Business is changing, and the world of construction is no different. Innovations like Vezde allow project managers to liaise with a team of contractors all over the world, and the days of managing a project on-site are fading fast.
Thanks to software that provides real time data on progress, managers don’t even need to be on the same continent as the team bringing the project to life.
All the same, it’s important for any project owner to stay in control. Working remotely presents unique challenges, but with the right approach, it not only streamlines the entire management process, it boosts productivity too.
Here are a few key tips to getting it right.
Communication is vital in all spheres of life, and never more so than when a project owner is on the other side of the world from the team at work.
A good manager is clear about the type of work he/she wants to see produced, but also has the confidence in his crew to sit back and let them take the reins.
Good communication begins and ends with transparency, meaning that sensitive topics like money and deadlines are up front and out in the open. In addition, an effective manager makes the goals of the project clear from the outset, positioning the contractor for success in delivering a quality end product.
Vezde top tip: Make use of all the technology at your disposal to develop an open, transparent scope of communication across the width and breadth of the team.
Focus on quality meetings
For a meeting to be a success, it needs to be focused, short and sweet, and well planned. No meetings should be scheduled without an approved agenda upfront; as they say, ‘No Agenda, No Attenda.’ A good project manager will will drive the team to come prepared, keep the conversation relevant, and send any non-critical conversations to a ‘parking lot’ for future discussion or sidebar between those effected.
The goal is to steer clear of micromanagement, a crutch which turns a manager into a hindrance that stifles the productivity of workers. Meetings should be constructive, goal-orientated and with limited small talk and other time wasting.
Vezde top tip: Less is more, so concentrate on high-quality meetings, and make this aim clear to your team so that they prepare for each and every opportunity to discuss a project. Plus, make sure your team verifies all data reported in advance, as related to progress, inventory, and overall site condition. One such way to verify is through the use of Vezde’s reporting tool, including Verified Captures or Vericapts™. Such verified reporting will ensure all parties are on the same page at any given time.
Deadlines are vital – but negotiable
It’s impossible to manage a project (remotely, or otherwise) without deadlines, and harder still when teams repeatedly miss them. The best managers lead by example, honoring their commitments without complaint. They expect the same in return, and are prepared to take their team to task when something goes wrong.
However, sometimes things happen outside of a contractor’s control, and that means a deadline has to be extended. In those instances, even proper planning can be trumped by a last-minute curveball, which means that a manager needs to have some flexibilityon timelines. The first step after any such curveball is thrown is to drill down into the issue to fully understand what happened that caused a change in plans. Any such analysis should include verified data, otherwise the entire team could plan a solution that bears little resemblance to the situation on the ground. The second step is to plan for a work-around and map out a recovery schedule. If a full recovery is not possible due to such unforeseen conditions, it pays to be transparent with clients to ensure all parties are on the same page regarding completion and handover of their project.
Vezde top tip: Insist on verifiable project data that prooves your team is on top of progress. Ask for verifiable images and data from project sites, such as Vezde’s verified captures, or Vericapts™, to make informed decisions. Until such proof is provided, a milestone cannot be considered complete, and no payments can be released..