Thoughts That Build – Project Management & Site Supervision – Interchangeable?

Project management versus site supervision. What’s the difference, it’s a question I’ve been asked increasingly over the last little while from clients. You know they look at my line items and they ask, but why are you charging me for supervision and you’re also charging me for project management, well there’s a few key differences between the two as a site. Supervision means that you’re constantly on site of course but you’re also looking at quality control. In Quality assurance you’re making sure that the bones initially anyway have all been done properly, you’re managing expectations, you’re scheduling sub trades and suppliers to make sure they come in on time and make sure that overall schedule is met. You’re making sure that any site conditions are met and addressed with the project manager. Now as a project manager what you’re doing is from my perspective. There are really four key areas of project management, the four key areas are:

  • Client management: Number one to me, that’s really important you have to manage the client’s expectations on deliverables right from the get go not after.
  • Second one is subcontractor and supplier management which is making sure that they have the right purchase orders, making sure their scope of work has been covered same with suppliers, make sure the long lead items have all been secured well in advance.
  • The third one is scheduling initially you come up with the entire schedule on how the entire macro of the project fits all together.
  • And finally and most important being a business is but making sure that when you are issuing pos that the whole scope of work is there, making sure you’re still profitable at the end of the day.

So when you have these two pieces of functioning and working together well, that makes a successful project, not just for a GC or a contractor but also for the clients. There are two separate and unique processes that are involved but they do overlap with each other. So I try to explain it to my clients in this context when a client needs something addressed right away that has nothing to do with the site and we have to source out extras or changes and stuff like that, that involves somebody not on the project but off-site looking after those pricing coming and betting those prices, make sure all that stuff is all in order, that’s a different skill set, that’s project management. If something comes up on site and my site super calls the client and ask questions, that’s site management and those are how those two things come together so don’t be afraid to explain the two most times, I find clients are not fully aware of the differences of what they actually are and how they work together to finish off a successful project.