As a lifelong construction enthusiast and facilities nerd, I am often asked about what the most important role is that I play as a construction project manager. For me, the answer is always simple – active communicator.
Anyone that has lived through a remodel, home build or commercial construction project of any kind or size can attest that managing all the details – from design through bid and build – can be exhausting, painful and expensive. That’s where a project manager’s secret skills come into play. Efficient, active two-way communication is truly the “secret sauce” of whether a project is successful – in both the process and the outcome.
As a commercial construction project manager, most of my day is spent making sure that each voice on the project team is heard, from owner, architect and all the way down to the hardworking field staff in each of the trades. A project manager is not a fiery leader, but the point guard of the team. From understanding design intent and relaying it out, to receiving comments back on the project schedule and cost. GOOD project managers get everyone on the team involved in a timely manner to make the best decisions possible for the owner and the project. GREAT project managers do this and still find ways to act on the great ideas that are generated on all levels of the team and get stakeholder acceptance early enough that cost-saving measures are implemented with no down time.
As you look at projects in the future, make sure you consider the team you choose and not just the low price. Active communicators develop great teams, and great teams build better projects faster and more cost-effectively. Remember, it’s not where you start the project for cost, but where you finish it!
DAN PERRY Project Manager, Welsh Construction