Top 10 qualities of a productive construction manager

6 minute read

Construction managers are responsible for the everyday running of a construction project. They ensure that scheduled tasks are completed, and that the contractor has all the information they need to perform the work. They use technology, like construction management software, to successfully implement the work called for on the project documents. A good and productive construction manager has some key qualities. 

1. Communicative 

The sharing of information is key on any construction project. Construction managers need to be able to communicate with everyone on the project, including field workers, subcontractors, designers, and owners. The ability to translate information so that everyone can understand is not universal. Good construction managers ensure that everyone has the information they need to do their job correctly and efficiently. 

Collaboration and cooperation are also key during a project. Good communication ensures all parties have the information they need so they can efficiently work together.

2. Experienced

Construction managers who have worked on similar projects have the knowledge that is necessary for an effective project. They can draw on their experience on other projects to make better decisions in developing ideas for the current project. Their experience helps them know what can be done on a project, as well as what can’t. 

Managers that have “been there and done that” are valuable resources to the project team. The more experienced they are, the more experience and knowledge they have to draw from.

3. Organized

Productive construction managers have clear processes and procedures for getting the work done. Over time they have developed the necessary processes for completing the work needed to build a project. They rely on the effective execution of these processes to ensure the project stays on time and on budget.  

Good construction managers are able to define tasks to develop the schedule for the project, delegate them, and confirm that they are completed each day.

4. Detail-oriented

It’s important that construction managers are able to see not only the big picture but the details that make up that picture. Managers give attention to lots of data during the project. Budgets and schedules are reviewed regularly to determine their accuracy and if changes need to be made.  

Managers that are detail-oriented track budgets better and understand that the small details of the project are often the most critical.

5. Flexibility

Construction managers must be able to manage several priorities at the same time. Field conditions are always changing and there are often multiple issues competing for attention at any one time. Managers must be flexible and able to change priorities and handle problems as they come up.  

They must also be able to evaluate and prioritize problems so those critical to the schedule and budget are addressed first.

6. Team player

Managers must be able to work with teams and delegate tasks to other members. Projects require several groups working together, and managers must cooperate and collaborate.  

Leadership skills are also key as managers are often in charge of several crews and direct the work being done on site. Delegation is key to getting tasks done, and managers must know when to send a task on to someone else. Leaders focus on efficiency and getting the job done.

7. Solution-oriented

Problems almost always arise on construction projects, and managers must be ready to tackle them at any time. They must work with team members to find and implement solutions to multiple problems each day. They can’t get stuck in the problem, so managers must be focused on listening to their teammates and finding a solution. 

If a conflict arises on a job, managers are often called on to mediate and help resolve the issue. Having conflict resolution skills and an ability to assess the situation and find a common solution is beneficial to construction managers.

8. Visionary

Construction managers must be able to see the completed project at the beginning, and then break that project down into phases and tasks. Being able to envision the completed project and what has to happen to get there is a skill that is only learned with experience. Then the manager needs to communicate their vision to the team, so everyone has a shared goal.

9. Responsible

Managers must take ownership of each project, ensuring that problems are solved, disputes are resolved, and that the project reaches its goals. By taking ownership, the manager takes responsibility for everything that happens on the project, ensuring that someone is watching out. 

Construction managers need to have a “the buck stops here” attitude to ensure that owners are happy with the project outcome and team members are working together.

10. Ethical

Construction managers should follow a code of conduct that ensures ethical dealing with the owner and other team members. Questions of integrity and ethical behaviors do not belong on a construction project. That being said, mistakes happen, and managers need to deal with them quickly and fairly. 

With open communication on a project, questions of ethics should not come up. If they do, they should be addressed openly and swiftly. 

When assessing whether a construction manager is right for your project, look for these qualities. They will help ensure that you have a successful project that meets your needs and runs smoothly. Construction management software, like Buildxact, helps project teams communicate, collaborate, and complete projects successfully. 

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