Roles of Project Manager In Construction

Roles of Project Manager In Construction

May 3, 2020

There is a task of a take-off from Kathmandu to Tokyo. The pilot who has almost every control access over the engines is said to be a successful pilot if and only if he is capable of safely landing the aeroplane onto the Tokyo’s specified airport, on the estimated time with every passengers and his crew team’s satisfaction.

Likewise,  on every  a project (stated as a task in above) there is a a head control person called A project manager, who has a lead role character on the project,  same like the lead role actor of a movie) on whom   depends  a success or failure of the project.  It can be claimed that the Project almost is completely depended to a project manager’s capability of presenting his skills to direct/ drive the project to the specified targeted position. Overall on a project, Project managers play the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects.

A Genuine & successful project manager who is always outcome focused, is guided by certain disciplines or let’s say duties and responsibilities.  A project manager, with the help of  his/her team, is charged with multiple responsibilities that together makes  the different  phases of a project life cycle (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and closing) happen successfully in a smooth way. In addition, a project management phase incorporates various knowledge areas: integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communication, risk procurement and stakeholder management. All these management is no doubt a tedious task for a single  man, but never an impossible one. Their proper management can only make the PM a successful leader of the project.

Here, we will be briefing about the roles of a successful PM on the different phases of the project which when followed   can foster the project completion successfully, where, we are considering mainly 4 different stages as:

  • Planning of the Construction Project
  • Organizing of the Construction Project
  • Leading and Controlling of the Construction Project
  • Closing  of the Construction Project

Primarily, everybody must be aware of the fact that a proper plan is basic essential for the success. Surely, a project must have a definite objective and the first and foremost capability of a PM is to clearly define the Project scope/objectives clearly. S/he should be able to guarantee the objectives of the projects are achievable. A good PM knows how to realistically set time estimates and the appropriate resources to perform the tasks. S/he also plans to   evaluate the team or team’s capabilities. The plan developed about achieving the goal of the project, will then need to be communicated among the project team.  Then they together create a clear and a concise plan to both execute project and monitor its progress. Such participation also helps to gain commitment of the team to achieve the plan. As a final result the PM can develop the Project Management Information System (PMIS) that can be a manual for comparing actual progress to the plan progress in the execution period of the project. It is important that the PMIS is explained to the project team so that the team can use it properly to manage the project during execution stage. One must always be aware of the fact that the projects are naturally unpredictable, so a wise PM must know how to make adjustments on already planned paths as needed before the project reaches its final stage.

Secondly, securing of the appropriate resources to run the project is another important responsibility. It mainly consists of 2 types of resources: Human resources and physical resources. Human resources also include project team members and working groups. On few words the working groups includes worker groups on lower level, who are designated to perform works on site and are always monitored by the team members. On the same way, organizing the selected team members according to their capabilities and placing them in front  and centre, by always motivating them such that they give their best effort to go according to the plan, i.e. they work with their full potential to make project run successfully. The team members should never be stocked down with the elaborated and varying directions which may create confusion between them.

Likewise organizing the physical resources required for the project during the execution period is equally important. Some resources may be easily being available, while some may not. So, a proper care must be done on planning for such resources such that the construction does not get varied with the time, cost and quality of the project and ran according to the plan made. Further, there may be some tasks which may be done in-house and some may be done by subcontracting also depending upon the size of the project and the complexities. So, such sections of works (i.e. critical activities) should also be identified on time, and  make required plan accordingly because due to the lack of various factors (say, skilled personnel’s, short time period, resource unavailability) each section may not be possible to be constructed by oneself., Thus, the task of organizing involves creating an environment in which the individuals are highly motivated to work together as a project team. For all these circumstances there must be ideal plans regarding integration management, scope management, time, cost& quality management, Human Resource management and document preparation management must be made on time in adequate level and which can only be done or should be done by the PM.

Then comes the controlling phase of the project. A PM should clearly define roles, responsibilities and performance expectations for all his team members. S/he should be able to use leadership style appropriately to handle any situations. The complexity of the project increases according to the size of the project and so is the responsibility of a PM. potential The supreme weapon for a PM to overall monitor the project during execution phase is the PMIS. The PMIS developed (which may be either manual or computerized) can be best utilized for tracking or monitoring or comparing actual progress to the planned progress. Also the project team members can monitor the progress of their assigned tasks and regularly provide data on progress, schedule and cost. These data are supplemented by regular project review meetings. After the proper comparison, the PM can take an immediate action if the actual progress has fallen behind the planned progress. Sometimes a project may undergo some unexpected events which may need appropriate solutions instantly. A PM should know how to meticulously and intuitively identify and evaluate potential risks before the project begins. It’s important that problems and even potential problems be identified early and action should be taken. The construction management project can’t take a policy “let’s wait and see how things work out”, because the things never work out on their own, A PM must be self-involved and proactive and resolve problems before they become worse. One must be prepared for the hurdles and pitfalls which were not part of the initial phase during the execution phase.

Finally, at end, the closing phase of the project remains. The project closure process is one where the Project Manager takes centre stage and will be checking that that all project work is completed and that the project has met its objectives. Further the PM should also establish the procedures to investigate and document the reasons for actions taken if a project is terminated before completion. Finally, clearing/completing the documentation, cancelling supplier contracts, releasing staff and equipment, and informing stakeholders and handing over the deliverable to the customer is made by the PM.  

To sum up, the PM is the soul of the project. No doubt a Project Manager (PM) is the leader of the project who is accountable for the entire project scope, project team, resources, and the success or failure of the project. A  PM makes sure that the customer is satisfied and the project is completed in a quality manner. S/he is an organized, passionate, prescience and goal-oriented who can understand what projects have in common or different, and show their strategic role accordingly in how organizations succeed and change. S/he should be able to form a motivated team and lead the very team. A PM should be able to avoid the risk or at least minimize their effects because s/he is trusted to identify issues on horizon, often long before anyone see it coming.