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Construction Management Tips from the Experts

What is Estimating in Construction Project Management?
What is Estimating in Construction Project Management?

In construction, estimation is the process of forecasting the costs of building a structure. The estimating process may span several phases of a project, mirroring concept, schematic design, design development, and final construction documents. Estimation is [...]

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The 5 Most Important Construction Project Contract Clauses
The 5 Most Important Construction Project Contract Clauses

When you are working with a general contractor, it is important to set the terms of your working relationship as soon as possible. Usually this is done by entering into a construction contract of some type. [...]

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An Expert Talks about Construction Project Management
An Expert Talks about Construction Project Management

Construction projects: sound advice for clientsIn your eyes, Ali, how can a client get the most value from working with a construction manager?When there’s a working relationship based on mutual trust and understanding, the client can [...]

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What is Construction Management?
What is Construction Management?

Professional construction project management is a super fine-tuned system designed to facilitate planning, coordination and control of a project from the early stages all the way to completion. Qualified construction managers use specialized project management techniques [...]

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What goes into a feasibility study for a construction project?
What goes into a feasibility study for a construction project?

Just like with any project management plan, the construction project process consists of a series of predetermined phases that begin with project initiation and end with closure: completion and delivery. Often, the first concrete steps of [...]

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Got what it takes to be a successful Construction Project Manager?
Got what it takes to be a successful Construction Project Manager?

Pick a quality that defines a successful construction project manager.A successful construction project manager needs to be a people person. That’s number one in my mind. At the same time, I’m a by-the-book kind of guy [...]

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Wonder what expertise you need to be a construction manager? The skill set is both specific and extensive. In this article we’ll have a look at what CMs do, and who they are.

The construction manager, or construction project manager (six of one, half dozen etc.), is the person who acts as the owner’s or developer’s representative in order to ensure that their building project is executed as smoothly as possible from conception to delivery and beyond. Planning, coordination, evaluation, communication and completion are all within the CM’s purview.

What this means is that CMs and their teams have to understand exactly what each player will contribute to a project and who is responsible for what; how much each step should cost; and probability and range of potential risks. They monitor progress and look for best practices in terms of cost-effectiveness. It’s estimated that construction managers have well over a hundred different responsibilities for every project.

At Stonemark our focus is exclusive residential and commercial projects, as well as restoration of sacred spaces. Other kinds of project management might include industrial, roads and civil. Whatever the project, the CM will have an eye on planning, quality, contracts, risk, budget and schedule. When there’s a hiccup, CMs are there to find solutions so that the clients who are funding the project don’t have to.

How to be a good construction manager

There are so many qualities that define a good construction manager that it can be hard to narrow them down. Here at Stonemark, our short list might read something like this:

Especially in residential construction management, where clients’ emotional investment may be as important to them as financial parameters, that third quality—the ability to listen—is crucial. An exceptional CM will participate in their clients’ visions and adjust seamlessly when those visions change.  

Indeed, in construction project management, the ability to adapt to change is essential. Most everything about construction projects is subject to change. Laws and safety guidelines change, natural disasters happen, people get sick and aren’t able to honor their commitments, construction project management software evolves. Expectations can be unreasonable. Accidents may happen. Relationships can change and sometimes turn sour. The CM’s job is to roll with the punches, find cost-effective and timely solutions, handle problems and possibly arbitrate.

Therefore, another essential quality is the ability to work with people. The larger the project, the more people are involved. Yes, there are construction management requirements that center on tangibles like design, choice of materials, environmental sustainability, documentation, safety management and engineering. But when push comes to shove, it’s all about people.

Good construction managers know that client satisfaction ultimately depends on how well everybody does their job, and in big projects that can mean literally thousands of people. Whether choosing the design team, liaising with the general contractor, making sure that workers are safe or assessing and insuring against risk, there’s no construction management software that can replace years of experience and human-oriented motivation. That’s our business.