How To Manage A Successful Construction Project

StrategyDriven Project Management Article | How To Manage A Successful Construction ProjectProject management isn’t simple. People, resources, budgets and time need to work together. If something isn’t in place, it can slow down productivity and cost you more money. This post will show you how to manage a construction project successfully by using the right tools and staying organized. Check out our tips for successful construction project management below.

Be Prepared

Being fully prepared with the most information possible is necessary for a construction project of this scale. This can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to coordinate the schedules of multiple contractors, engineers, and other stakeholders. Most information can be found from clients, suppliers, and co-contractors; however, some information may need to be found with a request for information (RFI). This means you may need to ask for information from the other parties involved with your claim. To benefit, your RFI in construction should be specific and relevant to your case.

Set Realistic Budgets

Setting realistic budgets is essential to good construction project management —and it’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your project meets its budget. A budget is important because it helps you manage your construction project by defining how much money you have to spend so that you can manage your client’s expectations properly and they don’t end up with costly surprises. A good budget will help you manage your construction project because it forces you to think about how much money is available for each aspect of the project.

Plan Your Resourcing Correctly

An important part of project management is resource allocation. In construction management, resource allocation is essential for project success. If you don’t allocate your resources correctly, it can lead to delays and cost overruns that could have been avoided altogether. Resource allocation is one of the most important skills in construction management. It’s easy to understand how resource allocation can lead to costly mistakes if you don’t take the time to think through all the details before you start a project.

Revaluate Project Plans

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, so keep an eye on your plans and update and adapt where necessary. Check in with your team to see how they are doing so that you know what time targets you’re hitting, and if you’re missing any find out why. If you have a to-do list, make sure that it’s up-to-date and complete. If you don’t, start using one! It will help keep your plans clear so you’ll know if anything is falling through the cracks.

Communicate Continuously

You need to communicate with your team members and clients on a regular basis so that everyone is on the same page. Communication should be open, clear, and concise. Many construction projects are large and complex so it’s vital to have the latest information from all parties involved. Your job managing the project is to be the glue that holds everything together.

Do you run successful construction projects? Share your tips in the comments to inspire others.

Agile Project Management: How to Guide for Businesses

StrategyDriven Project Management Article |Agile Project Management|Agile Project Management: How to Guide for BusinessesFinding new business strategies that complement operations is essential in the modern competitive world of commerce. There are innovative practices coming to light all the time that benefit business owners and encourage employees into more productive outputs, and agile project management is the recent one gaining traction. The benefits are clear, but how can this strategy be successfully intertwined with pre-existing established activities and trajectories? Read on to find out more.

Key Features of Agile Project Management

The core principles of agile project management focus on the workers taking control over projects and staying on track with responsive data from customers. The main takeaway is that agile projects are kept in sync with demand, workflow, and all innovation as a method of effective optimization above all else.

  • Devolution of management responsibility
  • Specific and precise software
  • Focusing on customers
  • Consistent responsiveness

Methodologies for Business Leaders

So, how is this strategy implemented and what does it look like within the wider business? There are five clear features to consider for effective agile project management.

Project Plans

The plan is the main event. What do you want to achieve? That’s the answer as to what the plan should be.

Making Strategy Maps

Iterations are the key concept, but definitive steps are relevant. There has to be a bigger plan and greater objective to work towards otherwise the iterations are essentially defunct. Strategy maps are a big part of establishing key goals and outputs. Each part is laid out with a goal and performance related affirmations.

Sprint Releasing and Planning

Sprints are a key part of this model. Sprints focus on continuous iterations amongst a team. These have a specific, short timeframe of expected completion. The purpose is to break down large tasks into manageable pieces and therefore increase productivity and performance in bite-size components. Releasing a sprint is wrapping up a part of the wider project and planning is mapping out what that looks like from start to finish.

Daily Meetings and Updates

A daily meeting may feel demotivational in certain contexts. For this, however, it is highly beneficial. Updates are needed to move things in the right direction and avoid missteps along the route. Bringing the whole team together before the workday activity commences allows for an opportunity to deliver core updates, and assess ongoing issues in a constructive solution-focussed arena.

Constant Reviews

There is a call for constant reviews to ensure all areas of the project management are on track. By doing this, outputs and customer data can be properly observed within the correct frame. This means better outcomes overall, and impactful actions as opposed to ones that fall short in the B2C funnels. Unlike general daily meetings, constant reviews are a more focused component of agile project management. They involve data analysis and output detailing in a more structured and specific way.

Agile project management has a lot of good parts to it. It does require overarching management structures despite the delegation of control. Someone needs to oversee the work being done to ensure collaboration is performing effectively against other models. Without this insight, this method lacks execution. With it, it is extremely effective in a range of areas.

3 Ways To Properly Manage A Construction Project

StrategyDriven Project Management. Article |Manage a construction project|3 Ways To Properly Manage A Construction ProjectBy nature, construction projects have a lot of moving parts, especially when it’s a large one. No matter the size, you’ll need to make sure you know how to properly manage a construction project.

