1.4 Functions-Roles-Expectations-Head Office

Initially we have explored organizations, levels, opportunities, key areas, application of RAM, (Research, Analysis & Matrix), followed by 22 types of organizations (9 owner based, 11 services based and 2 specialized fields), general organization chart, funding, fee structure and project duration.

Let’s focus on functions in organizations, hierarchy in roles (where career commences at one level and have possibilities of reaching higher positions), preferences for qualification and skills required. This information will be helpful in deciding career options for the particular function and also if someone is thinking or would like to shift from one function to another. 

There is a possibility of choosing a career in one function, but while working for a few years, someone may feel the need to learn something from another function. So for that it is essential to understand the expectations from that role and take decisions. 

For example : Person “A” is in project level structure work and develops an inclination for planning for which “A” has to learn planning software and be sure of skills required then approach seniors for a role in the planning department. Person “B” is in office working at the cost management department and feels the need of exploring tough site work, then “B” has to identify which role will be suitable for working, either execution or site level billing work. “B” has to enhance skills required for execution and be prepared for tough life to know the minor details of the item while it is getting executed. If working at site level billing then actual interaction with all relevant teams is possible in carrying out rate analysis, which ultimately be helpful in determining tender value and budget.

There are 40 functions (24 at head office level and 16 at project level) and each function has multiple sub functions. 

For example – The Finance department at the head office will have sub functions like audit, tax (GST, professional tax), funding/cash flow management. In execution of civil finishes, there are many sub functions like masonry, plaster, waterproofing, flooring, doors & windows, painting.  Based on the project’s magnitude, single or multiple work will be alloted to engineers, officers and supervisors.

Roles sometimes commences at trainee level and reaches at head of department level. However only few roles end up being part of senior management who are involved in framing strategies and taking decisions. One needs a few extraordinary qualities to be part of senior management, where it is required to think not only about a particular department but have understanding of business and ability to think and act beyond defined parameters. Business evolves at various stages which leads to changing strategies and management has to take tough decisions to keep business growing. For example, parameters such as funds, marketing, sales, execution have importance at various stages. Initially there is a need for funding to commence project, then marketing the product followed by execution of the project (timely completion & within budget) and continuous sales for keeping cash flow movement. 

Let’s start understanding each function and relevant sub functions. Please note that following are general details which vary as per organizations (Ownership, Services & Specialized), their structure and business strategies.

Future office environment – technology effect?

Below 24 positions are at head office/regional/branch office level based on organization structure and strategies/policies. 

1 Business Development – Generally BD department is expected to identify projects, land parcels, carry out research, feasibility studies, working of financial models, bringing investors on board, communications with various client’s/business houses for addressing qualification criteria, interaction with multiple internal teams. For BD department’s success, graduate/post graduate – preferably MBA professionals are hired at management trainee level and based on individual’s performance and organizations strategies one can head department or can be part of senior management. One needs to be excellent in communications, presentable, knowledgeable to not only smell business opportunities but also to convince opposite parties for various deals. 

Exploring business opportunities

2 Corporate Communications – This department interacts with various high profile personnel and are involved in framing strategies, market research, branding, advertising, communications with various organizations (Government – central as well as state), share holders, statutory authorities  through media or correspondences. Generally team consists of graduate/post graduate – preferably MBA’s who are hired at trainee level and based on individual’s performance and organizations strategies, one can reach up to being head of department and possibility of being part of senior management. Department is updated with the latest government policies, hierarchy in relevant departments/ organizations for effective communications. High quality of verbal and written communications plays an important role in these departments along with social contacts with media and relevant organizations. As team members are representing organization to the outside world, hence personality, presentation, knowledge, use of precise words, etiquette, mannerism are very important.

3 Liaisoning department – One of the important tasks of getting various approvals for construction projects lies with the liaisoning department. Team interacts with different departments of all relevant authorities for getting required permissions for the project. Team coordinates with internal teams of architects/engineers and senior management to submit required documents/drawings to the government authorities. It is generally preferable to have an architect/engineer to lead the liaisoning department. Person working in this department needs social, negotiation skills, should have a good network, ability to do regular follow up and patience to deal with various tantrums of proud officials both externally as well as internally.

