Before the concrete mixers start droning, the Construction Project Manager needs to work out the plan for him and his crew. These are the main responsibilities of a CPM.
Although a construction PM might not be the one to drill holes and mix mortar, it is his or her responsibility to ensure that the work is done properly. Once the contract with the client is signed, the PM sets specific project goals, by reviewing conditions set by the contract. This way the PM is able to determine the work that needs to be accomplished to fulfil the contract.
Hire and fire
One thing is for certain – the PM is the boss on the construction site. Not only responsible for setting goals, and making sure the work is done, the PM is also supervising the yellow helmets on the site. It includes hiring, disciplining and even firing those would rather sip coffee and listen to a football game than lift a hammer. The Sopranos, Vito Spatafore’s crew wink-wink. The PM is dependent on other people to get the work done, and as such, is no different than a manager in any other outfit.
Supervise and learn
A good Project Manager is always an integral part of the process. In the construction business, the work is very physical and there is hardly an industry where the operation depends more on the PM’s attention to the ‘boots on the ground’. In many cases, the PM can’t resolve an issue before he sees it in person. Construction is an industry that evolves quickly and the PM needs to be acquainted with new equipment, practices, and advancements. And what is a better place to learn than the construction site?
Plan the work
The construction company determines the price at which to bid its services based on the PM’s cost estimate. It‘s also the job of the PM to develop a schedule for deliverable materials which serves as a road map which the crew follows in order to finish the job on time. Completing the project on time and in a cost-effective way are two other responsibilities of the PM. What is more, the PM needs to review the project in depths so he can handle tasks that pop up along the way.
Provide equipment and materials
The PM needs to procure everything from gravel to backhoes, whatever is needed to complete the project. Along with equipment and materials comes the storage to keep it safe and a method for tracking the inventory. As the work on the site advances, the debris starts to accumulate. An important job of the Project Manager is to organize responsible construction debris removal from the site. While keeping the costs within the budget, the PM needs to make sure that no time is wasted on waiting for additional materials to be delivered or equipment to be repaired.
Stay on the schedule
Every project comes with a specific set of objectives and deadlines, where the time for each micro-project is essential. The aspect of time is important for every construction contract because there are often financial penalties against the builder in case the projects run late. In the effort to meet a construction deadline, the PM must stick to a specific schedule with a number of micro-deadlines for different parts of the project that need to be completed. Whenever there is a slowdown, the PM must make adjustments to get the job back in the gear.
An inexperienced Construction Project Manager might believe that his or her job is no different than any other PM career. Apart from having extensive knowledge of the construction industry, the PM on average has around 120 responsibilities divided between architects, contractors, suppliers, the schedule, and budget.