What Is the Role of a Project Manager in Construction?

Date: 21 Sep 2022

Nearly $10 trillion is spent worldwide on construction projects every year. Taking a construction project from concept to completion requires a lot of hard work. Many people have to work together to ensure a home or commercial building is constructed correctly.

Keeping a construction project organized and moving forward is only possible with the help of a property manager. The role of project management in construction is complicated. If you are unfamiliar with what people in this role do, it is time to figure out what a construction project manager does.

Deliver Results On Schedule

During the construction project planning phase, a budget will be established. It is important to keep the project in question on the budget to avoid financial disasters. One of the main roles of a construction project manager is to meet deadlines and deliver results on schedule.

When project deadlines start getting missed, the cost of the construction project in question will grow. If a project manager wants to ensure swift completion of the project, they need to do things like:

  • Address problems promptly
  • Create pre-construction and project schedules
  • Monitor the project’s progress
  • Set firm deadlines
  • Develop construction milestones

If you want to land highly-coveted project manager jobs in construction, you have to display your ability to deliver results on time.

The Planning Phase

A lot of planning has to take place before a construction project can begin. Blown budgets, strained relationships and missed deadlines are bi-products of poor construction project planning. A construction project manager must figure out what steps need to be taken to complete the project at hand.

During this planning process, a construction project manager will have to figure out:

  • An accurate sequence of construction activities
  • The right subcontractors to hire
  • The overall cost of equipment, materials and labor
  • How to facilitate communication between stakeholders and the construction crew

A detailed and well-thought-out plan can help a construction project manager achieve the goals of the stakeholders with ease.

The Communication Factor

The hallmark of a successful construction project is adequate communication. If the various crews working on a project aren’t communicating, mistakes are bound to happen.

This is why a construction project manager must focus on providing team members and sub-contractors with a way to communicate.

When creating these communication channels, a construction project manager will have to:

  • Devise a system to record all correspondence and exchanges
  • Create a chain of command
  • Plan weekly meetings with management staff

As a construction project manager, you want to make communicating easy for the people working on the project. If you are successful, then the project in question will progress and the problems on the job site will be limited.

Resolving Disputes is a Big Part of Project Management in Construction

Whenever stakeholders are involved in a construction project, disputes are bound to occur. A construction project manager is responsible for resolving these disputes. In order to do this job successfully, the manager will have to consider the overall goals of the construction project in question.

Successful construction project managers learn how to resolve these disputes quickly. The longer disputes are allowed to linger, the higher the risk becomes that they will affect project progress. Nipping these issues in the bud early on will minimize the interruptions caused by disputes with stakeholders.

Risk Management is Crucial

If a construction project manager wants to keep their job, they will need to become a master of risk management. Throughout the progression of a construction project, there are many risks that need to be addressed. Project managers are taught to anticipate risks and develop strategies to deal with them.

Some of the most common construction risks include:

  • Labor shortages
  • Safety hazards
  • Theft or damage to equipment
  • Change order management
  • Increases in material costs
  • Site condition issues

Once a project manager develops a short list of possible risks, they need to allocate financial resources to deal with them. Going before the stakeholders with a detailed risk management plan is crucial when trying to retain funding.

Project Managers Are Responsible For Drafting Contracts

In most cases, a single construction company will not have the manpower to complete an entire project alone. Many construction companies use an army of subcontractors to finish a project. It is the job of a construction project manager to find the right subcontractors and hire them.

Before this hiring process can take place, the project manager must draft contracts. If you want to create strong construction contracts, you need to include things like:

  • Clear and concise language
  • Instructions for submitting change orders in writing
  • Details about what the sub-contractor is responsible for
  • A breakdown of project milestones

The last thing you want is for the contracts you draft to be confusing or full of loopholes. Consulting with a lawyer that specializes in these types of contracts is a great way to avoid mistakes during the drafting process.

Ensuring Work Quality

The stakeholders funding a construction project will have specific expectations. It goes without saying that stakeholders want quality work to be done on the buildings or homes they invest in. Construction project managers have to ensure the work performed by team members and sub-contractors meets certain standards.

Performing routine inspections of the work being done is the best way to find any quality control issues. As soon as these issues are discovered, you need to contact the contractor responsible. In the contracts you draft for these contractors, be sure to lay out how long they have to fix problems with their work.

Construction Project Managers Perform a Difficult Job

As you can see, the role of project management in construction is quite complex. Successful construction companies realize the value of a great project manager.

If your company is currently in search of a great project manager, contact SSA Group for assistance.

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