If you don’t, you could run into delays, and even end up going over-budget. Nobody wants that to happen, especially not the client. Avoiding this is a necessity, but it can be difficult to figure out how to do so.

By focusing on specific areas, such as getting building supplies on time, and following certain steps, you can make sure you go about it the right way.

How To Properly Manage A Construction Project: 3 Tips To Use

1. Track Resources Carefully

You’ll have quite a few resources at your disposal when running a construction project, ranging from employees to the materials and tools needed for the work. You’ll need to make sure these are well-tracked so you know you have everything you need.
By doing so, you can better plan out a construction project. Should certain materials be delayed or not be available until a certain date, for example, you can plan work around it. Using the right software and similar tools to track this makes this much easier.

2. Avoid Pointing Fingers

When things go wrong, it’s easy to point fingers. In many of these cases, management will blame employees for the mistakes happening, even if it wasn’t their fault. Employees could simply have been following orders or guidelines, which means the error was on management’s side.

You’ll need to have an informed perspective on how and why any specific mistakes were made before placing any blame. By doing so, you can hold the right people accountable while taking appropriate steps to rectify the situation.

3. Implement An Inspection Workflow

Every construction project ends with a client inspection to make sure everything is done the way they wanted. That shouldn’t be the only inspection your work goes through, however. You’ll need to inspect work as it’s done to make sure it’s done right.
Doing so ensures you don’t need to go back and redo something in the future, which could involve undoing a lot of work on top of it. With an effective inspection workflow, you can make sure you don’t add a load of extra work onto your plate.
Having this and similar quality control measures ensures everything’s done right and passes the client inspection.

How To Properly Manage A Construction Project: Wrapping Up

If you don’t know how to properly manage a construction project, you’ll finish much later than you should have while also risking going over-budget. Nobody wants that to happen. With time and effort, you can figure out how to avoid this yourself, but it’s worth using a few tips and tricks.

Implementing an effective inspection workflow, carefully tracking resources, and avoiding pointing fingers when things go wrong are all integral to this. With these – and a few other construction management tips – you shouldn’t have a problem making sure your project goes smoothly.

The cursed legacy of Microsoft Project

StrategyDriven Project Management Article |Project management tool|The cursed legacy of Microsoft ProjectThe idea of having a project management tool completely separated from your processes and task management is, or should be, a thing of the past. For some time now we’ve entered an era of having everything connected and if you’re still on the sidelines, this article is for you.

There are still thousands of companies using MS Project and other, similar tools for their project planning. I blame MSP for the current gap in the understanding of how important it is to connect both project and processes worlds. MSP never expanded beyond its own environment and very few people realized the missed potential. If you’re one of them, imagine this:

  • every task you plan can be immediately assigned to a person, who is notified about this,
  • the task assignee can start working on the task and change its status, thanks to which you get immediate info about the current status of all the tasks in your WBS,
  • the assignee can also report time spent on the task so that you also get instant and accurate info about the task’s progress,
  • all the data can be aggregated and reported,
  • everyone can have access to the project plan,
  • every member of the project team has a personal dashboard with all the upcoming tasks clearly listed.

Does that sound like a fantasy? Of course not! It’s the minimum you should have with the current market trends.

Jira – the most popular tool for handling your processes

Out of many tools available on the market, Jira is the one we recommend the most. With its cloud instance available within just a few clicks it’s probably the easiest one to start with. It’s really a matter of minutes and you can start creating your first Epics, User stories, Tasks, Sub-tasks, or whatever you need.

Jira also has very robust administration capabilities. It’s well designed with complexity on demand built into the tool. You can restrict data access, manage roles for people, group them and make sure that your data is secured on several different levels.

Talking about data, you also can create your own issue types, statuses, workflows, link types, and many more. When it comes to flexibility and accommodating your different needs, Jira is like no other. It’s definitely one of its strongest sides.

But pure Jira is just the beginning. For specific needs and broader applications of its functionalities, Jira also offers thousands of Apps that can be added to your core system. Those Apps allow you to extend the capabilities of Jira even further.

Some of these Apps allow you to extend your project management capabilities. We at Genius Gecko are experts in implementing project management solutions in Jira. We constantly analyze all the tools in this area, so that you don’t have to. We also have our favorites when it comes to creating reliable project management solutions.

BigPicture – a PPM solution for Agile, Waterfall, and Hybrid approaches

BigPicture has been available in Jira for many years now and it’s grown into the best tool out there.

It offers a unique way of organizing your projects into programs and portfolios with Boxes, which are its building blocks. Interestingly, you can also use Boxes to break projects into smaller pieces, like Program Increments, Iterations, Sprints, Teams, Phases, Quarters, Months, or whatever you may need.

