Construction projects are complex and dynamic environments. Construction projects continue to grow in size, scope, and complexity as markets expand and technologies improve. To manage these larger and more complex construction projects, project management roles have become increasingly specialized. Project managers need to be able to manage multiple specialists at the same time—allocating resources appropriately and monitoring their performance—while coordinating tasks across a variety of team members. Operating in such a dynamic environment requires project managers to adopt new methods for managing both people and processes. Construction project managers must not only emphasize planning but also flexibility when dealing with constantly changing conditions. This blog will provide an overview of construction project manager roles to help you determine if it’s the right role for you.
Define Scope and Timing:
The first step in managing any project is to clearly define the scope of the project. Scope refers to what will be delivered—the project end results. It is the description of the work that needs to be done. The project scope will typically be described in some type of project documentation, such as a project charter, statement of work, or project specifications. The project manager must work with project stakeholders to define the scope and timing of a project. Scope and timing are impacted by various factors, including the availability of resources, regulatory requirements, procurement cycles, and contractual obligations. Thus, project scope management is dynamic and will require frequent adjustments as the project progresses. The project manager must keep the team informed of any changes to scope and timing. In some cases, the project stakeholders will need to approve changes to scope and timing.
Monitor and Control Performance:
Scope and timing are impacted by project performance. In many construction projects, contractors are responsible for meeting the contract requirements. As the project manager, you will monitor and review contractor performance. You will do this through various measures, including quality assurance, testing, and auditing work as it progresses. You’ll also track contractor performance through change orders and issues log. Change orders are a formal mechanism for contractors to submit change requests. Changes requested can include everything from a simple delay due to weather to a need for more resources. As the project manager aware of the project management organizational structure, you will manage the contractor performance process by reviewing and approving change orders, addressing issues raised in the issues log, and communicating changes to the project stakeholders.
As the project manager, you will manage the flow of communication throughout the project team. Communication is the lifeblood of any construction project, and the quality and quantity of communication can have significant effects on project performance. A lack of communication, especially during change, can slow down project progress. Over-communication, on the other hand, can cause information overload and distract project participants from their primary tasks. Project managers can help manage project communications through tools and techniques such as meeting planning, team composition, and virtual collaboration. Meeting planning refers to planning and scheduling meetings with project stakeholders. Team composition refers to selecting the right people for the right roles on the project team. Virtual collaboration refers to using technology to facilitate communication. You can start working towards your career by taking the right education, such as mba project management distance education or a postgraduate diploma in project management.
Construction projects are often described as risky business. Risk refers to the likelihood of something occurring, such as a contractor needing more time to complete the project or a regulatory agency imposing requirements not originally anticipated. Project managers can use risk management techniques to manage the project risks that are most likely to occur. Project risk management techniques include identifying risks, assessing risks, and developing risk responses. Risk identification involves developing a list of risks that could impact the project. Risk assessment involves assessing the probability of risks occurring and their potential impact on the project. Risk response refers to developing strategies to deal with the risks. Project managers should also consider their personal risk. Managing personal risk includes recognizing your own areas of weakness and taking steps to mitigate them.
Determine Resourcing Requirements:
The timing and availability of resources can have significant effects on the project scope and timing. Resources can include everything from contractors to materials. Project managers must work with procurement specialists to acquire the necessary resources. The project manager must also manage the availability of resources by ensuring that resources are scheduled when they are needed. This includes working with scheduling specialists to develop the appropriate timeline for resources.
Estimate Cost and Duration:
The project manager plays a critical role in estimating the project cost and duration. The project manager must first break down the project into smaller components and assign appropriate resources to each. Project managers then use cost and duration estimating techniques, such as cost planning, resource scheduling, and earned value management. Estimating cost and duration can be challenging, especially for complex projects. Project managers need to keep a close eye on the variance between estimated and actual costs and durations throughout the project. This will help them identify any potential problems early.
Construction project managers are responsible for managing complex projects. This requires a broad range of skills and competencies, such as the ability to collaborate with stakeholders, manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and anticipate emerging issues. Project managers need to be able to balance the need for planning with the need for flexibility. They also need to be able to identify and address project risks while keeping stakeholders informed of any changes in scope or timing. Now that you have a better idea of what it means to be a construction project manager, you can decide if this is the right career path for you.