In September 2014, construction industry in the UK recorded one of the fastest growth rates that had been sustained for well over seven months. In fact, the growth rate of about 64 percent was way above what many construction analysts and economists had projected. The boom in construction industry came about amid the concerns of the recession that had rocked the euro zone. As elucidated by Fewings (2013), residential construction facilitated the growth in many ways owing to the fact that demand for housing in the UK remains high. While many pundits presume that the growth reflects ‘return to normality’ within the construction industry, it is imperative to mention that labor productivity as well as effectiveness of project managers has been instrumental in spurring the surge within the industry.
Project manager’s effect on productivity within the construction industry
Project managers play a critical role in ensuring that their projects are completed within time by influencing the labor productivity. At the outset, the project managers have the responsibility of creating a productive management culture within the industry and organizations that they manage (Morton & Ross, 2008). Apparently, a culture where project managers assign projects to individuals without equipping them with the requisite tools and sufficient training could be counterproductive (Fewings, 2013). In such a culture, projects end up consuming huge amounts of resources without achieving the objectives (Dykstra, 2011). Project managers influence the productivity and effectiveness of the organizations by ensuring that the manage projects within a culture that motivates staff members through a competitive reward structure. This ensures that the strategic plan of the project is executed effectively. In addition, it is important to articulate that project managers are responsible for constant evaluation of the existing culture in order to align it with the productivity needs envisioned in the strategic plan.
According to Morton & Ross (2008), project managers influence the productivity of labor creating project teams and ensuring that the teams are effective. For a team to work effectively, there are various aspects of team management that are pertinent to project teams including the ability of the manager to become a team player. This ensures that project teams work together with a shared goal of and a mission to enhance the success of the project. While it sounds easy to work within a team to achieve a common purpose, some projects are usually complex and require immense knowledge and expertise especially from members of the team (Morton & Ross, 2008). The project manager therefore should be in a position bring up a team and train them to work cohesively.
Construction industry in the UK has faced rapid growth over the recent past due to the ability of the project managers to undertake implementation of management quality systems of the projects (Morton & Ross, 2008). Project managers ensure that the quality of the work delivered by all employees meet the internationally accepted quality standards (Fewings, 2013). The quality systems ensure that the customers’ needs are well understood and addressed. This is in addition to ensuring that there is a policy in place to ensure that management of projects meets organizational quality standards. The project managers ensure that the all project processes can adapt to all sizes of the projects both complex and simple projects and set up tools and templates that enhance effective documentation of the project (Dykstra, 2011). Due to the setting up of sufficient quality control systems, project managers have been linked to organization’s ability of meeting the needs of the customers who consequently get confidence in the projects. This improves the effectiveness of the projects.
Project managers also affect the effectiveness of productivity within the construction industry by ensuring that they consistently improve the level of project performance (Dykstra, 2011). This involves the preservation of output and delivering the project’s strategic plan in order to meet the ever-rising demand of the customers even when the pressure is extremely high. Apparently, assigning resources to emerging projects may put a strain on the resources and work balance since the resources should perform their regular roles and the assigned project. This might create tension within the workers who are required to meet the needs of their respective departments while at the same time ensuring that they perform the new tasks assigned to them (Morton & Ross, 2008). To achieve this, the project managers should be careful in resource allocation and ensure that they do not act as the impediments of project’s success but rather as the facilitators.
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