Project Practitioners > Just What Are My Roles & Responsibilities? Part II

Just What Are My Roles & Responsibilities? Part II

By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B

This article continues with the roles and responsibilities of a Lead Project Engineer / Project Manager that I started in the last article. 

  1. Reviews all incoming and outgoing project-related correspondence. You need to look at or be aware of all project related information that comes in and make sure it gets to the appropriate person(s) for action. This means you have to understand what project problems / issues are out there. You do not want any surprises. All information going out should go out under your signature. You can not have just anyone sending out project related information that could affect your project.  An example would be drawings for review. You develop the distribution list so when drawings come in they get sent to the right people for review. You can add or delete people as required. The drawings are reviewed, marked up, come back to you for final review, then they are sent back to the vendor. You have control throughout the whole process.
  2. Update vault personnel of present status of job numbers, changes to numbers, engineering contractor’s working jobs, etc. In any facility there is a storage area for the facilities drawings. They control who can take out drawings, how they are transmitted, and what they can have. The people who manage this drawing control are the vault personnel. You need to inform them of your project status and who will be looking for drawings and what type of drawings. If you don’t keep them updated, your contractors will have trouble getting the required information. Not only do you need to keep the vault personnel up to date, but security, safety, and others who have to interact with your contractors need to know what the project status is.  If you don’t let security know someone is coming on site, they will not be allowed on site until you authorize them.
  3. Responsible for his/her discipline's section of project in addition to Lead Engineer responsibilities (unless another engineer of same discipline is assigned to project team for that purpose). If management do not have an understanding of project management, they will try this trick in order to save money, but it very seldom works. If you work in a facility, your job is to keep the facility running, not managing a project. So, when a facility problem arises the project needs get shuffled aside. Managing a project is time consuming and needs your full attention.  You have a choice, do one job well or two jobs poorly. 
  4. Prepare and submit project-reporting information, including:  monthly status report(s), construction report updates, cashflow forecasts, etc. If you are lucky, you will have a project controls person on your team who will prepare some of the reporting information. You have to provide the necessary information, write the narratives, and approve what is being submitted. Your company should have report templates where you fill in the required information. 
  5. Manage engineering and procurement efforts of all disciplines to ensure complete continuity between disciplines and numerous construction packages. You need a complete understanding of what the total scope is as well as the disciplines scope in order to make sure all things are covered. You may find it hard to believe, but in an engineering office, discipline designers do not necessarily talk to each other. Therefore, in an engineering office, you should be walking around talking to designers to find out what is going on. In a facility you should be having regular meetings with your engineering contractor to manage the progress. You are the final authority on the scope, what construction packages there are, and what goes into the packages. With procurement you have to ensure that no one, other than procurement, are giving instructions to vendors and the proper paperwork is used when dealing with contractors. 
  6. Review construction bid packages to ensure complete coverage between disciplines and between packages.  Obtain sign-off from all concerned parties upon completion of their reviews. Typically, there would be an Issued For Approval (IFA) set of drawings. You review these for completeness before sending them out for review. Then these are reviewed by the Owner and Engineer and sometimes the contractor who will do the work. Agreement has to be reached on the content. Once agreed, the drawings are Issued For Construction (IFC).
  7. Coordinate the direction of construction contracting to “evergreen” contractors, sole source, competitive market bidding, etc., through the Project Execution Plan (PEP). If you have a construction group you will have to work with them on how to contract out the packages.  The PEP is a project document that outlines how the project will be executed and has a section on construction management / contracting. As the project develops, the contracting strategy can change.
  8. Manage permitting process to ensure timeliness and adequacy of required permits. Permitting is very important and you need to find out what permits are  required. Different permits are handled by different people / groups so you need all the necessary people as part of your team. If there are a lot of permits needed, it is prudent to have one person keeping track of them and making sure you have them when required. It is also advisable to have one contact person familiar with the permitting process. By that I mean, you have only one person in the office who obtains building permits. He knows the process, what is required, when, and meets with the permitting authority. For scheduling purposes, you need to know the length of time it will take to get the permit. On one of my past projects it was a year and a half to get one environmental permit. 

 I will complete this subject in the next newsletter.


Free Webinar 

“Operators As Part Of The Project Team: A Project Management Perspective.” in November, 2012. 

 For information and to register go to the following:



Fundamentals of Project Management

November 22, 23, & 24, 2012

Calgary AB 

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February 20, 21, & 22 2013

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January, 2013

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