What are the key responsibilities of a construction project manager?
Various projects exist out there, ranging from advertising through different types of media to planning company events. One type of project requires special attention and, most importantly, a subset of industry skills and knowledge. We are talking about construction. To succeed in the role of a construction project manager, it is necessary to handle document review and distribution, coordinate onsite facilities, practice good record keeping, schedule maintenance, and carry out quality control.
The construction manager oversees the project from beginning to end – more exactly, from the pre-design phase to the closeout phase. The professional must possess in-depth knowledge of all aspects relating to residential or commercial construction, keeping the project up and running without having to be involved. Construction project managers wear different hats. As time goes by and the industry witnesses numerous changes, it should not come as a surprise that the duties of the project manager are continually evolving.
Here are the main responsibilities in running a construction project.
Hiring, firing, and supervising
The construction project manager does not hire or fire employees, but they are able to make suggestions, as they know who would be a good fit for a project. In other words, who is capable of handling tasks such as preparing construction materials or assembling barricades. The right workers can carry on the company’s values and promises by providing quality work. The issue is that there are not too many talented workers left.
Controlling and allotting the company’s resources is one thing, and supervising construction workers is a completely different matter. It requires having a high level of contact with people, communicating on a daily basis, and overseeing their health and safety. Supervising can turn out to be difficult because it is necessary to pay attention to the smallest details. The construction project manager has to take notice of these details and use them in light of execution.
Procuring the equipment and materials
Every tasty dish comprises a set of ingredients. Similarly, a construction project necessitates certain pieces of equipment and materials. The construction project manager has to choose what will be used for completing the job, which will be procured from a network of preferred suppliers and manufacturers. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Telehandlers and mobile cranes
- Wheel loaders
- Dredge pumps and dredging equipment
- Concreting tools
- Vibrating hammers
The list is not exhaustive, needless to say. It is paramount that the construction project manager is thorough in selecting the equipment and materials; otherwise, time will be lost on procuring additional equipment or making repairs once the project commences.
Staying within budget
Construction projects are becoming more and more complex, so overspending can occur. It is necessary to keep money in mind while planning the project and work. Problems can arise due to resource utilization, accounting, monitoring and control. Let us focus a little on accounting. For cost accounting purposes, professionals use construction project management accounting software, which eliminates human error and data issues.
Cloud software solutions can be deployed by field staff, as well as office staff, meaning that they are highly versatile. It isn’t possible to have an adequate budget without the correct application of accounting principles (cost principle, reliability principle and time period principle). Although it is impossible to carry on without making changes to the initial budget, it is important to avoid making too many expenses.
Time is of the essence, but that is not exactly a secret. The project, whether residential or commercial, needs to be delivered on time to avoid client dissatisfaction. Ideally, it should be completed ahead of time, but that’s often wishful thinking. Effective time management translates into coming up with a solid strategy relating to the time necessary for work activities. The construction project manager cannot afford to be a week or let alone a month late.
The schedule will determine what and when needs to happen. Attention should be paid to the fact that any changes to the schedule can lead to a disturbance that affects everything. A good construction project manager will know how to prioritize tasks and delegate them as necessary. No person is deemed incapable of completing the task. Workers do the best they can to contribute to the success of the project. The construction project manager empowers the team to grow together with the company.
Controlling underlying threats
There are risks associated with construction projects, namely not being able to meet contractual obligations or accidents. To be able to manage the various risks, construction project managers make lists of what could endanger the activity, whether it is linked to the finances or the competition. Most importantly, they select the right resources for overcoming the risks in question. These resources can take the form of software applications, training, financing and insurance.
The aim of the construction project manager is to minimize costs due to a failure and take precautions to avoid human loss. Knowing where potential threats come from is very important. In the absence of that knowledge, the construction project manager cannot mitigate the risks once the project commences. It is best to make neutral decisions, which in turn will yield superior performance.
All in all, it is clear to see that construction project managers do not have an easy life. We have outlined some of the specific responsibilities of the construction project manager. There are many more other tasks to juggle. There is a genuine need in the industry for professionals who can optimize capital investments. Project managers play an important role in the development of the construction industry, whether they realize it or not.
Ensuring the success of a construction project requires a lot of hard work, training, and, as mentioned earlier, special skills. The exact role of the construction project manager depends on the situation. On large projects, it is not uncommon to come across two or more professionals. What is important to keep in mind is that the health and well-being of the project depend almost exclusively on the project manager.