Approved, Stamp, Stamp Approved, Symbol, Mark, Office
Liaisoning team”s achivement

4 Marketing department – Plays critical role in creating organization’s image to the outside world. Team is involved in branding, product launch for which they carry out market research, interact with media, advertising agencies, study digital marketing platform’s trends and then frame strategies. They work with other team members to align the respective department’s strategy along with marketing plans for the product. Apart from framing strategies, marketing team also takes responsibilities of arranging events, promotions and implementation of their strategies along with monitoring and controlling timelines as well as assigned budget. Department generally hires graduate/post graduates preferably MBA’s to address department’s responsibilities which requires unique qualities of understanding market trends, human behaviour, effective communications, creative mindset and ability to frame strategies. There are chances of the marketing head becoming part of senior management.

5 Sales department – Team engages in framing sales strategies based on marketing plans, then formulates sales planning for complete project (phase wise/over duration of project). Team is actively involved in pre-sale activities with the help of multiple team members at particular project locations, and/or through channel partners. Senior management monitors and controls sales activities as it’s one of the sources for cash inflow which helps in streamlining funding from other sources. Post sales activities (customer relations) are also important to manage regular fund collection as per project progress. Sales teams consists of basically graduates, post graduates-MBAs, who are capable of achieving defined targets, and have the ability to convince buyers with their effective communications. It is expected that the sales team should have negotiation, excellent follow up skills to close the deal. In the sales department based on personal qualities one can lead the team and become head of department.

6 Legal department – Generally takes care of all land, project related, agreements/contractual documents, (with respect to land, shareholders, sales/lease, appointment of various contractors, consultants), general documentation, court cases (Litigation/non-litigation), arbitration. Departments hires graduates/LLB/ LLM, to carry out regular office work as officers, advocates are involved in legal activities and senior advocates can lead the team & become head of department. It is important to have special skills such as interpretation, analysis, representations.

7 HR/Payroll /ESS/Training – Human resource department plays role of partners in building organization. They strengthens the process & systems by framing HR policies as par with industry standards. HR process commences from collecting requirements from various stakeholders, followed by recruitment, employee on board till exit interview. Lots of processes take place during employee on board and exit interviews, which is Induction, ESS – employee self service, payroll and training of personnel as per organization’s strategies/policies. HR department consists of graduate/post graduate – preferably MBA’s from officer level and one with multiple qualities can achieve designation of head of department. Team needs to maintain confidentiality, social interaction based on behaviour science, must have patience to understand inter/intra department the concerns and undercurrents, ability to motivate the team, identifying training needs, clarity in communications to enhance productivity of employees.

8 IT department –  As technology plays an integral part of an organization, IT department has lots of importance to keep all systems running and upgrading as and when required. The IT department manages hardware’s and software’s required, as per the organization’s strategy. For example, some organizations have multiple softwares to manage business and some prefer ERP (Enterprise resource planning) system for entire organization, which leads to effective and efficient flow of information by defining responsibility and accountability resulting into transparency. The IT team consists of graduate/post graduates in computer science and after joining an organization at officer/engineer level, one can become head of the department. Apart from computer skills (hardware & software), one should be effective in not only learning new technologies, softwares, but implementing it in an organization. 

black computer keyboard
Monitoring system’s performance

9 Administration department – Main responsibility of keeping professionalism in full organization by effectively operating all necessary office/project facilities. Administration team helps in streamlining processes and systems at head office/branch office/projects. They practically interact with all team members directly or indirectly helping them improve the team’s productivities by taking care of inventory management, procurement, annual contracts with various service agencies (AC units, pest control, housekeeping, travels). Any graduate person can join the administration department and can excel till head of department level. Person should be able to strictly follow the organization’s policies, take quick decisions for some new scenarios, and be able to give justice to time management, coordination and communications. 

10 Procurement department – Effective and efficient team helps in streamlining project requirements of materials and equipment. They explore the option of buying vs rental of equipment whereas in case of material requirements they analyse the total requirements and negotiate with respective suppliers for delivery of materials as per agreed timelines, thereby controlling inventories. Team gets actively engaged in defining payment terms and conditions with suppliers and utilizes the credit limit effectively. Qualifications for procurement are graduate/post graduate – preferably material management and one can head department after learning multiple project life cycles. Integrity of the person is most important in the procurement department and it is expected that one should also have an inclination of learning about new products in the market. Data management, analysis, negotiation, managing inventory flow through ERP/software are essential skills required in the procurement department. 

