Managing Frustrations in Construction Management

Do you respond, or do you react to emotional challenges? Most of us say we manage our workplace issues much better than family-related problems. The “emotional baggage” we have in families sometimes weighs us down.

Like it or not, workplace relationships are very much like family relationships. If you’re a team lead construction management supervisor, how can you respond logically and avoid emotional reactions?

Causes, Effects of Construction Management Frustrations

Frustration is an emotional state of anger and annoyance that stems from the disparity between one’s expectations and the outcomes.John Mattone Global, Inc.

How you manage your frustrations with team members is a slippery slope. Some managers say frustration is a constant presence. They are also frustrated by being frustrated. Instinctive, emotional reactions to frustration can get in the way of goal-setting and good outcomes.

Frustration triggers include:

  • Career stagnancy; not enough advancement opportunities
  • Communication breakdowns
  • Inefficient processes and solutions
  • Lack of meaningful changes despite efforts to attain them 

When faced with adversity, yielding to your emotional reaction is the easy way out. It’s a way of avoiding logical management of a situation. Reacting means you have no control over yourself, so how can you be expected to control a problem’s outcome?

“Emotional control is one of the hallmarks of effective, intelligent leadership,” says the Mattone coaching blog. That doesn’t mean you should ignore or bury your emotions. Intelligent construction management includes the ability to understand your and team members’ emotions.

Negative emotions raise the team’s red flag (and stress levels). When you mindfully understand the implications of a negative response, you’ll quickly flip toward a positive and calculated response and action. Positive emotions can lead to better engagement and empowerment.

We’re human, and we experience frustrations. The way to avoid emotional reactions is to stop and think. Consider the implications of your words and actions and then manage them.

If marketing management is within your scope of work, ask our marketing professionals how building permit data builds business. Call 800.925.6085 (international/435.586.1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Cost Management: The Challenges are Real

Construction Cost Management

In 2015, KPMG revealed only 31% of construction projects came within 10 percent of the budget. Five years ago may seem like another lifetime, but it’s not. With pandemic-related cutbacks, the challenges of construction cost management loom larger than life.

Post-Pandemic Construction Cost Management

Rather than cut back, consider how to move forward.
Steve Coughran, business strategy professional

Some of us weren’t managing our businesses that well before the pandemic, so it didn’t take much to topple an already shaky tower. Among the construction cost management challenges we face are:

  • Documentation – Multiple change orders and complex approval process
    • Minimize mistakes with a connected platform (see: “software”). Teams enter costs in real-time and the change orders’ approval processes are easily tracked.
  • Financial health – Lack of real-time view and/or inability to see historical construction cost management changes
    • Implement an integrated cost management solution (see: “software”) that gives everyone real-time views of project costs. Online paper trails are easier to track.
  • Multiple projects/contracts – Tracking ways every expense impacts the overall financial structure of each project
    • Manage subcontractors on a cloud platform (see: “software”). Teams can view real-time entries, edits, and contracts in one location for effective construction cost management.

Cutting Costs

Categorize every expense as “avoidable” or “unavoidable.” Avoidable expenses will not directly impact your customer and are not fundamental to operations.

When you can cut specific expenses that will save money now, those are opportunity costs. But beware: Canceling employee training now will save money but can have negative consequences later.

It could impact employee retention; something that is a factor in quality-of-work deliverables. Companies showing current training and certification documentation can have an edge over lower-bidding companies.

Construction Monitor: Software Analytics for Real-Time Leads

Construction cost management begins before the bid. Post-pandemic business managers are working smarter and using technology to save time and money.

That’s what we do for you. We provide customized data analytics – sorted – to meet your business needs. The basic information is free if you know where to look. But you can spend a lot of time breaking down that “free” information. By the time you’ve figured out what you need, an opportunity may be history.

Your time is better spent making money. You can make profitable business decisions faster with weekly datasorts that target your specific U.S. region and your market. Ask us how it works. Contact Construction Monitor today.

Construction Management: Are We Ready for the New Normal?

Construction Management

Construction management follows the same basic processes as any project management endeavor. Even experienced project managers can make bad decisions, but one thing successful construction management teams have in common is the ability to respond quickly to challenges.

