A Glimpse into the Job of a Construction Project Manager
February 20, 2020
We’ve covered what a construction estimator does as well as the role of an assistant estimator here at Gray & Son, especially when it comes to getting a project started, and now we’re on to another team member: the construction project manager. A project manager’s job really starts once a project has been awarded to Gray & Son – the estimator meets with and hands off the project to a project manager.
Here are some of the main tasks and responsibilities of the project manager role at Gray & Son:
Meeting and Assignment Coordination
At the beginning of a project, project managers spend a lot of time assigning tasks to their team, as well as setting up meetings between project management and operations. The goal is to get everyone on the same page, with all of their ducks in a row, before a project gets underway. From meetings with operations superintendents who will be on the project to meetings with the owner of a project to emergency control preparations, the project manager does a lot of coordination at the start of a project.
Scheduling is another critical task that happens early on in a project. The project manager aligns Gray & Son’s schedules, including those of the crews who will be doing the work, with the owner’s desired schedule, to ensure everyone is on the same page for timing of a project. He or she will then plan for and schedule materials and any other sub-contractors that may be required on a project.
Keeping everyone aligned and on track when it comes to the contract is also up to the project manager. Making sure everyone involved understands their responsibilities and goals is critical to a successful project. Staying ahead of potential issues and answering questions up front ensure there are no disruptions as the team gets to work.
Constant communication between all parties involved is another facet of a project manager’s daily life. The project manager speaks with the foremen and superintendents on site to address any questions or job variables, and he or she continues to coordinate with project owners throughout the project’s life.
Budgeting and Billing
Another role of the project manager? Keeping the budget and any billing required throughout the project on track. From monthly billings to the owner to subcontractor billings to major material purchase approvals, there are always budget items to address. If contract changes occur, it’s a project manager’s job to ensure those are handled well.
Process Improvement and Staying Nimble
While Gray & Son’s teams and project managers have numerous processes in place to reduce unknowns and keep our projects on track, it’s always a good idea to reevaluate what’s working and what’s not as projects proceed. A project manager is always thinking about how things can be improved for future and current projects. Maintaining an open dialogue with all team members is key here.
Finally, project managers know they have to stay on their toes throughout a project – things change, weather derails the best plans, etc. – and it’s up to them to keep things on track. Making sure they’re handling the day-to-day details and paperwork while not losing sight of the big picture and management aspect of the job is important, and it’s why Gray & Son project managers are excellent jugglers! As key members of our project team, we rely on our project managers heavily to ensure a project’s success.