Questions You Should Ask Your Project Manager Before Commencing A Project

Establishing value-added workflows is the best way to regain control of the progress of a construction project. Many project managers who have been working in the industry tend to overlook admin-related tasks making way for waste activities.

Waste activities are defined as tasks that do not comply with the distinct project criteria. Waste activities can be any of the following:

  • Unnecessary transportation of vehicles and materials
  • Damaged materials in the inventory due to being ordered too early or stored poorly
  • Downtime between tasks on site
  • Unnecessary motions including spending too much time walking up and down from the site to other facilities like the cafeteria
  • Rework and added costs due to defects

These tasks not only push forward the timeline of a project but also add to its cost. Hence, the best way to deal with them is by being vigilant and asking your project manager some technical questions before starting the project.

Some of the questions that you should ask are:

Has Zoning Been Integrated Into The Planning Process?

Due to a lot of repetition in admin-related tasks, many project managers fail to integrate zoning into their planning. Imagine you are working on a multi-family residential area where several identical units have to be built or you are working on building a large hospital project.

In projects like these, zones have to be identified before starting the project. There are a series of specifications that have to be satisfied. Subcontractors need to be able to access each zone (i.e. room or apartment) at the right time and then move forward to the next zone at the right time.

When Is A Task Considered Done?

One of the main reasons behind delays in commercial projects is waiting for subcontractors or team members to complete their tasks. This also adds to the downtime of a project.

The issue can be avoided by defining what the notion of what “completed work” is so that the team knows the standardized set of rules and practices regarding when a task should be considered closed. This will also help you to identify what tasks need more attention.

Has The Team Spent Enough Time On The Preparation Of The Project?

Only a well-planned project can be completed on time without exceeding the downtime and budget. The lack of focus on the preparation of a construction project can lead to several issues down the road.

However, know that the preparation only highlights the tentative schedule of the project. There are many factors that have to be considered including bad weather. These problems are then tackled by the manager through better anticipation and preparation around orders, delivery, choices, drawings, and planning of the available workforce.

Are The Tools Tailored For The Type Of Construction You Need?

There are several types of construction tools available on the market. Some still use older technology while others are relatively newer and perform better. Hence, to boost the productivity of your project and to ensure the successful completion of your lookaheads, it is important that the team uses tools that cater to the specific needs of the project at hand. Using the wrong tools can impact your lookaheads by as much as 3 to 6 weeks.


Keeping in touch with your project manager will help you closely monitor the progress of your project. This will give you more clarity and will keep your workers on their toes. Asking the right questions is only the beginning to regaining control over your site’s progress.

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BelVan construction is a premium construction company in Alberta, Saskatchewan, & BC. We are qualified commercial general contractors based in Edmonton. We have offered various business experts general contracting, project design-build, pre-construction consulting, and construction management services since 2011.

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