The importance of good project management should never be underestimated on any site. Not only can it save a lot of time and agro, but it can also be a great money saver if everything is organised properly by a responsible project manager.
The aim of this guide is simply to list the responsibilities of a project manager so that you can asses your suitability to the task in 10 quick steps.
1. If you are going to project manage on any site you should be prepared to be there from the beginning of the project, right up until the end.
2. You should take responsibility in ensuring that the site complies with legal requirements.
3. You must ensure that the site is a safe place to work, with all of the right facilities.
4. It is your job to hire all of the sub-contractors and tradesmen that are needed for the job.
5. When employing help you must make sure that you do so within the constraints of the budget and the time scale that you have agreed with the owner of the property (if you do not own the property yourself). One of the most important things to ensure when employing workers is that you do so in a sensible sequential order. Scheduling for one set of workers to come in as soon as another set have finished is key to a time-efficient project, as well as getting workers in at the same time if they are not likely to get in each others way.
6. The project manager is also responsible for paying the wages of the sub-contractors and complying with current sub contractor tax regulations.
7. You must ensure that all of the correct materials are ordered.
8. You must also ensure that everything that has been ordered will arrive at the right time or else your whole project can be delayed for weeks, and time usually means money, not to mention stress.
9. As project manager you will have a lot of influence and power. However, no job should be below you and you should help out wherever possible, from making tea to clearing up.
10. A good project manager should be on site about 6 days a week for at least a few hours at a time, and they should be there early, from around 7.00am, as this is when their input is most likely to be needed before the sub-contractors get on with their days work.
Can you afford to give up the day job?
Something which becomes clear when looking through the list above is the amount of commitment required for project management. It is generally not a good idea to try and manage a project whilst still committed to another job, especially if it is full time. But, even with a part-time job it can be a real struggle that may not be sensible.
The key then when deciding whether or not to take on the roll of project manager is to be realistic. Carefully consider the time that you have available, the skills that you have at your disposal, whether or not you have a suitably balanced forceful/sociable personality, and of course whether it would be financially viable.
You may think that you do not want to pay somebody else to do something that you could do yourself. What you need to ask yourself is whether your project will make you more profit than the income you would receive in that time from your/a day-to-day job (minus the expense of a project manager of course) and when calculating this, be sure to account for the amount of stress, responsibility, commitment and time involved in project management.