Over the last 10 years, we have been involved in the design and project management of construction projects big and small ranging from a small domestic alteration costing a few hundred pounds to large multidisciplinary renewable energy projects costing hundreds of millions of pounds. One question we are asked is :
Why do we need to project manage our project, we can do it ourselves ?
For small simple projects with a limited number of trades, yes someone with some practical skills and managing people experience can undertake it themselves. This works best when you have good builder or contractor undertaking the work who you can trust.
However larger or more specialist projects need a little more planning and thought and that is where a skilled and experienced project manager can manage and drive the project forward.
So what is a good project manager for your project ?
The skills and knowledge of a project manager can turn a bad project into one back on track. A good project manager is one who listens and understands the project requirements, and can translate this into actions, tasks and responsibilities associated with the delivery of the project on time and budget. They can also understand the contractual needs of a project, requirements for health and safety, as well as getting the right people at the right time to deliver their services to the project. A good example of some recent experiences on a project was the lead or delivery times for some bespoke windows for a property, which the homeowner forgot about and was left windowless over the Xmas holidays in an otherwise completed home extension.
Getting the right project manager for you !
It is key that you get the right project manager for your project, recent experiences in Cumbria associated with the flood remediation and unqualified or skilled people taking on project management roles in the reconstruction work are worrying. As a home or business owner, it is key that the project manager is working for you. They need to listen to your requirements. They need to keep you informed to what is going on. They need to communicate to others around your project such as builders or other trades. They also need to keep organised and on top of contract administration, financial records and the overall project delivery. A good tip is to get referrals and commendations from others who have had a project manager lead a similar project for them.
What do Project Managers charge ?
Typically project manager’s charge around 5-10% of the build cost of the project. These fees may also include contract administration, Principal Contractor Health and Safety responsibility as well as acting as Owners Representative under the various supplier contracts. Generally costs are based on a delivery project and are dependent on the role, responsibility and complexity of the project being undertaken.
Who else can act as Project Managers ?
Generally skilled professionals working in the construction industry can act as Project Managers if they have sufficient knowledge of the type of project being undertaken. For example an architect can act as a project manager in the delivery of a new build home, but perhaps would not undertake the delivery of a new drainage system or road project. Contractors can also take the role of project manager on, and there is some large contracting firms who do this for big construction projects. It would be recommended that small contractors are not taken on as project managers as generally they don’t have the skills and experience in the management of contracts nor have knowledge to act as Clients Representative.
Kingmoor Consulting can act as Project Managers
Kingmoor Consulting are consulting engineers undertaking structural, civil and geotechnical projects across Cumbria, Northumberland and Southern Scotland. We are chartered Civil Engineers and members of the Association of Project Managers. We provide support to projects for domestic and commercial clients and pride ourselves in the quality of the work we produce and the delivery of a first class service.