When a project is taken by a company, one of the most difficult and important tasks is to manage it. More than the engineer’s capabilities, the project manager should be capable enough to manage multiple processes simultaneously. This puts a lot of pressure on the project manager.
Being a project manager is no walk in the park. If you ever find yourself in a similar role then you should be ready to perform all sorts of tasks, ranging from site inspections and approvals to simple letter drafting and filling submittals.
So, what makes the project manager’s job so hard and in which area do most project managers find difficulty. Well, the answer is simple, Time. In construction, time is literally money. Every second that a single party wastes during the project in turn costs them. Often project managers are burdened with so many unnecessary and minute tasks that do not amount to anything individually, but when stacked can cause trouble in the future. Even though it is the duty of the project manager to better prioritize his tasks and manage them efficiently, he or she is still human.
A common example of the above scenario is drafting letters and filling submittals. A single activity in a construction project has a lot of sub-activities associated with it, without which the main activity cannot be completed. This process starts with planning and submitting the submittals to the client, to executing the activity and submitting check requests for review. So, whenever an activity takes place, naturally the project manager cares more about procuring the materials for the activity and actually executing the activity. In all this running around, there is a high chance that he forgets to submit the submittals to the client for verification and proceeds. This can cause a lot of problems since the client can reject the materials they are using for the task or the method they will follow to execute the task. There are a few ways with which the project manager could act in a situation like this:
1- Properly plan and organize the flow of activities from the start so that he never misses a step in the process. This is easier said than done since the flow of activities in hardly linear during the project.
2- Hire a personal clerk or personal assistant who does all the petty work for you and submits the paperwork on your behalf. The disadvantage is that he may be a layman and might end up making mistakes in filling the forms. This method is also more expensive since you will have to hire an entirely new manpower for your team.
3- Another option is to use a service like www.constructionsubmittals.com. The company is a general contracting firm that basically handles all your petty paperwork and submittals so that you don’t ever have to worry those and focus on the execution. This is relatively cheaper than hiring an entire new person. This is also better because a team of experts in this field will manage your paperwork so there will be no space for errors.
In conclusion, never judge the intensity of a task by its size as little tasks can also pile up and cause problems in the future. The best way is to always handle these tasks as they come and then focus on the bigger problems.
Saad Adeel, CBF