Project Managers - The Unsung Heroes of the Building Industry.

People don’t know what they don’t know, and this can lead to disaster.


It never ceases to amaze me how often people grossly overestimate their ability to manage a building/renovating project themselves. Numerous long running TV shows are based on this premiss, (Grand Designs & The Block take a bow). Good project management would make for boring TV, no fights, no drama, and no tears…


Everyone knows of several building disaster stories and most of them stem from poor project management. People let their ego get in the way of making good decisions and everything goes downhill from there.


“Project management is not a science, nor is it an art or craft, and yet it features aspects of all three.” Peter Landau


Project management is all about communication, their main role is to facilitate the transfer of information to all the main players involved in a project. Objectively they make everyone’s job easier and more enjoyable. If everyone has the correct information at their disposal, they can concentrate on their specific job and execute at the highest level.


Project management also involves leadership and being obsessed with the intricacies and details of a building job. Knowledge plus obsession is the vital formula for effective management of a team working on a complex project with thousands of moving parts. The P.M. is the glue that holds the whole building process together.


“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he/she wants to do it.” Dwight D Eisenhower


When you are really good at something it just comes naturally, and you don’t appreciate how special and valuable it is to others that lack your ability. For me that ability is organising and managing building projects. I’m often aghast at how intelligent and capable people (not professionally involved in the building industry) can be so bad at organising their own building project.


A project manager carries the trust and responsibility of the client and their weighty expectations. They stand between the client and the tradesman and must make decisions and advocate on the client’s behalf. A good P.M. knows the answer to almost any question relating to a specific project and they make hundreds of micro-decisions that the client and the architect are not even aware of.


There’s a bit of artistry involved in manoeuvring through a project, that is to say, be flexible and use everything at your disposal.” Peter Landau


At times project management feels like a loveless task, they rarely get the recognition they deserve and there is no place for ego in the efficient running of a building job.


In my mind, P.M.’s are the unsung heroes of the building industry, because they can make the difference between a smooth, stress free and enjoyable process and total disaster…


Thanks for reading,

Stay safe and let someone else take the reins.


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