read them only when you have time to deal with them.

    • Ensure both you and the project has an ordered filing system.

    • The project must have effective and efficient management systems in place.

  10. If the project starts going wrong, take action:

    • Find the reason for the problem.

    • Develop a solution. Take decisive action. Make sure your team understands what needs to be done.

    • Ask for help if necessary. Consult an expert.

(Written by Paul Netscher the author of the acclaimed books ‘Successful Construction Project Management: The Practical Guide’ and ‘Building a Successful Construction Company: The Practical Guide’. Both books are available in paperback and e-book from Amazon and other retail outlets. This article is adapted from information included in these books. To read more visit www.pn-projectmanagement.com )
© 2015 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
 

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