A Project Manager generally takes on the lead executive role of the project. The skills required will depend on the nature of the project. The client might have these in-house, or might recognise the need to bring in expertise from outside. The project management services that are usually offered include:
- Helping to define the project brief, budgeting and cost planning.
- Assisting in the selection and appointment of the project team.
- Preparing a building contract and advising on suitable provisions for reporting progress, dealing with changes, stage payments, damages for late completion, retention monies, etc.
- Providing recommendations for a shortlist of suitable contractors.
- Arranging for financial checks on those contractors.
- Establishing that each shortlisted contractor has adequate insurance cover, including professional indemnity insurance for design work.
- Advising on the provision of suitable warranties, underwritten by reputable insurance companies, against defective materials and workmanship
- Tendering or negotiating the contract to the shortlisted contractors to obtain best value
- Analysing the submitted tenders and comparing the contractor’s prices on an adjusted / uniform like-for-like basis and advising which tenders offer the best value for money
- Completing the contract formalities
- Ensuring that appropriate Construction Design and Management (“CDM”) Regulations measures are in place to protect health and safety.
- Dealing with the applications for statutory consents. These might include building control, planning and listed building consents. Ensuring that the necessary inspections are made and that the consents are obtained without delay.
- Dealing with landlord’s or other regulatory consents.
- Undertaking regular site inspections to monitor progress, and also to check that the works are being carried out in accordance with the agreed specifications.
- Contract administration – chairing regular site meetings, checking stage payments to be made to the contractor, reporting regularly to the client on the progress of the fitting out works programme.
- Managing any changes that the client may later wish to incorporate into the fitting out works specification, following commencement of the works, and representing the client’s interests in agreeing the extent of any associated additional costs
- Inspecting the completed works to ensure satisfactory completion in accordance with the specification and issuing the certificate of practical completion
- Overseeing the making good of any “snagging” items of disrepair that may have developed following practical completion of the fitting out works and authorising the release of the contract retention monies to the fitting out contractor following completion of the snagging works.
Successful project management depends on a range of skills. Those listed above are mostly technical but they need to be underpinned by personal or managerial abilities. The right balance needs both harmony and tension, and varies from project to project. Getting that right takes experience.