The Many Responsibilities of the Jobsite Manager
High experience jobsite supervisors are some of the highest paid/most in demand professionals in the industry. Contractors rely on them to make the company money. They are not just technology adoption influencers, but decision makers.
But they’ve proven to be reluctant decision makers when it comes to digital technology. To understand why, let’s consider what field management entails. Our thanks to Construction Jobsite Management for much of this outline.
One thing we can all agree on is: It’s a big job! For any non-trivial project, it takes more than one person to be on top of all these duties, many of which are delegated to field engineers and subcontractors.
Construction projects have many stakeholders, some explicit (project owner, designer/architect, engineers, subcontractors, insurers, financers, etc.) and some implicit (local government, neighbors, etc.). Usually a corporate officer (e.g., the COO, or VP of Field Operations) is legally responsible and signs off on contracts.
While jobsite supervisors may or may not be the actual project manager tasked with delivering the project to completion, they must be fully briefed on the nature of the contract, all its stakeholders and critical project risks.
Project managers will have explicit responsibility for coordinating stakeholders and collaboration. Increasingly, a project manager works with software (e.g., Procore, Primavera, etc.) that performs task, effort, time and resource calculations as the project moves through bidding, inception, preconstruction, execution and closeout.
Document and Records Management
Jobsite data includes the data that records progress (what’s going right), but especially problems and issues. Documents or data are associated with just about everything that happens on a jobsite.
Jobsite attendance is fundamental to jobsite security, safety and project management. The daily log report contains who, what, where, when and how long workers or visitors were on the jobsite. Good jobsite managers also keep a diary recording key events, conversations, photos or videos.
Jobsites are the responsibility of the general contractor during building. Like any office or retail store, contractors are liable for what happens on the site. Supervisors are responsible for controlling the site, its physical layout, fencing, signage & access protocols, both for workers and visitor management.
Materials and Tool Management
Supervisors may also be responsible for materials submittals, evaluating samples, ordering, receiving, and inventory kept at the jobsite. Related duties include tool and vehicle asset management, equipment rentals, and maintenance.
Customer and Change Management
Project owners – the customer – and other stakeholders will visit the jobsite and often request ad hoc changes. While keeping the customer happy is paramount, recording verbal change orders is critical also. T&M change orders are the source of much profit, but must be estimated, approved and tracked.
Employee Workforce Management
The construction workforce is almost always complex, a combination of employees, subcontractors and vendors, some union, some non-union, salary vs hourly, etc. All require onboarding, usually some training, HR involvement, timecard processing, and company policy enforcement.
Subcontractor, Vendor and Professional Services Management
The “gig” economy means specialty contractors are the norm for most projects. Supervisors must manage all non-employee contract terms and conditions, which may vary. Supervisors must also coordinate, schedule, evaluate quality and enforce safety and other company policies.
Only larger projects will have a dedicated safety engineer. Otherwise, the jobsite supervisor manages safety plans and enforces policies. Policies will include alcohol/substance use, PPE, Hazmat, communications, accidents/incidents, OSHA and more.
Safety management also includes the documentation of actions taken to prevent incidents or accidents or to document them if they occur.
Quality, Inspection & Regulatory Management
Quality duties include Inspections, testing, walkthroughs, and sign offs for many different entities potentially. Compliance data and recordkeeping is core to overall risk management, claims processing, etc.