11 Finance department – Important department to enhance and control economical health of an organization. Team manages cash flow (Inflow (Sales/lease, funding fees, contractual bills) as well as outflow (Land, permissions, constructions, marketing & sales promotions, staff salary, administration and welfare, financing cost)).  All related statutory requirements for organizations as well as employees such as, tax (Goods & services tax, professional tax, income tax), provident funds, balance sheet, audit (internal & external), inputs on RERA website about projects, company registration). Team consists of commerce graduate/post graduates, CA’s, MBA (Finance) and logically strong personalities have chances of reaching to senior management level. Finance department being number sensitive hence mathematics, analysis, presentations are few of skills required in the finance department. Software knowledge and accuracy of data are few of additional requirements of the finance department.

Financial Analytics Blur - Free photo on Pixabay
Financial analysis

12 Accounts department –  All accounting related transactions are looked after by the accounts team as per standard accounting practices. All payments, receipts, billings, ledger, tax payments, payroll, creating and sharing invoices, filing of returns in respective departments are being taken care of by the accounts team. Organizations have different types of software’s to manage transactions and related government regulations. Account teams generally have commence graduates and CA’s to look after accounting transactions and exceptionally strong personalities reach to the head of department level. Skills required are software knowledge, accuracy, logical analysis, patience, coordination with internal and external agencies.

The next 12 functions are part of engineering/project related based in the head office. 

13 Coordinator/Controller – Important role and part of the senior management team who frames project strategies based on organisation’s policies. Generally after the investor is on board and/or funding has been worked out, the coordinator/controller becomes owner of the project and interacts with all internal & external agencies & shares the project’s progress to senior management  Coordinator/controller selects the team and leads them for design, setting up of processes & systems, execution, project completion and financial closure of the project. Initially the project coordinator/controller owns a single project and based on the success graph gets engaged into multiple projects and becomes part of the senior management team who then participates in framing strategies for organization’s growth. Generally senior level professionals with in-depth knowledge and experience are able to lead various teams, frame strategies with proper planning, present innovative/intelligent ideas with excellent communication.  

Image result for Free Image on Pixabay - Calendar, Wall Calendar, Days, Date
Coordinator/controller’s strategies

14 Planning department –  Important department in the organization to take strategies to implementation level. Team engages themselves in lots of brainstorming with various departments for planning and then prepares the schedule by assigning desired timelines to various activities in the project. Planning department interacts closely with the project coordinator for finalizing the schedule and then presenting it to management for approval. Team consists of civil engineers graduates with post graduation in construction management having knowledge of planning software. There is a possibility that a planning engineer can become part of senior management. It’s one of the challenging profiles, wherein accuracy, logic, analytics, communications, time management skills along with full understanding of processes and systems are most important while scheduling the project.

15 Monitoring and Controlling (MIS) department – One of the critical departments, which frames monitoring and controlling processes and systems (MIS – Management Information System) to suit senior management’s requirements which are based on organization’s strategies. They collect all required data (physical and financial progress) as per defined timelines (Daily/weekly/monthly) from projects and carry out analysis and shares abstract with senior management for information and necessary action. Team prepares an action plan to control the deviation in progress and communicates effectively to all concerns for necessary action.  Team hires civil engineers, graduates/postgraduates having relevant experience and one needs unique skills of understanding business strategies to be part of senior management. Skills required are logical, analytical, coordination, communication, presentation, time management.

16 Cost Management – The team prepares budget, floats tenders, does contracting, billing and shares cost reports. Based on the organization’s magnitude this department’s role varies, in small organization’s only one team is taking care of cost management, whereas large organizations prefer separate departments for tendering, contracting and subcontracting. Cost management department hires civil engineers – graduates/post graduates, preferably with ERP/software knowledge. Team members can reach the level of head of department with chances of becoming part of senior management. Mathematics lovers will enjoy working in this department wherein analytical, logical skills are utilized to create multiple matrix. Team members are involved in detailed working of each item in the construction field which are beneficial for rate analysis, tendering, budgeting, billing, reconciliation.

