Stilettos To Steel Toes Part 3

Week three at Vigilant Management has ended and I can say one thing for sure: I’ve learned a lot. There are two major things that I have gained a better understanding of within the past few weeks. They are: 1) The importance of project meetings and second of all; and 2) The importance of seeing the big picture.

In my opinion, the ability to run a project meeting is one of the most important skills of a project manager. Due to the wide variety of reasons to hold a meeting, each meeting tends to be unique. For example, a meeting midway through a project is going to be different then a meeting at the beginning of the project. Before ground is broken on a project there are many meetings to be held such as the pre tender and pre construction meeting. Then, as the project progresses meetings would be more focused on the status, details, and issues of the project. As I start to attend more meetings throughout the work term, I am positive I will gain a deeper understanding of what makes a project meeting effective.

As there are so many details within a project, it is important that the project manager see the big picture. For example, during the winter it may be difficult for subgrade to pass inspection due to the frozen ground. Therefore, as a project manager you need to ensure that the subgrade issue is dealt with immediately as you need your subgrade to pass inspection before you start to pour concrete when the weather improves. It is an acquired skill to be able to properly handle a project problem while continuing to see the big picture of how the problem may influence the rest of the project. Essentially, you need to provide a quick and efficient solution while pushing forward with the project.

In conclusion, these are two major skills I’ve deemed important so far. I think that these skills are what make a good project manager a great one. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow as a junior project manager with the support, knowledge, and patience of my coworkers. Now that construction season is upon us, I can’t wait to see what the upcoming weeks have in store!

- Laura