Mario Pereira is our Gloucestershire Building Project Manager. He project managers construction work for CLPM residential and commercial clients in the Cotswolds, and in parts of neighbouring counties of Wiltshire and Worcestershire.
Being a Project Manager in the construction industry is never dull, and often brings a unique variety of challenges. Here Mario describes his typical working day…….
My alarm goes off at 6.00 am. I hit the snooze button. It goes off again at 6.05 am. I hit that snooze. Again at 6.10 am. Then it’s time to get up. I bound downstairs to make the first cup of coffee for me, and a mug of tea for my wife and then there’s tea for the kids. It’s then time to hit the shower.
Depending on my meeting schedule, I may be on the road at 7.00 am or at the computer doing administrative work. Today I have my first appointment at 10.00 am, so I have time to review any new emails, file my old emails and ensure that I have replied to everything from the previous day. Following that, I open our project management software application, Buildertrend, and click on the project that will be visited today.
Our building project management system holds all the data about each of our client’s projects and is a major planning tool for everyone within CLPM. It means we can all see how things are progressing and what is scheduled to happen next. Each day I’ll check how are we doing on the programme. What do I need to double check onsite? Who do I need to follow up? I review my check list from last week’s onsite meeting minutes, and look at what should have been completed by today.
My best thinking time happens in the car whilst driving. I start my visual walk through – building each part of the project. I try to identify any potential issues with the construction works. If I have identified a problem, my next step is to call and check if it has been thought of by the contractor or trades-person. These calls are sometimes quite lengthy ones, as the contractor or trades-person will have their own views on how it could be done. I need to make sure the solution complies with the drawings and specifications. If not, then we need to inform all parties of potential issues, and the solution options available. It’s critical that we inform our clients in the simplest of way so that they understand all of these elements and can make the best decisions.
Following my site meeting, it’s my job to write up the meeting minutes. I document the key elements discussed, what needs to happen and by when. I make sure it’s clear who those items will be actioned by. I update the programme, review the upcoming week’s schedule and notify the necessary trades personnel of when they are expected on site. For a project using a single main contractor, I confirm that they are aware of the next scheduled item, to ensure the delivery of everything required is all confirmed.
Although I always have a plan for my day, events can sometimes mean I’m needed at short notice to visit a site or deal with a unexpected problem via the phone. You have to have be flexible, have a good memory, and be able to react quickly to situations to succeed in this role. In a funny way, the most interesting part of this job are the additional tricky calls that you receive throughout the day. You have to be able to flip your mind from one project to another within seconds, remember what was discussed previously to action those items, and think creatively and quickly to help resolve the situation.
Being a Gloucestershire Building Project Manager is a rewarding job. Each day is filled with new things to learn and no two days are the same – I love it!
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