Why soft skills are a must in a construction manager?

Why soft skills are a must in a construction manager?

A construction site draws huge investments and musters scores of men, materials, and machines to build a structure accurately as per the design. Putting everything in order, and completing the project within the stipulated budget and time can be an uphill task. Having soft skills puts a construction manager at an advantage. 

Who is a construction manager? 

A construction manager is one who oversees all aspects of construction, including residential, commercial, and industrial structures. Quite often, they have to work with other managers, focusing on specific elements or aspects within each project, participating through all stages, including planning, execution, and completion.

The role of a construction manager can be summarized as supervising and directing construction activities on a construction project. They typically work on construction sites, where they manage a team and ensure quality and safety throughout the building process. He or she ensures that the project is completed on time and within the budget.

Construction Manager vs Project Manager

Both construction managers and project managers oversee construction projects. A project manager may perform construction management duties on small projects. However, on large projects, these two professionals have different sets of responsibilities. So, they have to collaborate with each other on new building projects. Their roles share some similarities, but there are some key differences.

Construction Manager Duties and Responsibilities- 

  • Supervising a construction team and delegating tasks
  • Overseeing the daily construction process on the job site
  • Collaborating with contractors and material suppliers
  • Maintaining material inventory and ordering new items
  • Checking local construction guidelines to ensure the project meets all requirements
  • Creating schedules for the team members
  • Writing cost estimates for the construction tasks
  • Observing the building project’s progress and updating the project manager

Responsibilities of a Project Manager- 

  • Meeting with a client to discuss a new project design
  • Creating a project budget and plan
  • Selecting a project location and working to secure the land for a new building
  • Designing a project timeline with deadlines for each stage
  • Recruiting and hiring team members, including the construction manager
  • Writing cost estimates for all elements of a project, including the marketing and hiring process
  • Managing a project’s paperwork, including the initial plans and zoning documents

Education required for the post of construction manager

  1. Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, architecture, construction management, and project management.
  2. Master’s degree (not compulsory) in construction management.
  3. Online certification courses (preferred) like Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Certified Project Manager (CPM), and Master Project Manager (MPM).

Construction manager skills and qualities

A construction manager is responsible for getting the construction done as per the planning and design. The position requires several skill sets apart from the sound knowledge of civil engineering. Let’s look at the skills and qualities that make a good construction manager.

  • Proven construction management work experience
  • Advanced understanding of construction management processes, tools, and methods
  • Expertise in building products, construction details, and applicable rules, regulations, and quality standards
  • Comprehension of other aspects of the construction project as well.
  • Fluency in construction management software packages
  • Capability to plan ahead of time and see the “big picture.”
  • Competent in conflict and crisis resolution
  • Leadership and human resource management
  • Excellent time management and project management abilities

Some of the skills mentioned in the list are combined called soft skills, which is a major factor in the career of a construction manager. Soft skills or people skills (also known as non-technical skills) are personal values and interpersonal skills that ascertain a person’s ability to collaborate effectively with others in a project team.  These abilities include effective communication, leadership, and teamwork skills, as well as problem-solving, initiative, and motivation skills.