green plant on brown round coins
Monitor & Control cost

17 Tendering department – Generally contractors/subcontractors have separate tendering department, as business grows by competing for execution contracts from various organizations. Team studies the project details such as location, tender conditions (general as well as special) Items and their specifications, desired timelines. They analyse various parameters such as resources materials availability, rates in particular areas, transport costs, establishment cost. Team interacts with various internal departments such as planning, legal, contracts, procurement, engineering (design, methodology, innovations), project coordinators as well as project managers to conclude execution strategy. Senior team members interact with clients, management/partner’s for submission of the final documentations/contracts. Tendering team consists of civil engineering graduates/post graduates and one can become head of department after putting lots of efforts and leanings in various tenders. Team keeps full confidentiality and frames various strategies to win the contract. It’s a challenging profile for mathematics lovers, who would like to analyse, put logic and create matrix to utilize multiple strategies while submitting tenders to various clients. It’s an interesting job profile where one will enjoy carrying out analysis of competitors and applying matrix to multiple scenarios, as per organization’s strategy with lots of dedicated efforts and brainstorming.

18 Contracting department – This department is crucial from the point of view of contractual claims, disputes and arbitration for all organizations. Team interacts with various departments to understand the depth of concerns/ issues to frame contracts/claims respectively which varies from case to case. Contract team interacts with members of internal departments and in a few cases takes help of outside agencies for resolving issues.Team hires graduate/post graduates who may be able to lead the department in future after sufficient experience. Team members need to have patience to understand the case, collect all relevant details, carry out analysis and interpret contractual clauses to represent cases.

19 Subcontracting department – Effective in executing the project by appointing multiple agencies as a subcontractor. Team builts ample data based on the organization’s policies for various types of work. Team’s main purpose is to assign defined work to well deserved agencies for which the team verifies financial and execution capabilities before registering an organization. Team interacts with the planning, engineering department and execution team to finalize the scope of work for particular agencies based on available resources. Team consists of graduates having knowledge of various contracts. Analytical, logical and strong negotiation skills are must for team members. It’s an added advantage to have an inclination to monitor performance of subcontractors which helps in taking calculative decisions wherein the best performer gets priority for additional work.

20 Design department – Design role various as per organization’s strategies. Team gets involved in designing, coordination, management, monitoring and controlling. Design team interacts with various departments to take concept stage design till good for construction purposes and they prepare as built drawings after project completion. Design team working with contractors provides enabling design (design of temporary/support structure to construct actual structure, for example- shuttering work for supporting beam depth/width of 2m, scaffolding design for girder slabs, arrangement for transportation of shuttering/concrete for piers in the middle of river/sea) for execution of particular jobs. Design team takes active part in value engineering. Team consists of graduate/postgraduate architects/engineers (structural) and one can head a department after relevant experience and also the possibility of being part of senior management. Skills required are creativity, excellent communication skills both written and verbal, patience for detailed study and timely coordination with multiple agencies, methodological control of documents and knowledge of various software’s. 

Architecture, Design, Plant, Drawing

21 Quality department – This department is, essential to enhance credibility of brand image, processing/re-validating various certifications, contributing in financial savings due to reduction in rework expenses which leads to improving the life of structure. Best quality practices get implemented by having quality assurance and control. Large organizations have their own laboratories wherein a team is involved in their own research/innovations in various fields such as concrete technology, formwork. Otherwise organizations take help from laboratories set up by various institutions. Head office team frames quality policies as well as engaged in carrying out audits at offices and projects. Graduates having inclination for research, processes and systems can someday be able to lead the department. Skills required for quality team members are mindset of researcher, eye of an auditor, ability to strictly follow quality policies & procedures, time management, excellent coordination and communications.

22 EHS department – (Environment, Health and Safety) Generally large organizations prefer to have their own EHS department, whereas some organizations take help from outside agencies. Purpose of this department is to take care of the organization’s resources such as manpower (Head office and project office team including labourers), materials for effective utilization and machineries by proper maintenance. Team consists of graduates/postgraduates and one can lead the team in future as head of department. Skills required for this role are socially active, vigilant, strict followers of EHS policies & procedures, auditor, ability to monitor statutory requirements, time management, team player and excellent coordinator.

23 Services department –  Generally the role of this department is to take care of all service requirements during the design and execution stage, so that there will be less hassle after completion of the project. Services team takes care of electrical/plumbing/fire fighting/mechanical fields in the construction industry. Team consists of engineers from relevant branches of engineering and one can head a department having experience in relevant fields. Apart from engineering skills, a person should be able to communicate, coordinate well with other team members during various stages of construction and value engineering.

