The construction industry generally deals with the various types of construction, Real Estate & Infrastructure Sector. Real Estate Sector is segmented in Residential, Industrial, Corporate, and Commercial. Whereas Infrastructure sector in Roads, Railways, Urban Infrastructures, Ports, Airports and Power. To manage such kind of unique projects requires an expertise with organizations and a thorough body of knowledge. Project Management Consultant plays multifaceted part in such projects and provides the services from inception to completion of projects. At every stage of project life cycle, the principles of pro-activeness and creating the win-win situation is necessary keeping in mind the customer / client’s requirements. Use of Project Management Consultant (PMC) offers one of the effective management solution to increase and improve the efficiency and outcome of a project in construction.
Project Consultants, like other Project Management Consultants (PMC), provide independent and objective advice to organizations to define and achieve their goals through improved utilization of resources, according to the Institute of Project Management Professionals (IPMP). Project Consultant help companies to achieve their business objectives by making better use of their skills and experience, or improving project organizational structures and processes. In 2010, around 718,800 people worked as Project Management Consultants in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They work in organizations, in Project Management Consulting firms or as Independent Project Consultants (IPC). Project Management Consultants manage the Project by application of their Knowledge, Skills, and Experience at various stages. However, at the same time PMC also has to face various challenges like Design Issues, Constructability Issues, Long lead material Issues, Inter Contractor Coordination Issues, Engineering Issues, Safety Issues, etc. which can be tackled only by a well-organized approach of the Project Management Consultant.
A well-organized PMC approach also includes adopting various types of tools and project applications for the higher management like Reporting dashboard, Round table progress Review and conduction of brainstorming sessions, training on various field, design – construction interface, regular quality audits, quality diligence & delivery sessions in team. In addition to above Project Management Consultancy is most effective and efficient when it is involved in Total Project Life Cycle from Conception to Closeout. Awareness of various Processes involved in Project Management and detail study of multiple constraints of project like Time-Cost-Risk-Scope-Quality-Resource are an integral part of any project management consultancy.
The Institute of Project Management Professional (IPMP) are committed to Conforming to highest standards in training Project Management Consultant after successful completion of IPMP level 6 professional examination
Under our Project Management Consultant (PMC), we undertake a planned series of training activities and design them in synchronization with industries requirements, whenever we go on board with projects management consultant training. This includes overall planning, coordination, monitoring and controlling of a project from inception to completion in order to produce a functionally and financially viable project that will be completed on time, within authorized cost and to the required quality standards.
Project Management Consultant (PMC)
There is no specific definition of Project Management Consultant (PMC). Most definition described management consultant by their roles and responsibility and services that they provide using tools and skills they have in delivering a task assigned by the client or the owner of the project. Ernest (1988) stated that the management consultant often serves in several ways; many of which assist in keeping the project confidential until time for public release. The management consultant also provides an outside, imperial sources of information and appraisal of the entire project feasibility. (D.B.Ismail, 2005) Consultation occurs when a client seeks the expert knowledge and the experience of a consulting engineer. The client needs opinions on some engineering problem or on some procedure, program, or project that involves engineering matters. Consultations may be brief or extended. Some involves only a few hours of time, with the client sitting across the desk from the consultant. Other consultations may require considerable traveling, a substantial portion of a consultant’s time over a period of several months, and repeated presentations and discussions with the client (Maxwell, 1982). This definition was agreed by Keri and Patricia (1989), where they describe a consultant as someone who is in a position to influence change but who has no direct authority to implement changes. A client is any person or group whom the consultant seeks to influence. (Whelton Michael Gerard, 2004)
Analysis: To identify opportunities for improvement, these project consultants take an objective look at the organization. They study organizational structures, assess the efficiency of business processes, and interview project team members and managers at all levels. They also assess skill levels throughout the organization. The project consultancy firm Accenture notes that successful organizations no longer cut or increase their workforce as a development strategy. Instead, they focus on getting the right skills in place to achieve and adapt to their evolving strategies.
Reporting: Project Consultants incorporate their findings in reports that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the project handed over to the stakeholder. They use their experience of other consulting assignments to compare the organization’s performance with industry best practice. The reports contain recommendations for change that will enable the organization to improve specific aspects of its project performance and meet its goals more effectively.
Recommendations: Project Organizational Consultants review their findings and recommendations with the senior management team and the stakeholders of the project. They advise the project team on the best way to implement their recommendations and manage the process of change. They might recommend changes to business processes, different forms of organization or improvements in collaboration within the organization. Project Consultants might also identify a need for greater use of technology to support important business processes or new training programs to develop essential skills.
Implementation: Some project consultants complete their involvement when they present their recommendations, leaving implementation to the organization’s executives or project stakeholders. Others will take responsibility for managing the process of change. They act as project managers, setting schedules and budgets for the change programs. They monitor progress against targets and overcome any barriers to change that arise during implementation. They may also plan and deliver training programs to improve skills. To maintain momentum in change programs, project consultants coach executives and other key figures such as departmental heads in the process of project change management. They develop the skills that will enable internal staff to act as champions of the project change.
Some benefits of hiring a Project Management Consultant include:
Return on investment: Project Consultants add value by using their skills and expertise to help deliver an outcome, solution, service or mitigate risk that provides a meaningful ‘return on investment’ to a client.
Speed: Since consultants are already experienced and trained they can be deployed rapidly – sometimes within days as opposed to weeks or months. Their experience means they can engage promptly with the situation, and can quickly become effective in the client organisation
Expertise: Project Management Consultants typically come into an organization at a relatively senior level and are expected to provide expertise and leadership
Objectivity: Since they come from outside the client organization they are unencumbered by company politics or culture, and can provide a fresh perspective.
Accountability: Project Management Consultants are not simply advisors. They are also practitioners and will take responsibility for and manage a project or programme.
Effectiveness: Ideally, in order to be effective, a PM consultants will need to work well with senior management in the client company and also be granted some authority and credibility to effect significant change or transition within a company.
Commitment: PM consultants should maintain high professional standards. They rely on their reputation and know that future work relies upon referrals and a successful track record.
Roles and Responsibility of Project Management Consultant
To understand the roles & responsibilities of Project Management Consultant one must know the liabilities attached to standard of care expected from Project Management Consultant.
Construction Engineering: The proper technique of assembling materials, components, equipment, and systems, and the selection and utilization of the best construction technology in doing so.
Management of the Construction Process: Establishing the best way to implement the construction process, this would include proper scheduling and the coordination and control of the flow of labor, materials, and equipment to the job site.
Human Resources Management: Since labor productivity and a harmonious working environment are essential elements of a successful project, control over human resources becomes important, more so than ever in these days of shortages of both workers and managers.
Financial Management: Construction is a business and must be viewed as such. Control over cost, cash flow and adequate project funding are essential part of any business endeavor and construction is no exception. Due to its comprehensiveness and clarity, this term is used for propose of this study. In order to achieve such goals, Project Management Consultant (PMC) must be staffed by multi- disciplined professionals who have all the required knowledge in order to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.
Body of Knowledge required for Project Management Consultant
It is important for the Project Management Consultant (PMC) to develop the body of knowledge before they provide the PMC services to clients. The firms that offer the consultant management services should have the required knowledge in order to tackle any problem that occurs and to ensure that the projects can be delivered successfully. One of the important key areas is they will need to develop the knowledge to use local materials and construction techniques in such a way as to minimize costs and take full advantage of local existing facilities. He should be noted that successful global companies will have to be very good in basic project management processes of planning, designing, scheduling, controlling costs, and managing materials and construction.
Job Description for a Project Manager for a Consulting Business
An employer seeking a project manager for its consulting company looks for a qualified applicant with industry experience in healthcare, environment, construction, IT or other consulting area as listed on their job description. You are hired by the consulting firm to service their clients with your industry-specialized project management skills. To qualify for the position, you must meet the educational requirements of a project manager. Your main function is to satisfy the consulting company’s clients by ensuring timely execution of projects.
Role: The job description as a project manager for a consulting business may require providing advice about strategic and operational issues for their clients. For instance, you may be required to find new sales channels for products or reduce costs involved in producing a product. Your services can be applied to a consulting firm’s clients whether they are in the computer industry, human resources, communications, financial services, real estate, e-commerce or other specialized areas. To fulfill the role, you may need to identify necessary resources and create and execute a working plan with production schedules and timelines. You may need to assign individual responsibilities to a team.
Responsibilities: Regardless of the field of the consulting firm, your core responsibility as a project manager is to balance time, money and scope of the project you are assigned to. You must know how to prioritize your tasks to ensure timely execution of the project from start to finish. The job description may require a project manager with knowledge and ability to integrate staff and operational processes after an acquisition, restructure a company after a bankruptcy or set up a new manufacturing plant abroad. Depending on the size of the organization, you may be required to either oversee the project or actively participate in it. Your work day will be filled with meetings, emails, phone calls, analyzing schedules, budgets and technical requirements.
Skills: The job description of a project manager may state that the consulting firm requires organizational skills to manage multiple projects, and leadership skills to work with stakeholders. You may be required to communicate with stakeholders to convince them of the necessity of the the project and communicate the tasks involved including both good and bad news of status changes. The requirements may include knowledge of platforms, software and programs that the consulting firm’s client works with.
Education: In addition to industry expertise, the education of a project manager in a job description may require a professional certification but bachelor’s degree and master’s degree a plus. In order to meet job education requirement you can apply for the Institute of Project Management Professional certification programs, you need at least a high school certificates to qualify you for the 18 months training to become a Project Management Consultant, Project Procurement Engineer, Project Financial Engineer, or Project Economist. Also Corporate Organization can also apply to become members of the institute which allow IPMP to train their staff in every quarter
Author: Dr. David Ackah, PhD. | Project Consultant