Office hallway

What Makes a Good Construction Project Manager?

It’s hard to sum up just how important a capable project manager is to a construction project. These professionals handle everything from budget planning to safety oversight, and they seemingly do it all without breaking a sweat.

You need a project manager to ensure your project stays within budget and on schedule. So, how can you tell a good project manager from a bad one?

10 Traits of Every Successful Project Manager

10 trait of good project managers

While a long list of credentials and extensive training can help, they’re not what makes a good project manager. Having these 10 characteristics is what separates the best project managers from the average.

1. Leadership

Your project manager is the head of your construction project. They’re the main point of contact for all internal and external stakeholders, and they provide needed support for team members at every stage of the process. It makes sense, then, that the most important skill in this profession is leadership.

Project managers must take ownership of the whole project, leading their team from planning to execution with confidence and enthusiasm. They take accountability for how the project turns out and motivate their team to perform at their best — even when they run into obstacles.

2. Industry Expertise

An effective construction project manager knows the industry inside and out. They understand the essential components of every project, and they use that knowledge to inform their work. They also stay up to date on evolving industry trends, evaluating the competition to see what works and what doesn’t. At every stage, they take what they learn and apply it to their projects.

3. Clear Communication

Clear, consistent communication is critical for keeping a project running according to your timeline. Project managers need strong oral and written communication skills to ensure everyone is on the same page at all times to prevent costly mistakes and delays.

Rather than allowing missed calls and mixed messages to potentially derail a project, they’re persistent in communication — for example, they engage stakeholders at every stage, from getting initial buy-in to providing regular progress updates. Any time a project manager needs clarification, they don’t hesitate to ask.

4. Collaboration

Construction projects involve many moving parts, from project owners to field workers. Effective teamwork is often a challenge due to the differences between teams. A team-player approach helps project managers bring everyone back to the big picture so they can focus on getting the job done well.

5. Delegation

When you’re leading a team, you can’t take care of every little issue that arises without jeopardizing your timeline. A good project manager understands when to handle a task themselves and when it’s time to hand the reins to someone else.

Delegation also requires strong people skills, which good project managers have in spades. Being open and approachable is essential, as project managers must get to know their team members well enough to match them to the right tasks.

6. Conflict Resolution

Conflict is inevitable in construction projects. Inclement weather causes unplanned delays, stakeholders want to expand the project scope, or you miss a deadline and need to extend the timeline by a few days.

Successful project managers know how to make all parties feel heard so they can find a fitting solution to the conflict. Often, they have a wealth of patience and empathy that enables them to listen to everyone involved with compassion, which helps de-escalate the conflict so everyone can get back on the same page.

7. Organization and Time Management

A project manager must have strong organizational skills to oversee complex construction projects. Many project managers use frameworks like the critical path method or lean project management to organize each phase of the project — these methodologies also help them maximize resource and time efficiency. Forward-thinking project managers embrace technology with cloud-based software that provides complete visibility into every level of a project.

Time management skills go hand in hand with organizational skills when it comes to effective construction project management. Your project manager should have a solid idea of how long each task will take so they can prioritize effectively.

8. Proactivity

A good project manager anticipates problems before they happen and plans accordingly. They also take initiative in their own practice by taking the time to keep up with what’s happening within the industry. Constantly adding to their knowledge base and brushing up on basic skills helps them put their best foot forward when it’s time to get to work.

9. Integrity

As the head of the entire project, project managers need to set a good example for their teams. That’s why one of the best construction project management tips we can offer is to look for a project manager with a strong sense of integrity.

Being dedicated to ethical practices and transparency helps project managers build trust with their team members and promotes a safe work environment. It also demonstrates a commitment to seeing the project through, which is essential for keeping morale high and staying on track.

10. Objectivity

Even the best-planned construction projects run into unexpected issues. A project manager should be able to keep a clear head when problems arise so they can make the most informed decision. The best project managers take an analytical approach to each project and make decisions based on the facts, not their emotions.

If things fall off track, a project manager needs to be able to provide constructive feedback that will guide their team more effectively.

How Alta Construction Can Help

Do you need a dependable project manager to lead your next construction project? You can count on the team at Alta Construction to handle it. Our professional project managers are industry experts who have the knowledge and experience to take on all your project demands with our unique combination of technology and skill.

The many benefits of working with our team include:

  • A dedication to construction site safety.
  • Streamlined communication with a single point of contact.
  • Access to advanced construction and project management technologies.
  • Experience with niche industries such as commercial gyms and cannabis dispensaries.

As a certified minority business enterprise holding licenses in various states, you can count on us to help you bring your next project to life. Browse our past projects to see what we can do for you.

Learn More About Our Project Management Services

Let us take the stress of heading your upcoming project off your shoulders. Contact us today for more information about our professional construction project management services.