The Roles and the Skills and Knowledge required to be employed as a Construction Manager
Please write a essay but separate the essay within 2 headings which include:
-The roles of a construction manager
-The skills and knowledge required to be employed as a construction manager.
The Roles and the Skills and Knowledge required to be employed as a Construction Manager
Construction management is widely practiced in the USA (United states of America) and Australia. In Australia it is the largest hiring industry. In February 2015, it was found to be hiring over one million workers making 9.1 percent of the total employment in the country. The construction industry has been experiencing tremendous growth in terms of employment over more than a decade ago (Department of Employment 2015). The tremendous growth can be attributed to increasing commercial and housing needs of the population, oversees investment in Australia, and low interest rates on housing.
Previously, clients used to solicit the services of an architect that acted as the team leader. The work of the leader was to coordinate the works of the other team members. However, with increase in the complexity of facilities or buildings, increased financial planning, demand for contract administration and need for reduction in construction time led to the demand for other project delivery approaches. One of these approaches is construction management. Construction management is where a client solicits for the services of a construction manager (Lam & Chan 2000). The main work of the project manager is to co-ordinate and manage the design and construction phases of a project. In construction management, the contract between the construction manager and the client comprises of predetermined fee. This is because the construction manager is regarded as an employee of the client and not and an independent entity.
However, construction management is not the same as project management. Project management involves more activities and roles than construction management. Project management involves managing a project on behalf of the owner from its inception, design, construction to its use. Construction management, on the other hand, entails managing the construction aspect of a project. A construction manager’s work is limited to the construction phase and some bit of planning while a project manager’s work involves all the phases in the project. The construction manager therefore works under the project manager in projects that have both project and construction managers. This article describes the roles of a construction manager and the skills required for a person to be employed as a construction manager.
Roles of a Construction Manager
The role of a construction manager during design is very important to both the owner and the project itself. Though the post may incur additional costs, it is very important in increasing the returns of a project. There are several circumstances that may direly require the services of a construction manager despite the additional costs. For instance, the services of a construction manager are required in projects that are complex or require renovation of user-occupied existing facilities. This is because such projects need constant advice from professionals on scheduling, work packaging and sequencing. A construction manager is also needed where there are timelines to be met. Employing the services of a construction manager is supposed to reduce the overall project delivery time (“What Does A Construction Manager Do?” 2015). The rapidly changing market demands also require professionals that analyze the market and implement structures that suit the demands.
A construction (site) manager is required on the site of a project to direct and supervise various project operations. As stated earlier, their work is to ensure that the project is completed in time, safely and runs within the budget. To ensure everything runs smoothly, they are involved in the project early enough so that they help in preliminary planning. Construction managers work on various projects. They include, residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial, institutional and heavy civil projects. Residential projects include apartments and housing, agricultural include water supplies, specialized fencing and barns while commercial ones include warehouses, shopping centers and banks etc. Institutional projects comprise government or organizational projects such as hospitals, schools, military facilities etc. Industrial projects include power plants, refineries and manufacturing plants among others. Heavy civil projects, on the other hand, involve construction of bridges, roads and tunnels etc (Alberta Infrastructure 2001).
In each of the above mentioned categories of projects, there are various roles that are assigned to the construction manager. Firstly, a construction manager should actively participate in project planning. The work involves planning and developing a very cost effective plan that fits in the budget of the client. It also entails scheduling all the jobs in the project and ensuring the project is completed within the timeline. Secondly, a construction manager should manage the expenses of the project throughout the project development process. This ensures that the miscellaneous expenses incurred are minimal and the funds are used as required. Thirdly, a construction manager should monitor the construction to ensure quality project deliverables. The schedule and productivity performance should be monitored and problems reported on time. In some cases, the manager may have to institute some measures to ensure delivery of quality work by the project team. Fourthly, a construction manager is also responsible for safety management. Since a project environment is a place that has many safety hazards, the construction manager should ensure that the project environment is closely monitored to identify the risks associated with various threats. This is done with the assistance of the environmental manager and environmental compliance manager. The risks should be communicated to the management in time so that the threats are solved in time or measures are put in place to prevent injuries. Lastly, the construction manger is required to assign various roles to individuals in the project. Before commencing any construction, the construction manager should ensure that every member in the team has been assigned a role and clearly understands the tasks related to the role. The timelines for deliverables should also be clearly communicated.
Skills and Knowledge of a Construction Manager
The job of construction managers is very complex and demanding. This complexity and demand makes it require adequate skills to deliver efficient and effective projects. There has been immense research into construction management to identify the skills required. Love et al (2002) believe that with education and training, the skills of construction managers can be improved or kept up to date. To them, education helps in increasing insights and understanding while training helps in increasing skills and competences. Therefore, through education people develop creativity and critical analysis skills while training emphasizes on productivity. Love et al (2002) also believes that a construction manager should possess three important attributes. First, construction managers should possess practical experience on how the industry works. Secondly, they should be familiar with planning and scheduling techniques. Lastly, they should possess the personality of working with other people. The three attributes summarize an array of skills and knowledge that a construction manager should possess in order to handle issues at business, personal and technical levels. They include, communication or people skills, creativity and problem solving skills, planning and organizational skills, IT and mathematics skills and health awareness skills among others (“What Does a Construction Manager Do?” 2015).
The work environment of a construction manager requires good communication and interaction skills. This is because collaboration and interaction in the work environment helps in gaining more skills about project development. Expert knowledge and problem solving skills are easily acquired through interaction. Most of the employers are looking for people who can create good relationships with both internal and outside networks. In addition to having good communication skills, construction managers should possess good academic records. Practical experience, skills in building contracts and good academic records are always the top qualifications that employers normally look for in construction managers. With increasing design complexities, there is demand for knowledge and skills in mathematics and IT (Love et al 2011). Technology has made design and planning easier during project development. Currently, more sophisticated plans and designs are created using computer software. In depth knowledge in mathematics and IT makes it easier for construction managers to make use of the technological tools available. Planning, management and organizational skills are also important for a construction manager. The skills enable effective planning, managing and running of project schedule. For this reason, most of courses in building engineering, architectural studies, construction management and construction engineering include project management, IT and economics skills.
Construction management is widely practiced in the USA
and Australia. In Australia, it is known to be the third highest employing
industry. Its tremendous growth is attributed to increase in population and low
interest rates on housing. The increasing complexity of structures require the
services of highly skilled and knowledgeable construction managers. Construction
managers need to have good communication skills, practical skills, planning and
organizational skills etc. Apart from the skills, construction managers should
be well equipped with mathematics and IT knowledge. Such knowledge will enable
them effectively use the design and planning tools found in the market.
“What Does A Construction Manager Do?” 2015, ‘The telegraph,’ Retrieved from https://jobs.telegraph.co.uk/article/what-does-a-construction-manager-do/.
Department of Employment, Australian government 2015, ‘Construction,’ Industry outlook report.
Love, PED, Haynes, NS, Sohal, AS, Chan, APC & Tam, CM 2011, ‘Key Construction Management Skills for Future Success,’ research gate, vol. 2011.
Fean, S 2017, ‘Project Management vs Construction Management,’ Retrieved from http://watchdogpm.com/blog/project-management-vs-construction-management/.
Alberta Infrastructure 2001, ‘Construction Management’ An Owner’s Guide to Using the ‘Construction Management‘ Project Delivery System on Alberta Infrastructure Funded Building Projects.