All building construction projects require various forms of leadership and management, and deciding the type of leadership required for a project is an important task. The best decision can make a huge difference in the efficiency of a construction project, from inception to completion. Project managers (PM) handle all management responsibilities from a project’s inception to completion, whereas construction managers (CM) manage only the construction of a project. But what’s the difference between the two regarding each of their roles in a new project?
Construction Management Duties
Primary focus: overseeing the actual construction of a project.
Even though the CM manages almost all aspects of a project during the construction phase, he/she must still report to the PM. It’s easy to think of the CM as having expert knowledge and responsibility on the hands-on trades in the field. These include the electrical, plumbing, and mechanical inceptions. Oftentimes, CMs are known as handling the “subordinate” aspects of the construction phase. This means the CM:
● Manages all subcontractors and other parties involved with the construction.
● Signs a contract and is liable for subcontractors he/she hired.
● Ensures all building materials are delivered to the worksite on time.
● Administers the construction budget.
Throughout the construction process, the CM has the authority to request work order changes and decide best building practices in compliance with city, state, and/or federal codes. He/she may also be responsible for meeting with any consultants, clients, inspectors, and engineers during construction.
Project Management Duties
In almost all cases, the PM is hired by the client to oversee the entire process of a project, from conception to completion. It’s the PM’s responsibility to ensure the project runs smoothly and stays on schedule and on budget.
● Assists in hiring the general contractor/CM. The PM works with the site owner to hire a qualified CM to oversee the construction of the project.
● Oversees the CM’s work. This includes regular site visits, walkthroughs, and project management meeting reports.
The largest difference between the two management roles is the level of authority. Keep in mind, with PM’s high level of responsibility comes an even higher level of liability. During the construction process, they will oftentimes directly supervise the CM.
So what happens once a building or facility is in its final stages?
The CM will no longer need to be present, but the PM will continue to administer and oversee the final opening stages of the project.
Where Does Gausman and Moore Fit in?
Whether designing electrical, mechanical, or plumbing systems in a new building, Gausman and Moore works hard from the beginning, though, who we directly work under varies throughout the process. When our firm and engineers are selected to work on a specific project, we report directly to the PM (during the pre-construction and design phases). However when it’s time to start the construction of a project, our oversight increases with the addition of the new CM, where we then report to the CM.