4 common mistakes project managers make and how to overcome them

Monica Gameng   |   January 26, 2016

Project supervisors and managers often have a finger in every pie of a construction site. From hiring personnel and budgeting to dealing with clients. According to an article by Bright Hub Project Management, a construction project manager's duties include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Scheduling, budgeting and planning
  • Hiring contractors
  • Prepare contracts
  • Monitoring and directing the project's and their team's progress
  • Obtain any required documents for the project
  • Deal with any delays in production

With all the responsibilities mentioned above, project managers often have their hands full. An experienced project manager is prepared for hundreds of different situations that affect their job site. However, the nature of construction means that things are changing so rapidly that it can sometimes to be hard to keep up.

Here are four common mistakes that project managers make and ways to overcome them.

Taking on unfamiliar jobs = Risk

shutterstock_342345905.jpg

A dream pipeline for a construction company is both quality and quantity. But there are times that project managers take on unfamilar jobs, which can be quite risky. Taking on unfamiliar jobs can be dangerous since you and your team might not have a complete idea on how to go about the tasks involved. There is a higher risk of making a mistake along the way of finishing the project, and it might cost your company to fix those mistakes.

For project managers, it is wise to always do a thorough research before taking on unfamiliar jobs. Use what you’ve researched to educate your team about the unfamiliar tasks that they will be doing. Preparing your team beforehand will help reduce the risk of losing money for any mistakes made along the way.

Demotivating employees

With everything that goes into making a successful project, it can sometimes be easy to lose track of motivated employees. Frequent melodramatic pep talks or forced overtime are just some of the factors that could demotivate your team members. An unmotivated employee is less productive, and this will slow down your team’s overall production.

As a leader, always be sensitive when it comes to dealing with team members. Know what motivates them. Helping them solve a problem at work will also boost your team’s morale. A high morale will result to higher productivity at work. If you want more ways to increase your company and team's productivity, here are 7 strategies to help you increase uptime.

Unavailability

shutterstock_257599312.jpg

If the project manager is unavailable or can't be contacted during an emergency, things could spiral faster.

As best as you can, always make sure your team can get hold of you. Do this by establishing a clear line of communication between you and your team members. Appointing a secondary point person who can be of help in case you are out of reach is also a good practice.

Difficulty dealing with employee problems

Project managers, as leaders, play a big part in solving problems that occur between team members. If project managers have difficulty in resolving complications between their employees, then these problems will weaken the team’s drive.

If overlooked, one small problem could lead to complaints from multiple employees. To keep problems and misunderstandings at bay, openly communicate to your employees and ask if they have any concerns. Let your team members know that they can talk to you about their concerns regarding work or other team members. A united team will always be more productive.

Project managers are human too, but there are a few steps you can take to reduce these common mistakes affecting your job site. Download our free eBook below which highlights 4 tips to help you manage your construction team.

Author's note: Information on this blog was sourced from samedaysteeldeck.comdoeren.com and brighthubpm.com

Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
Follow me:

Related Articles

News, Projects
Newcastle City Council and NSW Gov still in debate as five companies bid to manage Newcastle light rail project

The NSW Government’s latest project to revitalise Newcastle is one step closer to commencing. Five companies have been invited to tender for the main construction contract on the new light rail project.

Projects
Major construction set to commence on $250m North Queensland Stadium

Major construction works on the $250 million North Queensland Stadium in Townsville is close to commencing, with Watpac Constructions finalising the contract for managing contractor services for Stage 2 of the project.

Insider
Tackling a fast track construction project

Projects are time sensitive and various factors can influence their deadlines. Working within a time restriction can cause a project manager to rethink their approach and determine their ability to deliver when under pressure. A fast track project is not achievable for all businesses and when accepting a contract for a fast track project it's important to be prepared in order to ensure you have the capabilities and resources to get the job done. 

Get the latest project news

Formerly known as the PlantMiner blog, Felix Project News is Australia's top 10 Construction blog.

Join thousands of construction and mining pros getting the best content right in their inbox.

✓ updates on Australia's pipeline of state and federal projects

✓ fresh contract awards from major contractors and builders