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What Does a Project Controls Manager Do?

A Project Controls Manager oversees the planning, scheduling, and budgeting aspects of a project. They ensure that all tasks are completed on time, within budget, and meet quality standards. They are the backbone of successful project execution. But how do they manage to juggle all these responsibilities?
Nick Mann
Nick Mann

A project controls manager is a person who oversees all aspects of a project from its beginning until completion. The types of projects that an individual may work on can vary considerably across numerous industries. Regardless of the type of project, a project controls manager should possess great organizational skills, leadership skills and be able to see the big picture. Some of the typical responsibilities of this position include creating a project outline, setting budget limits, supervising employees, solving problems as they arise and monitoring progress.

Creating an outline is usually the first step of any project. This can include determining estimated costs, necessary equipment, size of the workforce and overall timeline. While changes are often made throughout the course of a project, having a rough idea of how everything will unfold is critical for successfully completing a project on time. For example, if a project controls manager is in charge of a building's construction, he would need to figure out how much materials would cost, what machines are needed and how many construction workers to hire.

Cost of materials, needed equipment and required labor for a building's construction would be determined by a project controls manager.
Cost of materials, needed equipment and required labor for a building's construction would be determined by a project controls manager.

Another important part of this position is setting budget limits. While projects will vary in size and complexity, nearly all have a budget cap that cannot be exceeded. Consequently, it's the job of a project controls manager to identify what the approximate budget limit is. Throughout the course of a project's completion, he must keep careful track of expenses and ensure that his team stays on target.

A project controls manager on a construction site may check the quality of her or his employees' work.
A project controls manager on a construction site may check the quality of her or his employees' work.

During the various stages of a project, a project controls manager must also supervise his employees. In the case of a construction site, he might check the quality of each employee's work and delegate tasks in general. If a worker isn't staying on task or performing satisfactorily, a project controls manager will be responsible for taking disciplinary measures. This aspect of the job requires a person with sound leadership skills and the ability to take control of a situation.

Efficiently solving problems as they arise is another key part of this job. During the course of most projects, it's inevitable that some sort of problem will occur. For example, if it is a construction project, it could be inclement weather or receiving the wrong materials. To be effective, a project controls manager must be able to improvise and make quick decisions to ensure that a project is completed correctly and on time.

An additional part of this job is continually monitoring progress. In many cases, a project controls manager will create daily reports on what has happened and what the expenses were. This practice requires an individual to stay up-to-date on all progress and maintain accurate records.

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    • Cost of materials, needed equipment and required labor for a building's construction would be determined by a project controls manager.
      By: Lsantilli
      Cost of materials, needed equipment and required labor for a building's construction would be determined by a project controls manager.
    • A project controls manager on a construction site may check the quality of her or his employees' work.
      By: mavil
      A project controls manager on a construction site may check the quality of her or his employees' work.