The seven key project management challenges for engineering and construction companies

11. August 2017 - Share this page

In markets with increasing infrastructure investment, engineering and construction companies continue to struggle to increase their margins and productivity when facing the key project management challenges. Successful project implementation is rarely achieved from purely technical project plans and applying the right tools. Other dynamics such as business acumen and leadership skills also need to be taken into account.

Together with our engineering clients and the results from our international project management survey, Mannaz has identified seven key project management challenges that continue to be an issue for the leaders of engineering projects:

  1. Client handling skills – being able to establish effective client relationships, at each level of the project and the organisation.
  2. Business/commercial acumen – being able to deliver sound business value from the project and align these to the strategy of the organisation.
  3. Trusted advisor – changing position and attitudes to enable the transition from technical expert to leaders of projects and trusted advisors.
  4. Project Management toolbox – mastering the basic skills of planning, estimating, stakeholder management, risk management, negotiation skills, etc. remain a prerequisite.
  5. Effective communication – being able to communicate effectively across cultures and at different levels, whist using all available tools and techniques.
  6. Motivation – motivation of one self as well as the project team throughout the duration and the challenges of the project.
  7. Handling conflicts – being able to use and facilitate constructive passionate debate for the benefit of the project.

These are some of the challenges identified by the same engineering and construction companies, which as estimated by the McKinsey Global Institute, face $57 trillion worth of infrastructure investment by 2030.

Just like other professional service firms, engineering and construction companies deliver value to their clients based on the know-how and the skills of the professionals working there. Understanding the key challenges facing the industry increase the likelihood of successful completion of projects and strategy execution. This enhances the profile of the firm, increases the chance of winning new interesting projects and consequently attract the best professionals – the value creation process.

Thomas P. Rønholt
MSc. Civil Engineer, MBA
Client Director, Mannaz


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Project Management

Mannaz Project Management Programme

Acquire a holistic understanding of project management and a useful toolbox with tools for planning, leading and managing your projects. Learn to motivate; explore your leadership behaviour in depth; and learn to deliver results in projects at all levels.

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