What does a Project Manager do when their project is losing money?
Well we know what their managers will do! They’ll probably be angry and order the PM to cut costs. Even replace the PM.
The PM will possibly try and hide the problem. Maybe hope that things will improve. Even blame others – especially the estimator.
All of the above usually just makes the problem worse. It’s important to find the reasons for the loss. I say reasons because there’s almost always a number of contributing reasons. Stay calm. Expose the full size of the loss. Implement measures to prevent or reduce further losses and try and recover money already lost. Ask for help if necessary. As much as your manager might not want to show their boss the full extent of the loss it’s important that they do, so the company can put contingency plans into place to safeguard their cash flow. I’ve seen a large construction company destroyed when a couple of projects lost money and senior management wasn’t prepared for the losses.
I’ll discuss some reasons for losses later.
Project inductions are a valuable tool to inform new employees on a project, engage with them and make them feel part of the team. Unfortunately in many cases this opportunity is missed. Most of the inductions I’ve attended have been poor, presented only by the project safety officer, and normally focussed on a few common safety issues (sometimes these aren’t even particularly relevant to the project).
Most employees arrive on a new project and have numerous questions of their own such as; the hours of work, scheduled days of work and rest, what they’ll be doing, accommodation and transport arrangements, and where the site facilities (such as toilets and eating areas) are. I find it’s useful to provide this information early in the induction so that employees can better focus on the other topics.
To lend some importance to the induction the project manager, or another senior staff member, should welcome the employees to the project.
It’s useful to tell employees a bit about the project; what’s been built, what the company is responsible for, the expected completion date and progress to date.
It’s important to discuss safety concerns related to the specific project. Highlight actual hazards and risks, and the safety procedures to be implemented. Discuss the safety equipment to be used and where it’s located. Other important topics are what to do in the event of an emergency, who to report hazards to and the reporting procedures for incidents and accidents.
Furthermore it’s important to highlight environmental hazards; areas which are out-of-bounds, what to do when fauna is encountered on site, how to deal with waste and the cleaning up and reporting of environmental spills and accidents.
In addition the opportunity should be used to highlight the rules and regulations on the project, disciplinary and grievance procedures and the expected quality standards.
Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
"I have what I consider some of the best books on construction management."
Books are available from:
Other retail stores
Available in paperback or on Kindle
"28 YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE, DEVELOPING SUCCESSFUL CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGERS AND BUILDING SUCCESSFUL CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES"