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Why do I need a project manager?

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Someone who knows the process.

If you have a large, complex construction project ahead of you, hiring a project manager is probably an obvious decision. If you’re only undertaking minor works, such as making minor alterations and refurbishing your existing premises, you may be tempted to save money by managing the project yourself.

Did you know that, even with a fairly small project, hiring a project manager will still deliver good value?

A qualified project manager knows the project management process inside out. There are various project management methodologies that help guide this process, including PRINCE 2 and Agile. Here at Iconic Project Management, we tend to favour the Association for Project Management (APM) methodology, simply because we find it the most adaptable, but all the methodologies are equally valid. This expertise means that your project manager knows exactly what steps to take and in what order. There’s no procrastination. Things get moving quicker. As we all know, saving time means saving money.

who needs a project manager?

Someone who brings coordination.

The key benefit of employing a project manager for even a minor construction project is that they bring coordination. They make sure that all the trades and materials you need are procured to arrive on time. It’s a real pain to have things arrive out of sequence. If materials arrive early then you’ll need to find a way to store them until needed. If your plumber isn’t available at the right time you can end up with delays to your project and trades hanging around your site waiting to be able to get on with their work.

Worst of all, if your project is not properly coordinated you can end up having to remove completed works and re-doing them because a crucial step was missed or was done at the wrong time. You might think it was obvious to make sure the electrician had finished work before wallpapering the walls but you’d be surprised what we’ve seen over the years!

Someone who will save you money.

If you already have general project management skills (perhaps you manage IT projects, for example) you may well feel confident to handle the coordination of your construction project yourself. However, hiring a project manager with knowledge and experience of the built environment could still be a worthwhile investment. They will probably have an established supply chain, giving them access to the right trades, at the right time, at the best price. This will save you both time and money.

This specialist knowledge will also mean that they know what cost savings are going to be realistically achievable within the process. On the one hand, it may be worth re-using mechanical equipment such as air conditioning units because they have predictable longevity. On the other hand, you may think it would be sensible to repair a roof rather than replace it. However, if the roof is coming to the end of its life cycle, you might as well replace it. The repair may only give you a couple more years, but a replacement will probably provide you with at least 25 years.

Someone who will get you back on track.

if you’ve started managing your construction project by yourself, and find it isn’t going as well as you’d planned, we can help you get back on track. If you’re not sure whether you can manage your project by yourself and would like some free advice to help you decide, please get in touch. If your project doesn’t really merit a dedicated project manager but you’d like some tips or recommendations, we will be pleased to help you.


Elizabeth Hewitt

Director of Marketing at Iconic Project Management Limited. We specialise in retail, leisure and commercial construction.

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