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Our team of certified consultants provides training and remote support to clients around the globe, improving their Project Management, Workflow and Process Management.

Smarter Business Processes is Cyber Certified

Emma Stevens

Office Manager

Emma has 27 years of financial and customer experience and brings processes and order to our office.

Emma's customer service knowledge ensures all of our clients office enquiries are dealt with professionally, efficiently and quickly. She will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of a query!

When not at her desk Emma enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter as well running Brownies and Rainbows for Girlguiding UK in her local area.

Etienne Mermillod

Software Development Manager

Etienne is a seasoned ASP.NET Core Full Stack Developer. He takes great pride in building world-class applications while carefully considering the needs of its users and ease of use.

Originally from France, Etienne now calls Canada Home, where he is part of SBP Canada as a member of the API Solutions Development Team.

Etienne is a well-seasoned traveler and has visited many countries where he usually takes the path less traveled in order to backpack around and soak in the local cultures.

When not coding away, you may expect Etienne to be playing with his huge and fluffy dog Indianna or gaming away on League of Legends

David Bower

Smartsheet and AppSheet Consultant

David is an experienced Smartsheet Consultant, Customer Care Specialist and Client Account Manager.

In his spare time, David plays guitar, is learning to ride a motorcycle and, when it’s not too cold, can often be found tinkering in the garage. He also intends to learn to play the piano too - one day

Debbie Sawyer

Chief Smartsheet Solutions Officer (CSSO)

BSc (Hons) Computing, ITIL Foundation, Smartsheet Certified User, Aligned Sales Certified and Professional Services Certified.

Seasoned Smartsheet consultant and Training professional, Debbie’s creativity, attention to detail, willingness to deliver solutions to fully meet customer requirements and her personable manner earn her excellent client feedback.

When not working, Debbie likes to relax by spending quality time with her family. Living in the New Forest sees her taking many walks through the woods and down to the sea fronts at Lepe and Calshot. Debbie is also a keen hula hooper and has been hooping now for more than 7 years! She owns at least 10 hoops and enjoys a great workout helping her friend to run a hula hoop fitness class.

Dr James Harris

Chief Technology Officer

An experienced IT professional, James has worked for software companies as a Programmer and Test Analyst. He also has extensive experience as a Finance Manager. James brings an attention to detail and flair for problem solving to every project.

Outside of work, James writes comedy, and has had many television credits over the past couple of decades on shows such as Horrible Histories and Russell Howard's Good News. He retains a burning ambition to be as funny as his wife and daughter.

Ph.D. Biochemical Physics, IT and Accounting professional.

Gwen Rymill

Communications Director

Co-founder of Smarter Business Processes, Gwen’s multi tasking roles include ensuring our clients receive the very best in customer care, while responsible for sales and marketing and partner liaison. Just don’t expect to get the cup of tea she promised you!

Away from work Gwen enjoys cycling, pilates, tap dancing and just loves baking.

Richard Rymill

CEO

Co-Founder and Lead Consultant, Richard set up SBP in response to worldwide demand from businesses wanting to implement their own Smarter Business Processes. His rapidly expanding team of experienced Smartsheet and AppSheet Consultants and Trainers share the company's values of achieving improved efficiencies and collaboration by putting people first and releasing them from unnecessary repetitive activities so they can enjoy their work again and focus on what matters to them.

When not at his desk, Richard can be found cycling, swimming and when the opportunity permits, sailing and flying.

5 Strategies of a Successful Construction Project Manager

Are you a project manager looking to try your hand at a role in the construction industry? At first glance, you may think construction project management takes the same skillset as any other PM career. Sure, it follows the traditional five phases of project management: initiation, planning, execution, performance and monitoring, and closure. But that’s where the similarities end.

Construction project management diverges from a typical PM role by demanding and incorporating extensive knowledge of the construction industry, a unique and complicated field. Construction PMs average around 120 responsibilities, which means they have to be more strategic and thoughtful in working with a slew of moving parts and constant change.

To ensure each responsibility is met and every architect, contractor, and supplier remains on schedule and budget, effective construction PMs should utilize tools and strategies that streamline their work. Fortunately, construction management has become more technical with the development of new tools to simplify many processes. It’s how you implement those tools that counts. These five strategies go beyond PM basics to prepare you for the intricacies of the role and direct your efforts toward success.

