If you own a construction or engineering company you probably understand that there is a time of year when projects are slower (less profitable) and other times when they are much more profitable. But from my experience working with construction and engineering companies, I am here to tell you, that you can’t out account how much money you waste in the hands of your team. Believe it or not, Project Managers have a problem their own especially with regard to time management. As on a prince2 course qualification.
I’ve been a PM for over three years and during that time I never learned how to effectively manage my time. After all we all know that we’re supposed to do a better job and the supervision and management of projects are part of that, but I’ve been to all the right meetings and worked with the same team members on numerous projects, but I would invariably come back from lunch and find that I hadn’t accomplished anything significantly.
It is easy to get completely bogged down when you are PM for your company, so what can be done to keep you from having a “challenging project” year in the construction field?
Easy to find spot
Keep all of your notes in an easy to find spot – you’ll never remember what they are! I believe that a great solution is by using a small notebook with dividers and a verse and number page is a great place to keep it. Use it to keep a record of all of your meetings, phone calls and documents without at all being distracted by what is going on around you.
Keep with the schedule
Create a consistent routine for your meetings and keep to it, for the most effective time management about one hour per week should be about all you can manage anyway. By “keep with the schedule” we don’t mean coming into meetings at any time other than a scheduled time, and then turning the meeting around to something else. You know, the time you’ve committed to writing up the minutes and then making a few phone calls. The meeting is still there, but it could have been one hour for your preparation or it is now 30 minutes for your preparation. Remember if something comes up during the meeting, make sure that you take care of it before wrapping it up and asking the question “Is that it for now?”.
Stay focused and keep a good attitude
Stay focused and keep a good attitude. The beauty of a Project Management System is that you can manage your time effectively so you’ll be able to accomplish your goals, but in today’s world with everything to do, the ability to manage time has become even more important.
improve your project management skills
Learn something new everyday and keep a challenge with you so that you will improve your project management skills. A great way to improve your bottom line on projects is to “know too much all at once”. This is said because if your client says they want you to “remember everything and do everything at once”. The chances of your money wise decisions are either all together lost or severely restricting you in the ways you negotiate a project.
Limit your knowledge
This can be challenging but if you take the time to write down the things you believe are the most important and effective things you already know of and the things you believe are the most difficult and most effective to learn (and thus the most important remember), you can expand your knowledge base as you learn more and more about your craft.
Take stock of your history and reviews of what other project managers have said about you. The last thing you want to do is to look like an idiot on your resume.
Learn the basics
When it comes to consulting, your clients will most likely want you to handle projects that willMost likely involve: task because it really is the most effective way to either keep or regain control on a project schedule and it is where you will gain many skills that you will eventually need to apply to managing and setting goals within your own projects. These skillscifically need to be learned and you should definitely be taking classes. But you will also want to learn how to use programs like Word and Excel to handle the project management aspects of the business side of the field.
Keep things in perspective
I learned a long time ago that you only need to learn a skill to a point and stop learning other skills until you finally master those that are most necessary to be able to complete the work you do every day. So you should be careful not to focus too much on the skills that are the most important to a certain industry or employed by the big players. You will want to keep things simple i.e. you should do the most effective things and increase your knowledge as you progress and determine what is best from each project.