Project management


What is construction project management ?

Construction project management is a mixture of hard skills such as; financial analysis, technical know-how, etc., as well as the soft skills of effective leadership, communication, delivered in the context of RIBA Plan of Work (2020) and the OGC Gateway and the project constraints illustrated below. Indeed, recently there has been increased emphasis on the so-called soft skills aspects of construction project management.

The aim of project management is to ensure that projects are completed at a given cost and within a planned time scale. Before beginning to examine how a construction project manager operates it is first necessary to take a wider look at generic project management skills and techniques.

Project management has many definitions however, it may be regarded as; the professional discipline that ensures that the management function of project delivery remains separate from the design / execution functions of a project and into these generic skills have to be interwoven the specific skills required for construction projects.

What is a project ?

A project is a temporary group activity designed to produce a unique product, service or result; in the case of construction a new or refurbished construction project, a new piece of infrastructure, etc.














The construction project manager

Construction project management is tasked with the planning, coordination, budgeting and supervision of the construction project.

Construction project managers are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Estimating and negotiating project costs.

  • Formulating budgets and preparing feasibility studies

    • Establishing the project brief and defining client requirements

    • Preparing feasibility reports including different options

    • Preparing the business case

    • Determining funding options

  • Determining which appropriate procurement strategies.

    • The majority of work in the construction industry is won through competition,with three or four  contractors or sub-contractors submitting confidential bids.
  • Communicating with clients and stakeholders, re: budget, progress, etc.

  • Lead or interface with workers, teams and other construction professionals including; architects, quantity surveyors, engineers, etc. on technical and contract details.

  • Working with building, construction and regulatory specialists.

The project manager should be able to identify the skill set of the project team. The activities most commonly involved with construction project manager include;


  • Identifying and developing the client’s brief

  • Leading and managing the project teams

  • Identifying and managing project risks including;

  • Design development risks

  • Construction risks

  • Employer's change risk


  • Establishing communication and managing protocols

  • Managing the feasibility and strategic stages

  • Establishing the project budget and project programme

  • Co-ordinating legal and other regulatory consents

  • Advising on the selection / appointment of the project team

  • Managing the integration and flow of design information

  • Managing the preparation of design and construction programmes / schedules and critical path and            method networks

  • Advising on alternative procurement strategies

  • Whole like costs / sustainability / BREEAM

  • Establishing time, cost, quality and function control benchmark

  • Controlling, monitoring and reporting on project progress 

  • Administering consultant’s and construction contracts including agreeing scope of services

  • Project audit 

  • Post-occupancy evaluation.

BIM and the construction project manager


The construction project manager has been on the side-lines of BIM development, due in part to the emphasis on the use of BIM in the design process. However, the use of BIM extends beyond initial design issues. Some of the principal skills of the project manager are; collaboration, coordination and communication and therefore on the face of it, it would seem that BIM is potentially a very useful tool for project managers.


With BIM as a fundamental enabler for effective integration, it is crucial for project managers to understand how to harness and use it for their projects. The potential for project managers therefore appears to widen the use of BIM and to ensure that clients are aware of the value-added benefits of adopting BIM both during and after project delivery. The project manager may need to guide a client through the business case for adopting BIM and the required changes to skills, roles and responsibilities.