Ineffective time management in construction projects can incur unnecessary costs and delays. Time management is the process of organising and implementing strategies related to work activities on a project that would essentially lead to successful completion, meeting both budget requirements and program targets, and improving profitability. Ineffective time management occurs due to failure to understand a project’s full complexity of a project or inability to manage scheduled work adequately, or any unexpected events. In this article, we will talk about effective strategies to improve time management in construction projects.

Importance of time management in construction

On larger projects, as complexities grow, many clients choose to appoint a program consultant to prepare a detailed outline for the construction project so that the contractor can understand all undertakings. With proper planning, there is an excellent possibility of understanding the work activities.

Additionally, effective time management helps to plan in detail, allowing for the appropriate optimisation of resource allocation, thereby reducing the potential for “unknown” events or drains. Effective time management helps to create an accurate estimate of how long each activity would take, which is critical to setting deadlines or milestones and allocating resources, as well as determining the cash flow requirements and pricing of contracts.

Construction activities and time management

Effective time management should make allowance for the following construction activities,
• Inspections, testing and other forms of quality control.
• Interruptions to work progress due to unprecedented weather.
• Inconsistency in deliveries by suppliers.
• Equipment breakdown and maintenance.
• Sub-contractor and supplier activities.
• Holidays and sickness leave.
• Internal meetings and external communication.
• Accidents and emergencies.
• Training.
• Decision-making process and client approvals.
• Liaison with local authorities and third parties.
• Project management administration.
• Inter-relationships between different tasks.

When creating estimates for each of these construction activities, remember to keep a “float.” Float is the amount of time an activity can be extended without changing the overall project duration.

Proven time management strategies for construction project managers

Here or some practical time management tips for construction managers to help them manage their time better:
• Keeping the project schedule at the forefront: The project schedule should be utilised to dictate what is supposed to happen and when it is supposed to happen. The project schedule should also be used to decide how long each task should extend and who is responsible for evaluating the task’s progress.

Any changes to the project schedule can create a ripple effect, disturbing the sequence of all the meaningful activities. Even though commercial construction projects can last for several years, managers must break down tasks as per the months to close the review and regularly track and manage the schedule. They can supplement the project schedule by breaking it into daily, weekly and monthly task lists.

• Prioritising the task list: Not everything that takes place on a construction project or a job site progresses as planned. Sometimes, the wrong items can be delivered to the job site, safety risks can develop, or there can be miscommunication between the sub-contractor and contractor.

This would require the attention of the project manager. By keeping a task list and prioritising it, the project manager can remain updated with urgent and non-urgent tasks. This will allow them to move forward with the project, even when inconsistencies occur, allowing them to attend meetings with stakeholders or order materials before they run out.

• Delegating tasks as needed: With an effective team, construction managers can guide a project towards its successful completion. There is no need for a project manager to tackle all tasks on their own. This is the sure shot method to guarantee failure.

Construction project managers must spend some additional time aligning the expectations of the delegated tasks and providing instructions as they are distributing duties. Suppose a delegation of tasks is done correctly. In that case, it can save time in the future as a similar task can be delegated to the same individuals without clarifying work instructions.

• Conducting actionable meetings: Actionable meetings include project managers preparing the staff with a definite agenda, stating the goal for the meeting and ending the meeting with action items and due dates. This ensures that everyone understands how their granular tasks fit into the bigger picture.

• Communicate effectively: Effective communication is critical to completing a construction project. Effective communication implies that you are speaking in terms of the stakeholder, meaning that your language changes as you speak to the accountant, foreman or field worker, ensuring that every part is clearly understood and assimilated positively.

• Utilising the right tools: This is the biggest tip for effectively managing your time in a construction project. Construction management software improves the visibility into project progress so that managers can track the status of each task, download their reports and communicate in real-time with field workers.

Tools like Edara Software can help with acceleration, critical path analysis, tracking and value, information release, schedules, line of balance, project crashing, resource levelling, and Pareto analysis.


To effectively manage time in a construction site, project managers must keep the project schedule at the forefront, prioritise the task list, delegate tasks as needed, conduct actionable meetings, communicate effectively and utilise the right tools.