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5 Key Elements To Success In Project Management

Project managers are responsible for overseeing almost every aspect of the construction process. Therefore, it is important to know that they are setting themselves up for success. There are 5 key elements of success that every project manager must adopt in order to ensure the success of their construction project.

In this article, we go through the 5 project management steps that every project manager needs to follow.


Accurately identifying the client’s needs is the key to ensuring that you produce the right product. Good project managers don’t just assume that they already know what the needs of the client are for the project at hand. Thus, one of the first steps in project management is to sit down with the client and go through the project at length and in detail.

Experienced project managers can identify potential problems with the client’s needs or wants during the initial meetings. This ensures solutions are built into the plan while uncovering issues early.

A project manager that works through a thorough needs analysis is able present a detailed and comprehensive plan.


Project planning is easily one of the most critical steps of project management that cannot be overlooked. Building a comprehensive plan for the project allows the project manager to break the project into stages. They are; determine resources required for each stage, allocating material, equipment and labour requirements along with aligning the budget and timeline for the project.

Proactive project managers will take into account the possibility of issues and contingencies that may arise, such as weather and market conditions, that can delay the execution of the project. By taking these potential issues into account - they are able to build them into the timeline which helps ensure that the project will meet the schedule.


The planning stage helps the project manager set out the goals for each stage as they are breaking them down. As in all goals, being measurable is what ensures success. Continual monitoring is key. The start up phase of any project is critical, it sets the stage for monitoring and measuring the metrics developed in the plan to track the progress in order to maintain the schedule and remain on budget. Great project managers are able to make adjustments and adapt the plan while re-aligning goals for that particular stage.

The progress information and monitoring is documented in the form of a progress report. Proactive project managers rely on these reports and documents for their communication with the designers, engineers and construction teams. They also set the stage for client site and progress meetings. This documentation ensures that the project manager, his team, suppliers and subcontractors are accountable and compliant with all contracts.


The key is to clearly communicate expectations, which is why project managers need to be master communicators. Being able to utilize all available tools to accurately define goals, expectations and effectively document these conversations is in the end what truly defines a great project manager. Accuracy, accountability and transparency are required at all levels to fulfill this goal.


The last key element for success in project management is realizing how to leverage knowledge and experience. The truly smart person looks for understanding and learning in every interaction, they proactively listen to understand.

This methodology encourages collaboration which in turn promotes successful execution of the plan. Allowing for collaboration means people can get tasks done quicker - while actively inviting a variety of voices on the project to make suggestions and offer opinions.

Need a project manager? Contact Southwest and Midwest Design & Construction to find out how our skilled project managers can lead your next construction project to success.