If you’re working with a waterfall approach, BigPicture has a built-in Gantt chart that has you covered. It also comes with all of the important features like milestones, markers, data aggregation, data grouping, dependencies, unlimited hierarchy, what-if scenarios, and more.

If you’re agile, BigPicture has you covered too. It has a super-functional Board module which allows you to plan your sprints ahead of time for multiple teams at the same time, and later on of course also follow the progress of work, all in real-time.

And here is the best one – if you’re a Hybrid, somewhere in between Agile and Waterfall, BigPicture has you covered as well. It has several features that allow you to connect both worlds and still manage your projects in an effective and user-friendly way (and I mean both project teams and stakeholders).

That’s not all at all, though. BigPicture has a lot more to offer. Because it’s built on top of Jira, it’s reusing all the data that Jira has. Everything you’ll be planning in BigPicture either comes from Jira or will go to Jira (when you create it). This is exactly where the big difference lies. You no longer have a tool for just doing your project planning, you have a tool that seamlessly connects your projects with project teams, stakeholders, project sponsors, dev-ops, IT, marketing, sales, and anyone else involved. All the important information is in one place. You can always revisit it, see all the changes, and notify people when something important happens, or when a new task for John has been added.

You can also manage your resources through BigPicture, and make sure that you have enough people for the job, that they are not overbooked, that they have appropriate skills, and that their workload plans and holidays are taken into account.

You’ll also be able to easily manage risks for your project, create objectives and goals for everyone to follow, and build your own reports.

BigPicture training – a sure way to successful implementation

BigPicture is an amazing tool and it deserves to be looked after. We’ve been working with it from the beginning and based on our experience we can tell that if you want to get the most out of it, make it work seamlessly with your Jira environment, make sure that all the reports are doable, and climb to that next level of project management, it makes sense to have someone help you achieve it.

You’ll be able to:

  • get clarity on your goals,
  • ensure the proper flow of information,
  • make your teams more engaged,
  • manage your resources with short and long-term planning,
  • manage your project risks,
  • build informative and easy-to-read reports,
  • track time for your project items,
  • save time thanks to automation and templates.

We currently have almost 70 companies that we’ve successfully trained or guided through the implementation of BigPicture and we’re constantly getting new prospects interested in working together.

If you want to learn more about our awesome BigPicture training, or:

  • managing projects in Jira environment and have us help you find the best tool for your needs,
  • implementing processes and tools in Jira,
  • working with other PM tools like Structure, Advanced Roadmaps, or any other Jira App

Reach out to us and let’s have a chat!

Be extraordinary!

Tom Pabich

SEO of Genius Gecko

Use These Strategies for Better Project Management

StrategyDriven Project Management Article | Use These Strategies for Better Project ManagementEvery project manager has preferred tools and methods for completing an assignment. They understand that it is easy to get overwhelmed in the minutia of tasks. As you sit down to start your first, tenth, or even eightieth project, take the time to evaluate the system you use and look for areas to improve. Here are some tips to help you be more successful.

Find a Tracking System

There are many software applications available to help manage your project. They allow you to monitor timelines and provide detailed status reports. Individual team members can post updates, ask questions, or make comments. With so many alternatives, it is important to find a system that works for you and your team.

Ask Questions

With every new project, be sure you completely understand the final purpose of the assignment. Ask your manager clarifying questions about the project, final deliverable, budget, and timeline. Gather information, such as:

  • What other employees, if any, are involved in this project?
  • How does the priority of this project align with my other responsibilities?
  • To whom and how frequently should I provide status updates?
  • Do other teams depend on the project? If so, how does their timeline affect mine?

Develop a Guide

Successful project management entails identifying the steps required to complete the project. Work with your team to write down all of the things that need to be completed to deliver a final product. Include goals, budget, timeline, roles and responsibilities, and final evaluation.

Look for Challenges

Now that you know what is needed to complete the project, ask everyone involved to consider what can negatively impact those projects. Employees should be creative and offer possible solutions. When encouraged to think out of the box, you better understand the scope and intensity of the project. Some things you may consider include:

  • Company holidays impact the number of hours employees can commit to a project.
  • Seasonal increases in workload may limit the time you can work on a project.
  • Enthusiasm for the project may falter if key managers leave the company.
  • Current hardware cannot efficiently support the final product.

Pick the Best Ideas

It is easy to get derailed if you lose focus on the key components. Ensure your team stays on track with the highest priority tasks to deliver the final product. If they work on a feature without approval, it can delay the timeline. Successful communication helps you stay on track.

Learn From Experience

Once complete, it is necessary to thoroughly review the project. Write down the challenges that you experienced. Evaluate each one individually and within the scope of the project to determine how you can prevent or mitigate them in the future. Many project managers forget to take the time to analyze what went smoothly. Review these strategies and incorporate them into your next project.

These techniques help you become a stronger project manager. You will find yourself more confident in managing your project timeline. Communication with employees and managers is easier. Employers recognize your commitment to a successful project.