Challenges a Construction Project Manager Faces

The Top 3 Challenges a Construction Project Manager Faces and how to overcome them

Each construction project has its unique challenges. The challenges a construction project manager faces in each phase of the project require strategic thinking and tactical expertise to overcome.

The issues that come up in a construction project may come from the structure, the project team, stakeholders or external factors like government regulations, planning issues or unforeseen events.

As a Construction Project Manager, your main objective is to deliver the project within the agreed timeframe and budget. To do that, you need to be ready to face any and all challenges that crop up during the project.

Below are some of the common challenges you will likely face and how we have overcome them.

Unclear objectives

If you are working on a project with poorly defined goals and objectives, you will likely have stakeholders who are not on the same page regarding the project’s overall objectives. We know that project completion is the overarching goal, but there are always smaller objectives and goals that need to be defined as project milestones.

The project milestones need to both be time and activity-related. They need to be understood and agreed to by all stakeholders to ensure the delivery of the project. To prevent unclear objectives, ask your client and the main contractor the right questions at the beginning of the project so that you can define the objectives. When you understand the objectives, look for their agreement on the project milestones from the very beginning.

Budget issues

Whether a budget is reasonable or unreasonable for the project, it is the Construction Project Manager’s responsibility to make it work. Part of making the budget work is setting reasonable expectations for any cost overruns and making adjustments to manage the budget. 

The budget is crucial; poor judgement or a miscalculation can result in the collapse of the project. 

The first step in ensuring that does not happen to your project is to ensure that you have identified and defined your objectives and deliverables. Ensure cost estimates are realistic and plan for a contingency budget for each element of the project. When you are creating your project budget, consider external factors that might affect the project; these factors might include resource or labour shortages, currency fluctuations, environmental considerations or global pandemics.

Unplanned work, change of materials or orders can create budget issues. As Construction Project Manager, you need to keep your eye on the budget, review it regularly to stay on track.

Poor time management

Time management is one of the biggest challenges that result in project failures in construction. When a deadline is missed, it has a snowball effect on the project, leading to more challenges down the line. 

Missed deadlines can lead to contractors cutting corners to catch up, resulting in defective designs, an increase in onsite accidents, and loss of revenue. Cutting corners is a quick fix but will have a knock-on effect on the project as the contractor tries to find and fix defects to avoid the risk of contractual penalties, resulting in delays and increased costs. 

As the Construction Project Manager, you need to ensure that you have designed workflows to ensure requirements are met. Time management will involve managing and tracking subcontractors and suppliers, factoring in paperwork, labour, lead times and project dependencies. Ensure that you have considered any weather changes or other unforeseeable circumstances. Time management issues can be managed and minimised with good project scheduling and tracking.

These are just some of the challenges that a Construction Project Manager faces. There are other common issues such as Hazard Management, Health and Safety and managing unrealistic expectations.

At Chancery Group, we believe in working hard to make progress in the most cost-effective manner rather than working hard to fix expensive, preventable mistakes. Our team specialises in Chartered Quantity Surveying, Cost Consulting Services, Construction Project Management Services, Project Management Surveying and Chartered Engineering Services.

We provide these services across the Republic of Ireland to a wide variety of clients in the private and public sectors, including developers, main contractors, specialist subcontractors, government agencies, religious orders, court services and commercial enterprises. To find out more about our services, contact us via email or call us on 057 935230. Or see what’s new with us on LinkedIn and Facebook.