The importance of a project manager in construction projects

Construction projects are often highly complex endeavours with many moving parts.

With multiple phases, various stakeholders and numerous workers involved, one of the most vital parts of any construction project is the project manager or project management team.

Project managers take on responsibility for many key aspects of a construction project, including time management, cost control, contract administration and more – playing an essential role in successful delivery.

Here at Greyfriars Project Management, we are specialists in delivering development and infrastructure projects.

Using our extensive experience and industry knowledge, we’ve taken a look at just how important a project manager is to a construction project – and why you need one…

What is the role of a project manager in a construction project?

A construction project can be a long and complicated process which requires logistical and management skills. This is where a project manager comes in.

Project managers organise, manage and lead the planning and delivery of a construction project, taking responsibility for many different elements.

This includes programme management, procurement, contract administration, risk management, cost planning and control, report writing, governance support, stakeholder engagement, masterplanning and more.

Often, a project management team works on a construction project from start to completion, overseeing the whole process. However, they can also get involved in specific aspects of a project when needed.

How important is a project manager to a construction project?

Experience shows that a project manager is essential to the effectiveness, efficiency and overall success of a construction project.

There are many ways in which they facilitate successful project delivery, including:

Time management

Construction projects often operate under tight time constraints. Each phase of the project will likely have specific targets and deadlines which must be met.

A project manager is responsible for ensuring works are carried out as planned, managing the programme to ensure all elements of the construction project meet set deadlines.

Using their skills and experience – as well as their in-depth knowledge of the project scope and plan – a project manager can provide solutions to manage delays and make sure work is kept on track.

For example, here at Greyfriars Project Management, we worked on a construction project for Angel Road Schools in Norwich which had a tight deadline of the autumn term.

We managed the project to successful completion by the September deadline, ensuring pupils could return to the school as planned. Without a project manager, timescales are harder to follow and delays are significantly more likely.

Risk management

With a multitude of workers, machinery and hazards on any construction site, there is often varying degrees of risk. It is crucial that these risks are identified and handled to ensure safe project delivery.

An expert project manager will pragmatically manage this task. They will assess risk in advance, implementing a plan which mitigates dangers in the first place, as well as creating a strategy which allows them to deal with any challenges which may arise in a proactive way.

This includes identifying and managing safety, financial, project and environmental risks, making a project manager essential to ensuring that a construction project is completed as safely – and with as few risks – as possible.

Budget controls

Most construction projects have a finite level of financial resources – especially those in the public or education sector. Successfully completing a project within the budget can be a complicated task.

A project manager takes ownership of this, managing cost-planning and cost-control. They oversee and manage financial tracking to ensure works do not exceed budgeted costs.

Also, a project manager can consistently review works to make sure everything is conducted efficiently so costs are minimised where possible and the client can get most economic use of resources.


The procurement process for a construction project is often complex and time-consuming.

A large amount of people and resources are needed to make a project work. Ensuring these people and resources are the most suitable for the job is paramount to making a project a success.

The project manager or project management team working on a construction project often take responsibility for the procurement process. They have the skills to create a procurement strategy, as well as the industry knowledge and contacts to identify the best contractors.

This avoids mistakes being made throughout the construction process and reduces the chance of significant delays to the project.

Successful completion on time, on budget and on programme

By co-ordinating and managing multiple aspects of a construction project, a project manager is incredibly important to the whole process.

Not only do they ensure construction projects meet deadlines and stay within budget, they play a key role in organising the works – and workers – as well as managing and mitigating possible challenges.

With their specialist industry experience and extensive knowledge of relevant processes and legislation, a project manager is vital to effective project completion – on time, on budget and on programme.

If you want your construction project delivered efficiently and within its means, utilising the skills and knowledge of a project manager is key.

How can Greyfriars Project Management help?

Here at Greyfriars Project Management, we specialise in delivering development and infrastructure projects for clients in the public and private sector.

Based in Norwich, Norfolk, our expert team provide a wide range of support and services, including full project management, planning support, contract management, budget controls, risk management, masterplanning and more.

With over 70 years’ experience across our team, we work with our clients to ensure projects are delivered on time, on budget and to the highest standard.

Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you with your next project.