The project manager is one of the most important people on a construction site. They’re responsible for taking the job from start to finish. From the early planning stages, to the final touches, they make sure everything runs smoothly. Their job is wide and complex. They’re constantly putting out fires and reacting to new emergencies. Most of all, they make sure the entire project comes in on time and under budget. It’s one of the most stressful roles in civil engineering. It’s also one of the most rewarding. Seeing a building go from blueprints to dominating the skyline is like nothing else! Let’s take a deeper look at the project manager’s role.
Project managers start work on the build months, or years, before a single person arrives on site. They’re liaising with the stakeholders and architects to start planning the build process. The first job is mapping out a projected timeline for completion. This is a detailed and intricate timeline that is broken down into monthly, weekly, and daily tasks and objectives. They’ll set out strict goals and achievements to hit along the way. This timeline will be adapted, and they’ll report project status at every stage of the journey.
Project managers are also in charge of the money! Which gives them one of the trickiest roles in a civil engineering build. No matter who the stakeholder, budgets are almost always tight. The original company don’t want to spend more than they have to, and that responsibility will fall on the project manager. It’s their job to make sure all tradesmen are hired at the right rate. All the equipment and materials must come in under budget too. Inevitably, something will go wrong, and it’s their job to make the numbers add up regardless.
Any civil engineering or construction project requires a vast number of suppliers. From glass to bricks to small component parts, there are hundreds of supplies to consider. A good project manager knows how to get the best price out of every single supplier. We asked supply specialists CCTY Bearing what they think makes a good project manager. They told us that communication is key. The ability to understand the product is essential. And, the best give plenty of lead time to ensure timely deliveries.
At any one time, there may be up to ten different trades on site at once. From brickies to glaziers to plumbers, there are countless different experts all working on one job. It’s the project manager’s task to make sure they all co-operate and work effectively together. It’s no easy task when each has their own ideas and agenda.
Finally, the project manager delivers the final building to the stakeholders. They make sure the numbers add up, and the completion date is spot on. It’s not always easy, and a little leeway is expected, especially on bigger builds.
Thanks for reading our quick introduction to project management. It’s a varied, and rewarding job. But it certainly comes with its pressures and stresses!