24 Equipment department – Generally large organization’s have this department which looks into purchasing/renting the best equipment/machinery and also in improving performance by formulating and implementing operational and maintenance policies. Lots of innovative solutions with minor enhancement are being worked out for improving productivity of equipment/machinery. Mostly electrical, electronics, instrumental and mechanical engineers contribute to this department. Skills required are analytical, logical, analysis of purchase/rent/maintenance & operations of all equipment/machinery, curiosity for identifying innovative equipment/solutions for improving efficiency, ability to communicate effectively with team members, whereas senior members need to frame strategies to address the growth plan based on organization’s strategy.

Below is a glance of functions in the head office of an organization (Preview in PDF).

Business DevelopmentManagement trainee till HOD, Senior Mgt.Graduate/PG/ MBA preferredExcellent Communi-cations, Should smell business opportunities
Corporate Communi- cationsManagement trainee till HOD, Senior Mgt.Graduate/PG/ MBA preferredExcellent verbal and written Communi-cations, Contacts with media and relevant organizations
Liaisoning DepartmentOfficer till General Manager / HODGraduate/ Architects
/Engineers preferred
Social skills, Negotiator, Networking, Excellent Follow up, Patience
Marketing Management trainee till HOD, Senior Mgt.Graduate/PG/ MBA preferredCommuni-cations, Creativity, Marketing Strategies
SalesOfficer till General Manager / HODGraduate/ MBATarget oriented, Convincing power, Negotiator, Excellent Follow up, Achiever
LegalOfficer to Sr. Advocate till HODGraduate/ LLB/ LLMInterpreta-tion Detailing, Documenta-tion Representa-tion
HR/Payroll / ESS/Training Officer till HODGraduate/ PG / MBA Patience, Social interactions, Confident-iality, Clarity in communi-cations, Motivator
Officer till HODGraduate/ PG Computer applicationsBoth hardware and software knowledge, Licences, Ability to keep self updated with latest technologies ERP and other software applications
Administra-tionOfficer till HODGraduate Strict follower of policies, Time management Excellent coordinator, communi-cations, team management
ProcurementOfficer till HODGraduate/ PGIntegrity, Keen in learning new products in the market, Data management
Negotiator, Follow up
Finance Executive till HOD, Senior MgtGraduate/ PG/ CA/MBALogical, Love for matrix (Analysis, Sensitivity), Cash flow management Statutory requirement Presentation
AccountsExecutive till HODGraduate/ PG/ CA Logical, Accounting (Ledger, balance sheets), Statutory requirement
CoordinatorProject coordinator to Senior MgtGraduate/ PG/ MBALeadership, strong technical knowledge, Framing strategies, Excellent Communi-cations,  Planning, Presentation Efficient and effective Multitasker.
PlanningEngineer till HOD, Senior MgtCivil Engineering Graduate/ PG/ & Planning Software Logical, analytical, Curious, Listener, Documenta-tion, Detailing, Presentation, Time Management
Monitoring & ControllingEngineer till HOD, Senior MgtCivil Engineering Graduate/ PGLogical, analytical, Cash Flow management Presentations, Coordination, Documenta-tions of Multiple projects (MIS), Time Management
Cost ManagementEngineer till HOD, Senior MgtCivil Engineering Graduate/ PG/ Cost Management Software Maths lover, Logical / analytical matrix, Negotiator,  Contractual Documenta-tions and billings, Time management Presentation
TenderingEngineer till HODCivil engineering graduate/ PGMaths lover, Logical / analytical matrix, study of competitors strategies
ContractingEngineer/ Officer till HODGraduate/ PGInteraction with various agencies, data analysis and interpretation of contractual documents/
Sub-contractingEngineer/ Officer till HODGraduateAnalysis, negotiation
DesignArchitects till HOD,Senior MgtArchitects Graduate/ PG/ Design Software Creativity, coordination, team player, Communi-cations, Presentation 
QualityOfficer till HODGraduate/ PGAuditors, Mindset of Researcher Time management
Team player, Excellent coordinator communi-cations
EHSOfficer till HODGraduate/ PGSocially active, Vigilant, Time management Team player, Excellent coordinator
ServicesEngineer till HODElectrical / Mechanical Engineering Graduate/ PGTeam player, Coordination, problem solver communi-cations
EquipmentEngineer till HODElectrical / Mechanical Engineering Graduate/ PGLeader,
Technical knowledge, Framing strategies Excellent Communi-cations.

Related reading

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1.5 Functions-Roles-Expectations-Project

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