1. Create a flow of communication

Among the most important elements of all project management, communication is essential to every phase of any construction project. Good news and bad news are equally important when preparing and implementing a build, so you need to establish a flow of communication with everyone on the ground — and every stakeholder and supplier in the plan. This transparency will make the process smoother and will reduce the number of emails and phone calls whenever a problem arises.

One of the simplest ways to create a flow of communication is a collaborative work management (CWM) tool. By syncing discussions, attachments, and calendars, you can monitor news, budgets, and scheduling changes as they occur. A good CWM tool also allows you to relay these changes to other managers and accounting offices in real time, providing a nearly email-free method of project management. That means more time for you to spend at the construction site meeting contractors to coordinate the next stage of work.

2. Make a habit of continuous planning

Construction project managers should start planning long before actual construction begins, and continue revising and developing plans until the project ends. The design, pre-construction, and procurement stages of a construction project each require extensive planning — and each may need to be revised as the next stage unfolds. Anything can happen at a construction site. If you encounter unexpected environmental problems during the pre-construction phase, the design may need to change. Even slight adjustments can affect the overall plan and timeline.

This remains true during the actual build. You will be working with seasoned professionals, often with decades of experience in electrical engineering, plumbing, scaffolding, and carpentry. While your contractors should be trusted, they still need focused direction to coordinate their efforts with each other. You’ll often need to work with them throughout the timeline to develop and refine plans as delays and equipment failures arise. Like any PM, you will execute and monitor developments, but the planning never ends in construction project management. Collaboration shouldn’t either.

3. Observe and ask questions

There is no industry in which PMs will be found just sitting at their desks, removed from the project and his or her team. Every good project manager becomes an integral part of the process, working figuratively and literally alongside others. Construction project management requires more attention and integrated effort than most industries, because the work is so physical. Field elements can drastically affect the workflow of construction projects. There will be many times when you need to actually see an issue in person before you can resolve it.

Familiarizing yourself with the construction site and the duties of every professional working under you will make you a better project manager. Construction is a constantly evolving industry, with new equipment, practices, and advancements every year. You need to continually educate yourself and learn from others in order to administer and manage a successful project. A great deal of communication may be streamlined, but the work still requires regular site visits and conferences with the contractors and designers on the ground.

4. Use tools to monitor costs and budgets

Most PMs have to think about money constantly, but the permits, wages, materials, and equipment of construction projects in particular are often exchanged between an array of financial sources. From the initial bidding process to the project closeout, construction PMs are responsible for tracking and monitoring all costs, especially as they relate to initial budgets. Ideally, you will have an accounting department for managing contractor invoices, but even then, you have to work alongside your accountants to ensure all direct and indirect costs are recorded.

Considering every other responsibility of a construction project manager, tracking and monitoring finances manually without the assistance of software isn’t practical — or feasible. Even relatively small construction projects contain hundreds of moving parts and individual costs, so to remain effective you need to use software that can also manage costs and budgets. A good CWM tool should allow you and other collaborators to input costs, budget changes, and other calculations to keep track of your project’s finances, alleviating the need to coordinate with every participant or to calculate your budget. Additionally, integrating DocuSign reduces time spent collecting signatures for every invoice, which means you and your contractors can devote more attention to the task at hand.

5. Implement automated reporting systems

No construction project manager has the time to reply to hundreds of emails a day — or use the phone to call and address every question about budgets and progress. In addition to concentrating discussions and schedules on one CWM, you can cut down further correspondence by implementing automated reporting systems. Construction project management requires the weekly distribution of various spreadsheets and status reports, and automated delivery tools will save significant time over the span of the build. This automation will ensure the right reports go to the right people on time, allowing you to focus on other tasks and communication. Other reporting systems, like Safety and Health Management, can prevent hazards, track incidents, and streamline worksite analysis when issues do arise.

A CWM tool like Smartsheet benefits not only construction project managers, but also their teams, partners, and stakeholders. Smartsheet fosters transparency at every level for real-time updates, automated reporting, and integration with apps (like Docusign) to streamline processes that could otherwise hold up the next phase. Your software should be a tool that helps you work more efficiently. But, the skills and strategies for effective construction project management require a more in depth look at the industry as a whole, and a better understanding of how your role fits into an overall build.

Try Smartsheet for free or contact us to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your Smartsheet optimisation – we’d love to hear from you!