Construction Management Strategies for the New Normal

This year has certainly thrown us a few curveballs. But we’ve been quick to recover from what could have been a devastating economic disaster for the construction industry.

Here are three strategies construction management professionals are using to salvage this year and set the stage for growth in 2021:

1. Become Data-Driven

Projects never finish late or go over budget;
we’re just bad at predicting how much they should cost and
how long they should take…
– The State of AI-Based Construction Finance

AI (artificial intelligence) and automated processes will make decision-making more accurate. You hear the term “knowledge-based decisions” too often, but automation software is driving construction management estimates:

  • Bidding
  • Cashflow
  • Completion cost
  • Forecasting
  • Pricing
  • Time-to-complete

2. Cut Costs

Easy to say; difficult to do. Look for ways to cut hard costs or at the very least, avoid “sticker shock” by properly budgeting:

  • Equipment – Is purchasing used or renting an option?
  • Labor
  • Landscaping
  • Materials
  • Utilities

3. Smaller Crews, Unconventional Shifts

Conventional shiftwork and all-hands-on-deck is not the way we work for now. Use smaller work teams and incorporate unconventional, rotational shifts into the project site.

Data-Driven Strategic Planning for Construction Leads

Successful construction managers are always looking ahead to the next job. You don’t have to be a marketing maven to know that data is driving our industry.

Construction Monitor provides customized, pre-sorted data that will make “knowledge-based” decisions even more powerful. More accurate. And during times of uncertainty, companies that stay strong and thrive are the ones that use the right information tools.

There’s more than one way to manage the new normal and there’s more than one way to contact Construction Monitor. Email, call, or click to connect with us today.

7 Causes of Construction Rework

Construction Rework

Construction rework is frustrating, eats time and money, and can cut into future profits. Investors aren’t likely to back a project in which the contractors and subcontractors are known for do-overs.

7 Factors Leading to Construction Rework

A scholarly study of construction rework evaluated the causes and their impact on construction projects. This powerful paper found more than 50 factors that lead to construction rework. The breakdown had seven categories of issues that can cause construction rework:

1. Client-Related

  • Funding inadequate
  • Inadequate briefing
  • Lack of construction knowledge
  • People-changes leading to construction changes

2. Construction Processes

  • Difficult schedules
  • Inadequate pre-project planning
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Lack of audit/control
  • Lack of standardization
  • Late designer input
  • Non-compliance with specs
  • Poor documentation
  • Resistance to improvement/“ego” conflicts
  • Unclear work specs

3. Construction-Related

  • Competitive pressure
  • Financially weak
  • Fraud attempts
  • Low contract value
  • Misread drawing/specs
  • Poor quality control
  • Technically unqualified

4. Design-Related

  • Poor procurement processes
  • Design errors/omissions
  • Incomplete documentation/information
  • Lack of professionalism

5. External

  • Acts of God
  • Economy
  • Environmental
  • Governmental (regulations, taxes, interest rates)
  • Inadequate local education
  • Infrastructure/transportation
  • Political conflicts/issues
  • Social environment
  • Technological
  • Weather

6. Human Resources

  • Excessive overtime
  • Few employee incentives
  • Lack of skills/training
  • Mismanagement
  • Personnel issues
  • Poor communication
  • Unclear line of authority
  • Weak decision-making

7. Materials and Equipment

  • Emergencies
  • Irregular deliveries
  • Materials not in-place when needed
  • Poor quality
  • Pre-fabrication mistakes

IT for Accuracy

Information technology (IT) is driving every facet of our industry. It’s never too late to take advantage of the amazing software programs and other technology available to our industry. You can make better decisions – and more accurate bids – when you analyze cost and labor data.

Construction Monitor is your information technology resource for marketing development. We have the basic building permits data available to everyone.

What we do with building permit data makes the difference. We offer time-saving, customized information that targets your market and your demographics. We do the data sorts you can do yourself. But we do them faster and more thoroughly.

Learn more about ways to gain a competitive edge. Call 800.925.6085* or contact the data pros at Construction Monitor today.

*International contractors interested in U.S. development, please call 1.435.586.1205.

