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A Day in the Life of a Project Manager and the Importance of Utility Coordination

Every construction project is different but many will consist of a similar process: planning, problem-solving, navigating safety hazards, following protocols, and so on. Things can get interesting real quick in any construction project. As people that have worked on a site will know, that one small problem can quickly escalate and turn into a one-week delay nightmare. Whether it’s finding out that plumbing needs to be rerouted or a subcontractor messed up some measurements, a project can take a different turn. The role of the project manager, of course, is to manage the many moving parts of a construction project. Here at Constructors, Inc, we thought we would celebrate the role of the project managers by paying tribute to the difficult work they do on the day-to-day basis. These are the unsung heroes of infrastructure and the organizational backbone of construction projects.

The Role of the Construction Project Manager

The name says it all. A project manager manages. They not only manage their crew but all aspects of a project that need coordination. They are responsible for the planning, organization, and directing of the completion of the entire project. Because so much rests on the shoulders of the project managers, they tend to set the stage for how a project will work and even a company’s overall trajectory and project turnaround. Some might say that a project manager is always working towards maximizing project dollars.

The Project Life Cycle

Every construction project will vary. The details and specific materials or work will be different, but the arch of the project will be relatively similar. A project manager will usually think in these stages, also called the life cycle:

Initiating: This is like setting the foundation. Project managers define the main objectives and the scope of the project to understand the bigger picture. Needed permits and permissions will be identified in this stage to ensure there is legal authorization on all fronts.

Planning: Project managers and stakeholders might come together to create the project plan. This identifies the scope of the project, cost, timelines, risks, possible problems or roadblocks, etc. Project planning is constantly and consistently updated as the process gets underway.

Executing: This is when the contractors, team members, and laborers put into action or execute the work outlined in the plan. The project manager delegates and oversees that the various players are getting the job done and have what they need.

Monitoring and Controlling: This applies to the entirety of the project as well. A project manager will monitor the working parts and entities of the project to ensure they are functional, on time, and getting the job done right. This may include resolving issues, lead through unforeseen changes or circumstances, and drive progress forward.

Closing: As a project comes to a close, the project manager must ensure that resources no longer needed are released. Close-out the work of contractors or any third parties working on the project.

What is Utility Coordination and Why Is it Important?

Utility coordination is an important aspect of all projects. It includes subsurface utility engineering, analyzing conflicts or issues, and more. The project manager will typically be in charge of making contact with utility companies. When it comes to local, state, or federal highway or construction projects, utility coordination is always an inevitable and important component. Depending on the type of project, chances are that there will be some utility relocation or installation needed.

In the planning stage, the project manager needs to look ahead and anticipate possible issues with utilities. Overlooking underground utilities can be a costly mistake, both in time and money.

For any project manager, it is important to consider:

Underground utilities
Accommodating basic water and sewer lines
Ensure that the roadway is not a corridor for natural gas lines
A duct for telecommunication infrastructure
Adhere to specific design and construction requirements
Local government regulations

In other words, utility coordination is a focused coordination between various entities and utilities to ensure the site is clear. This means that someone familiar with the construction requirements and specifics needs to communicate with the various utilities. Otherwise, the project will not only run into issues but disrupt nearby infrastructure. For example, if there is a hospital or school nearby, neglecting underground utilities or causing major disruption can cause a problem for others as well.
Important Projects Require Experienced Professionals

Constructors, Inc is a family-owned construction company that has been building in the Southwest and New Mexico region for decades. Not only have we done local and city projects but other government work and private contracts. Our team of seasoned professionals understands the importance of keeping a project within the deadline and under budget. More than that, we understand the essential nature of the job and never cutting corners or sacrificing quality for expediency.

When looking for a construction company, project management, or utility coordination, call Construction, Inc today.

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