Whether you’ve been a project manager before or if you’re new to the game, knowing exactly what you have to do is essential. Every project differs in terms of what needs to be done and what your role entails, but the general practice remains relatively similar.
The main roles for a construction project manager tend to include:
Planning the Work
Before the ground is broken the project manager will take a good look at the blueprints and figure out the work that their team will actually do. This is where the different stages tend to be figured out, from planning to prepping, breaking ground through to completion. Most of the estimates are thrown in here too, including cost and time.
Hiring, Firing, Supervising
The project manager is the big boss, it’s up to you to pick and choose your team. This means ensuring that the construction workers are coordinated and are working as they should, as well as taking disciplinary action against anyone stepping out of line. You’re the site manager and that means that everyone reports to you and you’re the one calling the shots.
Getting the Right Equipment
Everything that is needed to complete the job needs to be ordered in from the project manager. That includes everything from hiring diesel generators and lighting towers, to ensuring that the workmen have the screws, nails and cement needed to complete the job. You need to make sure that you have diggers and canes on site when you need them, as well as ensuring you have the appropriate tools available to the workers.
Buying in Materials
You need to ensure that all the materials you need are available when they are needed, that means buying in the bricks and mortar that construct the building. Depending on the size of the project and the amount of space there is to keep materials, will depend on how you order them in or organise their storage.
Setting Project Goals & Timelines
In the first stage you will have put together a bunch of estimated goals and targets, but now that you’re further down the line with the construction you can set ones based on the progress so far. These goals tend to be very specific and agreed with the owner or clients and create a precise time to be completed in order to satisfy the contract.
Sticking to the Budget
Construction projects need to stay under budget in order to be profitable and it won’t be the hard hats who figure out the costs. The project manager needs to make sure that everything is coming within budget, taking into account the cost of materials and equipment, wages and time estimates. This is arguably one of the most important parts of a project manager’s job and having a reputation for coming in under budget is a great way to obtain more contracts.
Everyone needs to be kept in the loop and considering that you’re in charge of the construction site, it is you who is responsible for updating the client. This means providing internal and external reports to explain any hiccups with the construction or to confirm that the project is running on time. If anything does go wrong it will also be up to you to communicate the problems and then figure out a new timescale while staying in budget.
If your team doesn’t do the full works then it is up to you to draft up contracts that allow a third party to complete this work. This could be for anything from subcontractors to buying in specialist materials, any new contracts will go through the project manager.
The final task of a project manager is to assess the risks that are involved in the construction process. Every aspect of the build will need to be compliant with the appropriate health and safety regulations and all the workers will need the appropriate safety equipment which will need to be enforced by the project manager.
It is important to note that while these are the basic roles involved with being a project manager, it can differ greatly from project to project with either more or less rolls being demanded of you.