Problem Solving Skills in Construction

In the construction industry, fixing issues is what trained professionals do on a daily basis. Things don’t often go according to plan, so possessing problem-solving skills is a key character trait of successful project managers.

Today, with the aid of modern technology, we can approach problems from a data-driven standpoint and provide solutions to them. Years ago, this was unthinkable, but today it has become a reality. Solving problems and decision making is a regular activity in the construction business, but nobody was born with problem-solving skills. Rather, it is a skill that is honed via experience and relentless application.

Steps to solving construction project problems

Problem-solving is a learned skill that can be developed over time. Find below some steps you can deploy to develop your problem-solving skills so as to become a successful project manager.

  1. Identity the root cause of the problem: The first step to solving a problem is to identify the root cause of the problem. Root cause identification will offer you clarity about what needs to change.
  2. Identify the stake of all participants in the process: You cannot solve the problem on your own unless it is a limited one. Identify the parties involved and prioritize their recommendations.
  3. List all the possible solutions that come to mind: Brainstorm to come out with every conceivable outcome.
  4. Evaluate all solutions: Evaluating all solutions will help you identify the ones that will address the issue. Rating the success of each solution with a 0-10 rating helps.
  5. Pick the best option: From your list of solutions, pick the one with the best rating.
  6. Expand the solution: Expand the possible outcome of your desired solution by writing down in detail the far-reaching implications of executing it.
  7. Make Contingency Plans: A change in the expected outcome of your solution may have a knockdown effect on your plan. To avoid this, make a contingency plan by consulting your list for other solutions. You can do this by making a plan using your next best solution.


Problem-solving may or may not require a step by step process. You may also need to use the recommendations of others to achieve the best possible outcome. This is why it is important to seek the opinion of other people involved in the process or those who will be affected by the eventual outcome. And finally, recording problems and the solutions adopted to solve them creates a very healthy database for the future. Consulting your database from time to time will open you to a new perspective and improve your problem-solving skills maximally.

Do you have tips on solving construction project problems? Let us know in the comments section below!

Related articles