Construction Project Manager: One Title, Multiple Duties

After lenders, architects, engineers, construction companies, and various government agencies hammer out the details of a particular contract for a commercial building, the assigned project manager is responsible for the bulk of all activity from that point onward. These individuals are highly trained, experienced professionals who must oversee a multiplicity of tasks simultaneously. After the construction company moves through the bidding process and lands the contract, the project manager swings into action.

What are the core responsibilities of these on-site experts? For starters, they develop an overall project plan that includes every relevant detail of how the job will proceed from day one through completion. The general nature of this function is the coordination of dozens of ongoing duties by various teams of specialists. After nailing down the big picture, project managers select a fleet manager to oversee timely deliveries of raw materials, machinery, and other items directly to the worksite. The project manager also chooses subcontractors, implements safety programs, develops a checklist of daily milestones, and assigns cleanout duties to teams. To gain an understanding of how a project is successfully managed, review the following points.

Overall Project Planning

As the job title implies, project managers oversee the big picture plan for accomplishing the goal of the ownership and design team. In addition to hiring the fleet, coordinating all crews, arranging the site, and setting detailed performance schedules, these professionals are responsible for every significant action that takes place on the site throughout the duration of the building phase.

Fleet Management Selection

When a project manager chooses a fleet manager for a given project, it’s not a decision that’s taken lightly. Fleet supervision is an integral part of the daily operations of any job. These professionals coordinate dozens of essential chores, like precision timing of delivery of materials, knowing their vehicles’ load capacities, and more. Experienced fleet managers avoid overloading their trucks because they realize that doing so can ultimately decrease braking distance, put undue strain on a truck’s suspension, and invite fines from inspection authorities. If you operate a fleet under the supervision of a project manager, be sure to learn how to figure out the capacity when it comes to weight, calculate maximum loads, and differentiate between towing capacity and load capacity.


On large jobs, it’s not unusual for dozens of subs to be employed. All must be cleared by project managers before they can begin conducting their assignments. In some cases, subcontractors are given latitude about when they can arrive and leave the site, even when there’s a hard deadline for the completion of a specified category of work, like painting, drywall, roofing, etc.

Safety Programs & Daily Milestones

By law, every site must have a detailed safety plan in place before any substantial activity can begin. The project manager usually deals with this task long before arriving at the location on the first day of construction. However, at any time, federal or state authorities can do spot inspections to make sure all safety guidelines are being followed. In most instances, daily milestones are the primary guide for workers in all parts of the operation. At any time, team leaders can check to see whether they’re ahead of schedule or behind and by how much.