A few years ago Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. commissioned Gianfagna Marketing & Communications, Inc. to conduct a market study and one part of that study dealt with the perceptions of our clients, developers and architectural associates towards our company. One attribute that respondents in the study mentioned repeatedly was the company’s “superior project management capabilities”, such as comments like:
“Quality; craftsmanship; they’re particular, committed to turning over a good project.”
“They manage projects very well.”
“Really good project management skills and superintendents.”
“They do a quality project.”
These statements affirmed Fortney & Weygandt’s belief that one of the primary reasons any project will be successful is the strength of the project management team guiding it. That’s the reason for our strong focus on excelling in our project management capabilities and place so much emphasis on building and maintaining the strength of our entire staff.
The Whole Project Management Team is Critical
The Project Management Institute defines project management as “the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality and participation satisfaction.” Our definition is much simpler. We believe it means:
- A well organized, experienced team providing the proper leadership, technical knowledge, and precise scheduling of material and equipment delivery;
- Coordination of architects, engineers, all subcontractors and field workers; and
- Back office staff that achieves a set of critical goals: completing a successful quality project on time and completing under budget.
It is the achievement of these objectives – cost, time, quality plus owner satisfaction – that defines successful project management which, in turn, sets a general contractor apart from the rest.
The Role Of The Project Manager
In our view, the project manager is the most important person responsible for ensuring the success of a project. It is the project manager who plans, organizes and controls the direction of the project. He or she must:
- Ensure the effective utilization of resources, including labor, materials and equipment.
- Manage the project’s scope, budgeting, scheduling and performance requirements.
- Cost control management, including managing change orders, preparing and submitting cost documents, and resolving issues.
- Manage the communication and collaboration that must take place among the various players involved, including the project superintendent, administrators, project accountants and the rest of the project team.
- Manage the project’s close out process, including punch list completion and delivery of drawings, maintenance manuals and warranties to the owner.
Because we believe that a highly successful project management team begins with a highly skilled project manager, all of our project managers are degreed and come to the company with years of experience or are expertly trained by our project management veterans. As long-term employees, our project managers, along with our staff of administrators and project accountants are steeped in the Fortney & Weygandt culture of excellence.
Every member of our project management staff knows the importance of their individual roles and knows that successful projects are those that are planned and have a clear purpose. One important reason for Fortney & Weygandt’s success over the past 38 years is that we all understand the critical importance of a superior project management team to bring all of our projects not just to satisfactory conclusions, but to successful conclusions.
As our marketing study showed, our clients have taken notice.