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What Management Structure Should You Put In Place On A Typical Construction Project?

In our questions and answers series, we answer some common questions that get sent to us from Ideas & Insights readers.

Question:

What management structure should I put in place on a typical construction project to handle communication issues?

Answer:

Communication Flow

The focus of all communication is typically the project manager. The project manager is the person responsible for the project. On small projects, one project manager might have several projects and handle all the communications on all of these projects.

On larger projects, the project manager might be responsible for one project and might handle all the communications on that project. On very large projects, there might be a Project Executive, a Project Manager, an Assistant Project Manager, and Superintendent (or more).

Each would have specific responsibilities regarding communication. For example, Superintendents would traditionally communicate with other Superintendents, non-working foremen, and other folks in the field.

Project Executives might communicate primarily with the client and then only on matters that relate to the agreements between the parties.

Project Managers will typically run meetings and prepare or direct the preparation of minutes. Others may draft letters, but all letters will typically go out with the signature of the PM.

Emails and Texts

E-mails and texts might be sent by anybody, but should be governed by protocols developed internally and on the project. The person responsible for responding should be clearly identified to minimize confusion and duplication of effort.

Schedules, RFIs, and Daily Logs

Schedules are usually prepared by the scheduler, the Project Engineer, or the Project Manager. However, every schedule should be reviewed by the Project Manager.

RFI logs and other logs are typically maintained by the clerical staff, the Project Manager, or the Project Engineer.

Daily logs and reports are usually prepared by the superintendent or non-working foremen.

Scott Lowe is a Principal of TRAUNER and is an expert in the areas of critical path method scheduling, construction claim preparation and evaluation, and specification writing. He can be reached at scott.lowe@traunerconsulting.com.

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