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Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together

Often unpredictable and susceptible to change, keeping projects on track can be an extremely difficult job. Project managers not only have to balance a number of projects at once, but each job site has its own unique set of circumstances that may delay progress or push deadlines. Project managers need to keep a variety of things in mind and must rely on site supervisors to maintain progress and ensure productivity. Ultimately, it is the job of the project manager to make sure that jobs are kept on track and the appropriate time frame has been allotted. Here are a few guidelines that project managers must keep in consideration, before and during the course of a project. They may be simple suggestions, but it is easy to lose sight of small details when pressured to complete jobs on time and on budget.

Have Realistic Schedule

Not only is it the responsibility of project managers to create a schedule and stick to it, the schedule must be realistic. This may mean giving yourself more time than you may think you need, to make up for any unpredictable scenarios. In addition, you need to have contingency plans in place if things do not work out as initially outlined. These plans are meant to mitigate damage as much as possible. When creating a schedule, take a look at the logistics of the entire operation. If you are relying on supplies that will take a few days in transportation, perhaps give the project more time.

Communicate With Clients

Most clients understand that coordinating a construction project is not an easy task. However, problems arise when there is a lack of communication between project managers and clients. If there is a delay in the schedule, or any issue arises that you may think can create a delay, these must be made clear to the client. The last thing you want is a client finding out on their own or from someone else that something on their jobsite went wrong. Be clear with clients and explain what the issues are in detail. This is where your contingency plans may come into play — by informing clients of the problem right away, you will also have a solution in place. It might not be their first choice, but having an idea on how to address the problem is better than having no solution at all. If parts are delayed or unable to make it on time, perhaps research other suppliers who you can reach out to in an emergency.

Monitor the Job-site's Productivity

When determining a project’s schedule, it is important to have a realistic assessment of your team. Do not make promises that you know will be difficult for your team of construction workers to deliver. Provide a schedule for your clients that you know is achievable, and monitor productivity as often as you can. It is easy for workers to become complacent if their productivity is not being tracked. Review the progress of your team through weekly or daily meetings, and check in with workers throughout the day. Make sure that everyone is on board with the schedule and time frame you have determined, and work towards fulfilling this goal.

Set your Deadline and Stick to it

Although scheduling projects is very difficult and may change many times, setting a final date and sticking to it is essential. Many of your past projects may have deadlines move multiple times before a project is finished. Make a concerted effort to have realistic time frame and achievable deadline that you know you and your team are capable of meeting. After communicating with clients, they may be more open to extending deadlines and will have more flexibility with the finished product. This does not mean your team can relax, but the opposite. Set your final deadline and meet it to the best of your ability. Motivating your team to meet specific goals will not only benefit your client, but will instill a hardworking culture within your business.

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