Construction managers and architects are cut from the same cloth. Construction managers are responsible for overseeing the completion of construction site projects while architects design structures. While it takes more years of education and training to become an architect, both positions have their fair share of responsibilities.
However, despite their similarities, construction managers and architects often clash on job sites and during the planning stages. Architects are quick to be blamed for anything that goes wrong on job sites. Construction managers have their own negative stereotypes like that they’re too cost-focused or they don’t understand the reality of larger project demands.
In reality, these two groups need to come together. In this guide, we’ll share practical tips for helping construction managers and architects work together to create more.
Recognize Your Weaknesses
The first step is to take a look inward. We all, in our fields, have our own strengths and weaknesses. We can agree that both construction managers and architects have many strengths, but there are also a lot of weaknesses that can get in the way if we aren’t careful.
For instance, architects can often get very protective of their vision. While passion is a good thing, it can be taken too far. They might feel that the structure is actually getting in the way of their artistic vision, especially if they feel that the construction manager isn’t taking this vision as seriously.
On the other hand, construction managers can be very cut-and-dry. They see the day-to-day challenges of construction, such as construction trench boxes, and they’re much less interested in worrying about the artistic vision when there are more important things to worry about. Functionality, cost, and efficiency are their chief focuses, and this can be its own weakness. Taking inventory of these strengths and weaknesses will position both sides to have a better understanding of each other.
One important way to nip problems in the bud is to plan ahead as a team. The construction project manager will need to work closely with the architect to plan before construction even begins, and this involves several planning stages. Collaboration is key at this stage.
Construction managers are pros at knowing just how unpredictable job sites can be. This is where architects should let them take the lead. For instance, if they think they need a Strong Arm 5 for their team, this should be taken into account since they know job sites the best. On the other hand, construction managers should listen to the different requirements and data for the design during this pre-planning stage.
Communicate Early and Often
Finally, the best tip for collaborating as an achitect and construction manager is to communicate early and often. Communication is what relationships are built on. While you don’t have to be best friends, knowing that you can talk well in a constructive way will make all of the difference when problems do arise.
Remember that issues with communication lead to mistakes and disagreements. This can even be dangerous if you’re not careful. Don’t keep problems a secret. Talk about issues before they happen, and update each other throughout the process.
Though it might not seem possible, construction managers and architects can get along splendidly with the right patience and practice. Though these two career paths might never see 100% eye-to-eye on every issue, they’re two sides of the same coin.
Remember these tips above the next time you need to collaborate with someone in another field. It can take practice to perfect, but it’s well worth the effort.