A Career in Construction: What Does a Project Manager Do?

Written by Kate Carlson

A project manager is one of the most important roles on the construction team. They need to possess not only the technical skills to get the job done, but the leadership qualities to drive their crews to do the same. Without them, most builds would be destined for failure before they even began.

What does a project manager do?

It’s rather difficult to boil down exactly what a project manager does because they are involved in nearly every aspect of a construction project, from start to finish. That said, while every company operates differently and every project is unique, here are the eight main responsibilities of a successful project manager.

1. Plan the project

Project planning is one of the most significant responsibilities of any project manager. The project manager is in charge of laying out timelines for each step of the project, checking for building code compliance and other regulatory requirements, and confirming feasibility for all proposed aspects. Without a detailed plan in place, a project is far more likely to experience unnecessary and costly delays and budgetary troubles.

2. Manage the crews

Hiring the right team and managing them effectively is another key component of a project manager’s job. They need to be able to assess each team and individual’s skill sets and assign tasks accordingly in order to meet project goals. A good PM should be able to effectively motivate and direct their crews in order to meet tight deadlines and high-quality benchmarks.

3. Draft contracts

A contract is a written agreement between the owner/stakeholders and the builder and includes all the work that needs to be done. A project manager is in charge of putting together contracts with architects, subcontractors, materials suppliers, and other third parties involved in the project.

4. Maintain scope and budget

Arguably the most important role of any project manager is keeping the project from going over budget. From the very beginning, a PM is involved in setting the initial budget, and must keep tabs on it throughout the entirely of the project and prepare for any unexpected costs that may arise.

5. Communicate with stakeholders

Due to their busy schedules, many key project partners are not able to visit the site as frequently as they would like. Therefore, it is the project manager’s responsibility to keep these individuals constantly in the loop with project updates, concerns, and any possible setbacks. The sign of a good project manager is that the client is never blindsided by any information.

6. Oversee construction

At this stage of the project, a PM will often defer to the on-site superintendent. While the superintendent is in charge of day-to-day operations, materials, and construction personnel, the project manager is the one they report to at the end of the day and come to with any high-level issues or concerns.

7. Mitigate risks

Being able to anticipate risks and know how to prepare for them is a skill every successful project manager should have. Risk management involves many aspects, from identifying potential issues to creating contingency plans to minimize their negative impacts and ensure the safety of the entire team.

8. Deliver on-time results

Knowing how long each stage of the project will take and then turning that into a competitive yet realistic timeline is a skill that can only be developed through experience. If a project manager is able to successfully navigate all previous responsibilities, a project should have no trouble being completed ahead of schedule.

What makes Greiner’s project managers so successful?

There’s a good reason why Fortune 500 companies, designers, healthcare providers, multi-family housing developers, and hospitality companies all trust our project managers to handle their projects. In fact, there are several good reasons why.

Here are the top qualities our PMs exemplify each and every day:

Excellent communication

Being a good communicator is about more than just talking—you need to also listen. Our project managers know this and make a point to always hear our clients’ concerns and needs and execute the project accordingly. Maintaining frequent and quality communication is our #1 measure of success—it simply has to be!

Adaptable thinking

Our project managers are always addressing our client and project needs. In order to do this, they need to be able to think critically and determine best fit solutions. Of course, they can’t (and shouldn’t) do this alone, so they will often consult and oversee various superintendents, engineers, and other project crews in order to deliver the necessary results.

A collaborative spirit

Collaboration is all about bringing the right team to the table. From our pre-construction expertise to our proven base of subcontractors, our project managers have the trust, relationships, and processes in place to make sure the right team is on the job.

A strong drive

This one almost speaks for itself. Without the right amount of drive and passion, you simply won’t have what it takes to be a successful project manager. At Greiner, all of our PMs are fully committed to on-time project delivery and a happy client every step of the way.

A caring attitude

Like all Greiner employees, it is the job of the project manager to go above and beyond. To us, the metrics of on-time delivery and on-budget spending are a baseline—we always aim to exceed that. When it comes to our clients’ experience, we want our work to reflect how much we truly care.

Put our project managers to the test

For over three decades, Greiner’s project management team has worked hard to bring trust, respect, value, and personality to the construction process. We are both inspired by and empowered by people and strive to keep that human connection at the heart of all we do.

Contact us today to experience the difference our project management team can make on your next project.

Greiner Construction – Building Strength from the Inside Out

In 2019, with a vision to share our company‘s “gold standard” to a regional client-base, Greiner expanded into the thriving city of Des Moines, Iowa. As our company evolves and continues to expand into new markets, the executive leadership team upholds Wolfgang’s original vision for the firm—one that is focused on providing authentic customer service and unrivaled quality.