Desk of engineer in the office


On time and under budget, that is the mantra of our industry. Construction projects are capital intensive, that means every second counts particularly when we are spending other people’s money. As a construction manager we are tasked with managing time. Not just our own time but the time of hundreds of workers on the job site as well as workers behind the scenes at the supply houses and administration teams for our trade partners. We control the schedule and the clock. But, before we can attempt to manage other people’s time, we need to be able to manage our own time.

Understanding time management is the most critical skill a construction manager can possess. Time management is the act of managing yourself. We can not control time, but we can control how we spend it. Understanding how we spend our time and what is truly important will dictate how well we manage our professional and personal lives. The Builder Tactics training academy offers the tools you need to manage yourself and make the best use of the time you have. Some of the skills we will teach you include, task management, understanding critical paths, identification or your time wasters and how to stay organized.

Remember, we set the example for our trade partners, we lead people, we don’t manage them. Understanding how we manage our own time is a critical skill in any management position. After all, we need to be able to juggle multiple tasks and make sure our critical path is being followed.

No construction manager can survive without time management skills. One of the most important aspects of managing construction projects is maintaining the production schedule. This is a huge task and requires knowledge of the job, the trade workers capabilities and construction sequencing or knowledge of what comes first, second and so on to produce the final product. Without being able to manage your own time you will not be able to manage other people’s time and that is what schedule maintenance is all about.

Want to Learn More? Purchase our Construction Management Training Manual

Construction Management Training Manual


Like it or not the condition of your job site is a direct reflection of your competency as a Construction Manager (CM). Every CM is judged immediately by how clean, organized and productive their site is. If a customer shows up, looks around and sees trash, dirt and building materials spread all over the place, their first impression is going to be that however is in charge is not doing a very good job. This could mean the loss of a potential customer or worse, a client that feels they need to “help” you run the job. Either way it is a lose-lose situation. I know lots of CM’s that deliver a great product at the end of the job but leave a wake of trash and construction repairs behind them. The problem with this is that they spend too much money cleaning up after trade partners that they allow to trash the job site. These construction managers also allow trade partners to destroy their sediment and erosion controls. Even worse than all the money that is wasted is the unsafe working conditions that are often caused by mismanaged job sites. Piles of trash and unorganized building materials can lead to accidents.

Safety is not just your job as a CM it is your first priority. Perhaps the most important aspect of job site management is making sure your workers and clients make it home safely to their loved ones. Too often we sacrifice safety for speed and the result is a death or serious injury on the job site. It is important that you as the leader set the example for everyone else. If you are wearing your hard hat than its perfectly reasonable for everyone else to as well.

Remember, as the leader you set the example for how the job is run. Holding trade partners accountable for their actions, such as leaving food trash anywhere except the trash can, is not being a bully. It is setting the example for all the other trades. Remember, builders do not make trash, their sub contractor’s do. Our online training academy will give you the skills it takes to manage a clean, safe and organized job site.

The keys to exceptional job site management are keeping the job organized, clean and safe.

Want to Learn More? Purchase our Construction Management Training Manual

Construction Management Training Manual

Hands of architecs counting budget for the project

(and Other Boring Stuff)

CM’s were put on this planet to manage construction, not to be accountants, that is a fact. However, CM’s are also responsible for huge amounts of money and must have an understanding of how accounting works. Just like construction management, accounting is all about accountability. As construction managers we need to know that all the point loads, beams and columns are installed correctly. Accountants need to know that all the costs and expenditures were done correctly or there could be huge discrepancies in the budget. Understanding how to read profit and loss statements, base building budgets and where to account for overhead is just another tool today’s construction managers need to use to make sure the money they are tasked with spending goes in the right column. Besides letting us know how much money we are spending, budgets also act as a tool when bidding out new jobs or deciding if a piece of land is worth buying. By looking at previous budgets we are able to see where the job went wrong and where we had great success. Also, we can look at new jobs with a reference of how we did on other jobs of a similar size and scope. This reference helps us decide if we are able to take on that particular new job or if it wasn’t profitable enough perhaps we pass on it. Historical budgets also allow us to fine tune our bidding and estimating processes. But, these benefits only exist if our numbers are correct. That’s were CMs’ become bookkeepers.

The Builder Tactics training academy will provide you with the tools to properly account for the funds you have been authorized to spend.

Want to Learn More? Purchase our Construction Management Training Manual

Construction Management Training Manual

Construction business meetingLEADERSHIP

Leadership is being able to convince others to reach a common goal. Great leadership is when they reach that goal because they want to not because that have to. True leaders are a byproduct of their experiences and lessons learned as they grow and mature. It is true that charisma and charm will get results short term, but truly skilled leaders will inspire the people around them for a lifetime.

Construction managers are leaders by appointment first and by skill second. When you examine most construction manager job descriptions you will find words such as manage, supervise and oversee. But what you don’t typically see is the word lead. In fact, most management job descriptions lack any mention of the word lead or leadership. Yet, we expect today’s construction managers to lead huge teams of trades people, suppliers and ancillary staff members. As a result of this omission we tend to hire people that are technically proficient in the building trades but may not have ever been in a leadership position. This leads to leadership by appointment. Leadership by appointment is being placed in a position of authority based on someone else’s needs. Without leadership training this type of leader often turns to a dictatorial style of management. This type of manager leads his team with little input from others and no regard for the feelings of their subordinates. Under this type of leadership the project may get completed but it can also lead to a loss of valuable trades people and potential staff. However, emergent leaders or people that rise to the occasion out of necessity or a greater desire to create unity toward a common goal often find that they are able to produce better, faster results from the same worker base than the more common dictatorial manager. Emergent leaders often find that they are placed in a position of leadership by their peers rather than from some higher authority. They understand that people do not want to be managed, they want to be lead. This type of leadership blends authority with understanding and cooperation among the workers. These leaders help to orchestrate the work rather than dictate it.

At Builder tactics we will provide you with the strategy to become a better leader. We will break down the traditional leadership styles and give you the tools to become the best leader that you can. Utilizing the tools we have to offer will extend your sphere of influence and allow you to become the inspirational leader that our industry needs so dearly.

Want to Learn More? Purchase our Construction Management Training Manual

Construction Management Training Manual