Communication can make or break any kind of relationship, whether personal or professional. If you’re working with a construction manager (CM), clear and concise communication is essential to the success of your project. Poor communication is what causes problems. A good construction manager will ensure that the lines of communication are open, effective, accessible, and productive for everyone involved in your project.
Preparing for Success: The Communication Plan
The best way to ensure successful communication between everyone on a project is to plan ahead. The CM will prepare a communication plan in coordination with your primary point of contact to define the who, what, why, when, where and how of project communication. This plan should include the following aspects of how and when you will be in communication:
The CM will typically provide formal communication/reporting however often is necessary to keep the ap¬propriate staff members current on the progress of the project. Since the CM is working to represent your best interests on the project, you should expect this communication to be as frequent or infrequent as you desire ranging from daily to monthly. Similarly, if you’re less interested in the day-to-day aspects of your project, your CM will adjust accordingly.
How much autonomy?
The two key aspects of communication are information sharing and decision-making. The CM will help you determine what information is most important to you, in what format you’d like to receive it, and what (if any) authority you wish to grant to the CM to make decisions on your behalf.
What format & content?
Typically, the communication plan consists of a weekly progress report summarizing progress for the past week, the outlook for the current week, and anything concerning. A more formal monthly progress report is also prepared to provide you will all the pertinent contract information on the project. These monthly reports can incorporate many different types of documentation, including:
- Progress report narratives
- Shop drawing/submittal log
- Request for information (RFI) log
- Project budget & billing summary
- Project schedule
- Project photos
On the Job and in Person
In-person communication with your CM is also a vital part of the process. This will include regularly scheduled on-site architect-owner-CM meetings to review the jobsite conditions and discuss any issues needing input from the entire project team. In addition, some owners may prefer to attend the regularly scheduled contractor meetings.
The CM should never obligate you to a decision significantly impacting the project without discussing the ramifications with you and providing you with all the information and alternatives needed to make the best decision. Open, honest communication with your CM helps you stay abreast of pending decisions as well as mitigate issues and resolve conflicts before they become deleterious to the project.
Ideally, your CM will know how to best handle potentially difficult conversations or disagreements about scope, schedule, budget, quality, and safety for the benefit of you and the project. Your CM should be your advocate to resolve any project-related issues.
Good Communication = Successful Projects
An open, honest line of communication between a CM and client is immeasurably important in ensuring that a project stays on track, on schedule, and on budget. Holland Construction Services has the skill, experience, and dedication to help your next construction project succeed. Contact us today to get started.
Holland. Built on Integrity.