10 Responsibilities of a Construction Project Manager

Manage Risk
Be careful where you put that finger! The PM has to be on top of safety issues.
Be careful where you put that finger! The PM has to be on top of safety issues.

An essential component of troubleshooting is risk management; that is, limiting the amount of trouble that will need to be "shot." A wide variety of factors present potential risk in a construction project: site conditions; design assumptions; public regulations; worker safety; and environmental concerns and regulation, to name a few. As a result of the increasing number of risks, owners have taken to sharing it by requiring that a builder be at least partially liable in the event of a loss due to these factors [source: Hendrickson].

It is therefore the PM's job to analyze risks going into the project so that both the builder and the client are aware of them and can reach a mutual agreement on how the risk will be shared. Once construction is underway, the PM must try to mitigate the risks by carefully selecting materials and equipment and closely monitoring the work being performed [source: Hendrickson].

Author's Note: 10 Responsibilities of a Construction Project Manager

Those guys have all the fun. In addition to the whistling and making inappropriate comments to various passersby, construction workers get to spend their days in the great outdoors - or at least outside - using their hands to actually make something. If you're a project manager, the job also comes with a pretty decent paycheck. Meanwhile, I continue to work my "sun tan" into a pasty white hue while staring at a computer screen for hours on end. Sure, a construction job may mean early mornings and back breaking work endured through various seasons of tough weather, but the grass is always greener on the other side of the barbed wire fence.

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  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Outlook Handbook: Construction Managers." April 26, 2012 (May 6, 2012) http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Construction-managers.htm
  • Charoenngam, Chotchai and Maqsood, Tayyab. "A Qualitative Approach in Problem Solving Process Tracing of Construction Site Engineers." Asian Institute of Technology (May 6, 2012) http://www.arcom.ac.uk/publications/procs/ar2001-475-483_Charoenngam_and_Maqsood.pdf
  • Exforsys, Inc. "The Role of a Construction Manager." Nov. 5, 2006 (May 6, 2012). http://www.exforsys.com/career-center/career-tracks/the-role-of-a-construction-manager.html
  • Federal Facilities Council. "Reducing Construction Costs: Uses of Best Dispute Resolution Practices by Project Owners." The National Academies Press (May 6, 2012). http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11846&page=R1
  • Henderson, Chris. "Project Management for Construction." Carnegie Mellon University (May 6, 2012) http://pmbook.ce.cmu.edu
  • IDA. "DOD Value Engineering Program." (May 6, 2012) http://rtoc.ida.org/ve/ve.html
  • National Paralegal College. "Arbitration vs. Mediation" (May 6, 2012) http://nationalparalegal.edu/public_documents/courseware_asp_files/ADR/Arbitration/ArbVsMed.asp
  • Shaker, Robert J. "The Construction Project Manager." PACE Project Management (May 6, 2012) http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Construction-managers.htm
  • The Washington Post. "One World Trade Center Becomes New York's Tallest Skyscraper." April 30, 2012 (May 6, 2012) htp://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/one-world-trade-center/2012/04/30/gIQAac7qrT_gallery.html?tid=pm_pop#photo=1


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