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Construction Project Management Tips

By Kelly Scott
February 14, 2024

How to improve construction project management

Good construction management is about conducting a symphony of variables – from timelines and budgets, to people and equipment. Not to mention weather and other potential disruptions. It’s rare – if not impossible – that everything goes to plan. That’s where the art of project management really comes in. Having contingency plans and real-time problem solving skills at the ready.


Construction comes with high stakes. Australia’s infrastructure and major development projects come with a high price tag – which only becomes more eye-watering in the event of delays.


Adverse weather and labour shortages, along with generally increasing costs, have restricted progress around the country. As of August 2023, the amount of construction work in the ‘to do’ pipeline had ballooned out to a record $224 billion.


Statistics around construction project delays and costs more generally also make for scary reading.

  • ~10% of the Australian economy is accounted for by the building and construction sector (Source: ACIF)
  • Only 50% of project owners are meeting completion deadlines (Source: KPMG)
  • 74% of completed large and technically complex projects in Australia go over schedule or over budget (Source: CIS)

Effective construction project management is essential to ensure that projects are completed successfully, on time, and within budget. Read on for construction project management tips and insights, as well as topical industry statistics.

What does good project management look like?

Construction project management in Australia takes a combination of clear planning, embracing the right tools and technology, risk management, and workforce coordination. But there are several other factors to consider, including environmental factors, costs, site materials, machinery and maintenance, as well as safety and risk management. 

As is often the case with the most important jobs, you know they’re being done well when it goes unnoticed. On the other hand, poor project management becomes very clear the moment things start to go wrong.

The importance of site preparation

Ensuring your site is prepped and ready for work to commence is a key step in the process, giving your project the best chance of smooth and efficient construction. But what does that actually mean in practice?


Proper site preparation includes clearing and grading the land – testing the soil, noting any hazards, and removing obstacles. This ensures that the ground is stable and ready for work. Not only preparing the ground for construction, but ensuring the layout is safe for workers and vehicles to co-exist and get where they need to go. Cutting corners during site prep can lead to complications and far more costly delays later in the project.

The role of rollers

Rollers are must-have tools for any site. They help achieve proper compaction of soil, asphalt, and other ground materials, ensuring that the ground is stable and ready to support the weight of any proposed structure. For smaller sites or residential builds with tight spaces, smaller plate compactors and rammers may be used for similar outcomes.

Compaction rollers, rammers, excavators, and site dumpers are all crucial tools when it comes to site preparation. A well-balanced fleet of compaction equipment is essential for compacting soil to prevent issues like settling, creating a stable base for construction.

Looking to stock up on equipment? Check out our hire fleet

8 tips for construction project management

1. Clear Project Planning and Documentation

According to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), projects with well-documented plans have a 25% higher chance of staying on budget. Proper planning and documentation of your construction project – with clearly defined objectives, timelines, and budgets – is the key to successful project management.

2. Use Project Management Software

A survey by the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) found that 67% of construction managers in Australia believe that adopting technology improves project efficiency.

As a construction project manager, consider embracing construction management software and planning tools such as Procore or Buildertrend. These kinds of platforms can help take a lot of the manual strain out of keeping all the plates spinning – streamlining communication, tracking progress, and managing documentation more efficiently. Most software can be customised to suit your specific ongoing project needs.

3. Proactive Risk Management

Master Builders Australia reports that 65% of construction projects in Australia face unexpected risks. While it’s important to respond quickly to accidents as soon as they occur, the risk of mishaps occurring in the first place can be greatly reduced by thorough preparation and attention to detail.

As well as safety risks for workers, risk management can also comprise things such as equipment maintenance to avoid breakdowns and environmental considerations to reduce the impact on surrounding ecosystems.

Identify potential risks early, assess their potential impact, and develop strategies to mitigate them. It’s important to note that the risk management process doesn’t end once the project begins. Project managers should continue to regularly update risk assessments as the project develops.

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4. Skilled Workforce Management

The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) states that the construction industry employs over 1.2 million Australians. That’s obviously a huge chunk of the population. But in an industry this big, it also highlights the need for adequate screening processes to ensure workers are equipped to handle the job.

Ensure your construction manager and team are well-qualified and maintain open lines of communication with your workforce.

5. Environmental Considerations

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) reports that green building projects now account for 23% of all projects in Australia. With climate targets and threatened ecosystems becoming more prominent issues, environmental considerations are increasingly prominent during planning and development.

Stay up to date with environmental regulations, consult local authorities, and adopt sustainable construction practices to meet evolving standards.

6. Cost Control

The ABS has recorded that cost overruns occur in 23% of Australian construction projects. In the case of large infrastructure projects, the numbers are even more stark – the majority (74%) end up over-time and over-budget. This can often be influenced by political interests, with projects fast-tracked before they’re ready. In this scenario, there’s an increased risk of projects being poorly defined and planned as a result. This, in turn, leads to further project management challenges as goalposts move and timelines squeeze. 

Be thorough with due diligence in the planning phase, managing stakeholder expectations as clearly as possible. Regularly monitor your budget and identify areas where cost control measures can be applied to prevent overspending.

7. Collaboration & Communication

A study by PwC Australia reveals that 86% of construction industry professionals believe that collaboration improves project outcomes.

Foster open communication among team members, stakeholders, and subcontractors. Collaboration is key to resolving issues promptly. This starts with assembling your best team of skilled and trusted team members where everyone is clear on their role and how to contribute constructively.

8. Equipment & Resource Management

Equipment is the key to efficient output on any worksite. Even more so in the case of large infrastructure projects. Having the right machines for the job, with skilled operators, and diligent maintenance will go a long way to maximising uptime and delivering results on time.

Conplant is the leading supplier of compaction equipment in Australia. We have an extensive fleet of rollers, site dumpers, and excavators available for delivery directly to worksites right across the country.

Need brand new compaction equipment? Check out our sales range.


Successful construction project management in Australia relies on a lot of factors. It takes careful planning, seamless software, thorough risk assessment, workforce management, environmental awareness, effective communication, and access to quality equipment and resources. 


By maintaining 360-degree oversight of these key areas, along with a proactive approach to problem solving and stakeholder management, you give yourself the best chance of delivering a successful, long-lasting build, on time and on budget.

To equip yourself with the best equipment to help get the job done on time, get in touch with the Conplant team.

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