10 Responsibilities of a Construction Project Manager

Construction Project Managers supervise and allocate resources for various construction projects. A construction project manager is skilled in the technical skills required to lead and direct a team. Projects managed by construction project managers vary from residential, commercial, and industrial buildings to churches and sports stadiums.  They work with engineers and architects to finalize plans, create timelines, and determine the labor needed and material costs required to ensure a project is completed on budget, on time, and within scope.

Construction Project Managers also hire and manage subcontractors and employees, retrieve permits, and make sure all phases of the project are up to code. The primary construction project manager responsibilities include planning, supervision, setting goals, time management, risk management, and more.

10 Responsibilities of a Construction Project Manager

1. Planning

The construction project manager not only plans the work but also lays out tasks for his team. A thorough project manager forecasts and determines the work that needs to be done for the proposed project. The construction project manager ensures that work is done on time and within budget. They also make sure the construction project is compliant with current building codes and regulatory requirements. A construction project manager carefully plans out each aspect of the project to achieve successful completion. They develop detailed plans and use these plans as a benchmark to track progress. In any job, creating and following it through to a plan makes completing the project more manageable and minimizes the amount of time wasted. The better a construction project manager is at planning a project, the smoother the construction project will go.

2. Set Project Goals and Benchmarks

Setting construction project goals is one of a construction project manager's most important responsibilities. It is the construction project manager's job to make sure the specific goals signed off by the client are met. Also, the construction project manager is in charge of reviewing the precision of the work, handling requirements, and deliverables. The goals of the construction project establish how many workers and the types of supplies needed to complete the project.

Creating benchmarks during the planning process is an essential part of construction project manager duties. Benchmarks are checkpoints during the construction project and used to evaluate the status and progress of the project. Benchmarks measure the performance of a project throughout the life of the project. Benchmarks help determine a project's timeline, budget, and progress. Without planning and benchmarks, a construction project manager may find it challenging to understand the schedule of the project and how the budget allocation is progressing.

3. Time Management

Every construction project job comes with a specific set of objectives. Time is a crucial part of a construction project because penalties arise if a building project becomes delayed. A successful construction project manager is skilled at time management.

The construction project manager has to set realistic timelines and consistently meet the benchmarks established for the project, so the project is completed on time. An experienced project manager can estimate the duration of each step of the project to prevent delays. The construction project manager develops, maintains, evaluates, and readjusts the schedule when necessary to ensure timely completion of the project.

4. Completing The Construction Project On Budget

A construction project cannot begin without a budget. Another essential responsibility of the construction project manager's duty is to manage the financial plans of the project and to evaluate the project budget consistently. To avoid going over budget, a construction project manager must continuously keep track of spending and forecast any changes to the budget. Informing the team about forecasts, keeping tabs on the budget, and preparing for unplanned costs is necessary and ensures there are no problems during construction. When a project begins, the construction project manager makes sure the crew does not go over budget and can estimate, compare, and cut unnecessary costs to stay within budget limits.

5. Keep Stakeholders and Boss In The Loop

The only people on the construction site are the project manager and their team. While internal communication between the construction project manager and their team is crucial, keeping stakeholders and the boss informed is just as important. The construction project manager should give daily or weekly reports of the status of a construction project, including equipment, policies, and upcoming procedures, with all the issues that came from the work. If a problem occurs, it is the construction project manager's responsibility to inform everyone how it will affect the project and if it is on time, any extra costs, and how he plans to adjust the schedule. Construction project managers are also responsible for maintaining relationships with third-party sources, such as subcontractors, and ensuring they have the materials they need available to complete a project.

6. Managing Disputes

As the boss of the construction site, it is the construction project manager's job to resolve any disputes that arise on the construction site. Conflicts come in different forms:

  •     Between fellow construction workers
  •     Subcontractors
  •     With the client or stakeholders
  •     Third parties
  •     Within the project management team  

If any dispute goes unresolved, the argument could lead to the failure of the project. An experienced construction project manager has clear preventive measures and a system in place to resolve conflicts fast and efficiently.

7. Draft Contracts

Any work completed on a construction project requires a draft contract. A draft contract is a contract between the owner and the builder. Draft contracts handled by the construction project manager include deals with:

  • Architects
  • Materials suppliers
  • Subcontractors (electricians, carpenters, heating and cooling professionals)
  • Other third parties involved in the project

The goal of the draft contract is to keep all parties covered and ensure each party knows what they are responsible for on the construction project.

8. Risk Management

Risk management is identifying and responding to potential risks to minimize the safety of the workers. Construction project managers create contingency plans as a proactive approach to risk management rather than a reactive one. Knowing the possible risks and informing the contractor and client about those risks allows each member of the team to reach a mutual agreement of how any risk could be handled or shared. Risk management can include unrealistic scheduling commitments, poor planning design, unforeseen regulatory requirements, and natural disasters such as storms or earthquakes. A construction project manager who incorporates risk management in their plan is more effective and able to deliver the final project within set specifications.

9. Distributing Resources

Every construction project requires the skill to procure and allocate resources. A construction project manager ensures the availability of resources to avoid any delay in a project. An experienced construction project manager has an effective plan and understands what materials are needed and makes sure there are enough to finish the job. While setbacks are sometimes unavoidable, a delay due to a construction project manager's poor planning can affect the budget and waste company resources. The ability to effectively distribute and manage resources helps construction project managers avoid problems and ensures the successful completion of a project.

10. Managing and Communicating with Staff

A construction project manager needs to consistently communicate with their staff about project details and evaluate the effectiveness of the project plan with employees. If a project manager is unable to communicate with staff effectively, employees have unclear objectives, there is an inefficient allocation of resources, and the quality of deliverables is poor. Construction project managers cannot expect their employees to know what to do without clear and concise communication. A successful manager can delegate tasks to employees based on individual skill sets and overall project goals. A good construction project manager motivates and directs their team to ensure the delivery of a successful project.


While construction project managers are responsible for different roles within each specific project, their responsibilities are critical to the success of the construction project. A construction project manager hires employees who can effectively work together to create a great final product. Through proper planning, communication, budget, and risk management, a construction project can turn out more than successful.  As owner’s representatives, IAG Commercial assists clients with interviewing and hiring the best construction company for each client.  A key decision in this process is making sure the construction project manager working with IAG and our client is a well-qualified and will fit with our overall team.


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