What are the Construction Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities?

Written by LetsBuild

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Ah! This is a good question! I have very strong views on this but even I am subject to the dictates of fashion and local culture! Today I am sharing what are the roles and responsibilities of construction project managers with a story.

In MHO a Project Manager’s role is to wear a suit and tie and swan around the site looking important!

However, when I started working in La Defence in Paris I had to phone my wife and ask her to do some urgent shopping. The local fashion dictate was a striped shirt, button-down collar and no tie!

Now as to the logic of my dress code,The suit and tie instantly make me instantly identifiable from a distance as the Gaffer. The swanning around the site means that I am instantly accessible and approachable to everyone involved in the project. If they hit a problem – sorry, no problems allowed, only “interesting bits” of the job – I get to find out pdq and they get a solution quickly! Otherwise their little hiccup might be left to drag out until the next Site Meeting, collecting lots of remediation to be sorted out!

All that preceding blether actually boils down to the very first and most important role and responsibility of the Project Manager! He has to get everyone involved in the project, from Client’s representatives to site labourers, acting together as a close-knit Team!

That is a big first step towards achieving what whoever pays his wages is after! Project completion on time, to standard and to budget! With a bit of luck he’ll also end up wit a “delighted client” which is one who automatically comes back to them for their next job!

Beyond that the PM’s roles and responsibilities can get a bit confusing! That comes down to a couple of factors. First is what his employer and the project demand of him and what other staff his company have on site. Second is his own competence and experience. I have been known to argue that the most important thing for a successful project is a Detailed Programme to Completion. I was having a laugh just yesterday with a guy about projects going pear-shaped because all they had to work to was a Master Build Programme that someone had codged up to go out with the Tender! Well, is there a Planner on site to come up with one? Can the Head Office send one out to sort it? If not, is the P.M. capable of putting one together? Has he got the nonce to discuss time-scales with all the subbies?

Next variable is whether the P.M. also has a Site Manager on the team. If he has, then he has to rapidly judge that man’s capabilities and experience. Can he walk the site, pick up defects and institute a culture of “De-snag as you go”? That is a great time and money saver! If his Site Manager isn’t up to it then that is another role and responsibility for the Project Manager.

Site paperwork is a nightmare that might keep the poor soul on site until well after all the lads have all gone home – and that is just to get the dam*ed stuff filed away so it can be found! Great if it is a big enough project to justify a pretty young lady on site to do that bit of it! He also has to make sure that every trade has the latest issue of drawings. Now this imposes a completely new responsibility on the P.M.! He has to persuade his Bosses to get the company using GenieBelt to save time and money!

Last big one comes down to us living in a rapidly changing world!

The P.M. has to try and keep up to date with changing build technology. There is a sneaky way of doing that, though! There will be a middle-aged tradesman on site who will already be expert on those changes. Just swallow your pride and get him to educate you!