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5 essential tools for construction project managers

Buildbite
13 May, 2024

A good Project Manager is able to combine their skills of planning, coordinating and controlling resources in order to achieve specific goals. It is a high-pressure position with many variables that may cause deviation from the plan.

With so many moving parts, one can easily start to feel overwhelmed!

With the help of Buildbite, Thomas, a Construction Project Manager at Trähus shares his top 5 tools to ensure projects are completed efficiently, effectively and within budget.

1. Communication

Effective communication is a vital aspect of the success of any project. As a Project Manager, I place equal importance on communicating with my team as I do communicating with my clients. Without communication, you open the door for things to go wrong.

I’m responsible for answering questions and making quick decisions. These decisions need to be communicated to my team in a clear and effective way so as not to halt productivity. 

I include regular check-ins and updates as an integral part of my process. They ensure everyone on my team is on the same page.

I’m always sure to keep my clients in the loop as I know that this will affirm their peace of mind. 

I’ve discovered a system of communication that works best for me and my team and I go with it! As long as my team is constantly communicating, then I know I’m on the road to success!

 

2. Documentation

Going hand-in-hand with communication, I would also advise you to keep your client updated with documentation of the project’s progress.

Documenting each stage of the building process is the most effective way of allowing my clients to better comprehend the complexity of a project. This also assists with their understanding of how much a job will cost.

Being 100% transparent and documenting each phase of construction ultimately helps me foster a trusting relationship with my clients.

Trähus x Buildbite 5

3. Time Tracking

Time tracking is another essential tool I use when managing a project. 

By tracking time strictly, my clients are able to know exactly what has been worked on and for how long. These insights play a huge role in managing their expectations.

Like documentation, time tracking cultivates a certain transparency. It’s an important tool when it comes to building a trusting relationship with my clients.

This tool also allows me to keep track of completion rates and enables me to determine if the project is on course. 

If tracked correctly, information gained from time tracking allows me to draft invoices for my clients that are itemized based on hours spent.

Lastly, time tracking also assists with my own admin as it ensures that my payroll is detailed, accurate and fair.

 

4. Time Estimates  

Time estimates are a fantastic by-product of time tracking. They allow me to estimate how long specific tasks might take.

While the manual nature of this useful tool may seem like a bit of a hack at first (time estimates can be tracked on any spreadsheet program), it is incredibly beneficial in managing my clients’ expectations with regard to timelines.

Being able to estimate times effectively saves me a lot of time in the long run, as it allows me to plan and allocate my resources appropriately.

When I’m charging a client on an hour-to-hour basis, it is absolutely vital that I am able to budget my time in an effective way.

A top tip is to keep updating your time estimates proactively. I maintain constant communication with my clients to inform them of any changes made.

Ultimately, as a Project Manager, I am always learning. Time estimates are a great way to master timelines, gain knowledge on how to better my team's productivity and even how to quote more effectively for future jobs.

Trähus x Buildbite 11 (1)

5. Task Approvals

Task approvals are a sure way to manage my clients’ expectations. Client approvals help all parties involved keep track of the work being done.

It also acts as an information archive, should I need to access data about any work that’s been completed. This is particularly useful when briefing outsourced contractors.

Task approvals form an important part of the quality control process and aid in ensuring that my project objectives are met. 

New tasks can be added when necessary and using this particular tool maintains everyone is on the same page.

My clients never feel misled as there is always an open line of communication.

Tools To Success

As a Project Manager, I am under a great amount of stress. I need tools at my disposal that will help me make quick and effective decisions.

Buildbite allows me to have access to all the tools for success in one convenient place, bolstering better communication, efficient organization and risk management.

Building toward success has never been easier.