The Fall of knowledgable Project Managers in my career.

I have been working in the Construction industry for nearly 17 years now, starting out fresh out of high school cleaning up around the job site. Then quickly realized that I had greater ambitions. Those ambitions have lead me to obtain my General Carpentry Trade ticket as well as numerous Project management and Business courses. After working as a tradesman for 7 years an opportunity presented itself to become a Clerk of Works on a 6+ Million dollar OPP Facility in early 2007.

At that point I was now working with highly educated and knowledgable Consultants and Project managers. I was working with a Large firm out of Toronto visiting the office once a week to work directly with the Architects and Engineers on the project. I was able to get the contractor answers to their pressing questions instantly face to face, it was great! The Project manager looking after the Project for the Ontario Realty Corporation was very knowledgable working his way up just as my journey had started cleaning up around the job site. He had real practical knowledge of construction methods and process. I worked with him on two projects over 3 years and they went great.

Then someone in the government got the idea that they should move away from Managing their own projects and hirer a designee to manage things. This was where the quality of construction went down and I suspect the cost went up. 2009 I started a Court house renovation and addition project, the first project where I worked for the new designee. The PM had very little knowledge about the construction process, safety requirements, or the true cost of things. Issues were compounded by a General contractor looking to make as much money as possible on this project. It ended up being a disaster, which saw 3 different PM’s on the 15 month project.

After that I was lucky enough to work with another PM that worked their way up and was highly knowledgable and great to deal with, that brings me to 2012. Since then I have seen numerous PM’s that are great at moving paper around but lack the true construction knowledge that would help avoid issues on a project.

If organizations aren’t going to employ individuals with practical knowledge they are going to continue chasing their tails trying to deliver projects on time. The budget overruns I believe are going to continue increasing as long as consultants are paid based on percentages. I will continue these thoughts in my next post.

About the author: Mr. Shannon D. Hulme has been in the construction industry for over 17 years working on many Regionally important project throughout Ontario. His primary goal is to ensure clients receive what they pay for and that every project is completed to the highest standards of construction and cost overruns are avoided.

Have a question, give me a call or text: 519 859 4497

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