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Project Management LessonsProject management is one of the most important components in subcontracted projects. Yet it can be difficult to obtain the information you need to efficiently manage a project from beginning to end and achieve your projected profit margins. Here are some tips on better project management so you can assure successful outcomes:

  1. Do your due diligence prior to the bid.
    Visit and review the site prior to entering a project bid. Going in blind to any large project is risky and could result in challenges based on site conditions. Therefore, project managers should visit sites prior to bidding to determine whether the specifications are correct, what equipment is needed, and what the business owner is looking for. Project managers should also submit a bid scope without a price for each project before making an official bid.
  2. Review all documents.
    We’re used to quickly glancing at agreements for every smartphone app we install, but the same can’t be true for contracts. Subcontractors need to carefully review contracts on their own or with legal counsel. In addition to cost, liability, and project deadlines, look at the consequences for delays due to natural and unnatural circumstances as well as possible resolutions for when design changes impact timetables.
  3. Make a safe bid.
    Don’t underbid or add unattainable promises to get the project. Clients are usually displeased when project managers and subcontractors don’t keep their promises. It’s better to condition a bid by underpromising and overdelivering. For example, if you promise the project at six months and you’re done in five, you earn a reputation as an efficient and responsible business owner — however, exceeding a deadline is never favorable. Don’t forget to include a percentage of risk in the bid to ensure you cover all circumstances in liabilities against workers and the project manager.
  4. Hire and keep the right talent.
    Like the bid, don’t use the lowest cost as your matrix for project hiring. Hire the best talent possible with pay at or above regular rates. Professionals with more experience can better manage their time and the project, and they’ll be able to problem-solve to reduce delays rather than contribute to them. Think about and plan for career development and training for all your staff members. Nobody wants to work in a dead-end job.
  5. Manage change orders and changes appropriately.
    Throughout the project, the project manager should get written authorization for all change orders to avoid confusion and the numerous issues that can ensue from undocumented changes and instructions. Finally — and most important — problem-solve to stay on deadline. Clearly communicate with the general contractor’s lead project manager when you anticipate delays and let her or him know why.

Being proactive instead of reactive is the name of the game for subcontractors. Common Sense Solutions experts can help provide the necessary tools for effective project management at each and every step.

[cta]Ready to get a leg up on the competition — and protect yourself and your employer? Contact the experts at Common Sense Solutions for answers to your burning subcontracting questions. [/cta]