3 Qualities of Successful Construction Project Managers

Some construction project managers have reputations for success. They get the jobs done, on-time, within budget, and seem to have unlimited resources. Contractors want to work for them and with them.

You should always seek to align yourself with successful construction project managers. Even better, strive to be one.

Construction Project Managers: What They Manage

Good money management is key to any successful construction project. But the qualities successful construction project managers share are what leads them to better money management – better overall management in every phase.

1. Communication

You may be tired of constant advice to communicate better, more often, etc. One survey cited miscommunication and inaccurate or inaccessible information cost the U.S. construction industry more than $31 billion in 2018.

Poor communication is the deal-breaker. It’s the main cause of construction mistakes and rework expenses. Successful construction project managers ensure a timely flow of information is consistently funneled to key project people.

Documentation is the most effective communication tool available. Daily reports, possible problems, changes – everything should be put in writing. When a construction project manager is slow to respond to emails and phone calls, delays, and process breakdowns begin to impact the project.

2. Progress and Problems

Successful construction project managers don’t dodge the hardballs. They monitor potential problems, and when a project gets derailed, they respond quickly. Some of the tools construction project managers use are daily progress reports and weekly budget analyses.

Construction project managers are also detectives. Why are we behind schedule? What are the causes of low productivity? They delve into problems quickly so damage control can be immediate and effective.

3. Strategic Planning

The devil’s in the details. Successful construction managers know a complex construction project requires detailed planning. The best way to plan a project is to assume everyone knows nothing, then provide the plans – and the processes – for every phase. This means defining goals, establishing project milestones, and developing timelines for deliverables.

Strategic planning includes:

  • Communication roadmaps
  • Equipment – what is needed, where, and when
  • Labor coordination
  • Materials management
  • Response to crisis/issues
  • Risk assessment
  • Safety processes

Better Construction Industry Business Development Today

Construction industry alliances can make for more successful business-building than strategizing to “beat” the competition. Construction Monitor gives you the data needed to do both. Our statistics show which companies are making the biggest difference in your area of the country. It can also show which competitors to watch.

You have many good information resources available. Every week, we offer the most up-to-date information available for construction industry business development. Contact us today to better manage business development.

Construction Projects: Reducing Rework

construction rework

Nobody likes do-overs, but we all make mistakes. What sets the best companies apart from the wannabes is how we respond to our mistakes.

If you’re going into overtime and running over-budget too often or your margin for errors is too high, do something about it. Reducing construction rework increases profits.

8 Causes of Construction Rework

Design changes are the leading cause of construction rework, so technology is impacting construction rework in a big way. We can design and then construct virtually. We can return to the drawing board before the foundation is laid, saving time, materials, labor…and of course, money.

Eight additional causes of construction rework include:

  1. Deadlines – Unrealistic timeframes leading to rushed, lesser-quality work
  2. Materials – Quality of materials not what was expected; don’t meet specifications
  3. Misunderstanding – Unclear client expectations
  4. Paper-chasing – Missing documents, incorrect processes, and general inability to find the information needed in a timely manner
  5. Procurement – Supply chain problems, ordering the wrong materials
  6. Quality control – No standards/processes to follow
  7. Supervision – Inexperienced or ineffective management; lack of leadership, no teamwork guidance
  8. Untrained workers – Underqualified jobsite/administrative personnel or workers that don’t take pride in workmanship

Communication is Critical

Today, most construction project failures “are the result of insufficient communication,” says a project management software developer. Now more than ever, construction management teams must develop a clear plan that includes how and when communications will occur.

Make No Mistake: Using Technology for Business Development is Essential

Lost time and money are minimal problems when you consider the amount of frustration construction project participants experience. Everyone – management, contractors, employees, investors – everyone suffers the dissatisfaction that comes from construction rework. Especially mistakes that could have been avoided.

Discounting technology and data utilization is the biggest mistake you can make. Construction Monitor can give you information for job leads and more. You’ll learn about profitable alliance opportunities and historical trends that reoccur. Our building permit datasorts will give you actionable insight.

You can’t go wrong when developing and managing available technology resources. Contact Construction Monitor for proven-to-work information, available when you need it: today.