1.5 Functions-Roles-Expectations-Project level

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

Let’s now focus on functions in organizations, hierarchy in roles (where career commences at one level and have possibilities of reaching higher positions), preference for qualifications 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 which will be helpful in taking 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 then approach seniors for a role in the planning department. Similarly to be more authentic in demand, “A” has to be sure of skills required for planning. 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 or 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 detailed rate analysis, which ultimately 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 allotted 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 need understanding of business and ability to think and act beyond defined parameters. Business evolves at various stages and different parameters become more important and management has to take tough decisions to keep business growing.

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. 

In article 1.4 we have explored 24 functions at head office level. 

Below 16 positions are at project level which varies as per project magnitude and as per organization structure and strategies/policies. 

Under Construction, Construction Site
Projects Level activities
  1. Civil structure – It’s real hardcore civil engineering experience wherein one get exposure to site setup, surveying, soil bearing capacity, geology, reading/interpreting drawings, resource (manpower, materials and machinery) management & levelling, coordination. It is important to execute structure work (RCC/steel/composite) diligently (considering all quality norms) because all related activities are dependent on quality of structure work. It is the backbone of any project not only from the point of view of physical execution (sequencing of activities) but financially also, due to utilization of around 40-60% of budgeted cost. It is recommended to have real experience of executing complete structure work of projects wherein the real engineering studies get utilized in various ways, such as surveying, soil mechanics(foundation design), geology (soil & water parameters), planning, estimation (cost), fluid mechanics and coordination with architectural (design) & engineering streams (structural design, electrical, mechanical, instrumentation & communications, IT). One of best outcome of working at execution level is that the real personal qualities get encouragement to perform to the fullest. One evolves the hidden qualities (technical skills – logical, analytical and soft skills – leadership, problem solver, team player, time management} while executing the structure work. Diploma/degree engineers commence their career as junior engineers and based on personal capability can become project manager/coordinator. 

Construction, Worker, Safety
Civil structure work is under progress

  1. Civil finishing – Consists of many sub functions such as masonry (brick/block) plaster (Internal, external), water proofing (conventional, chemical), tiling and stone work ( wall & floor tiles, granite, marble), painting (internal & external), doors & windows, railing (wooden, aluminium, glass),  external facade. One gets exposed to reading/interpreting drawings, resource (manpower, materials and machinery) management & leveling, coordination. It is important to understand the quality of executed structure work diligently (considering all quality norms) because all defects/rectifications of related activities need to be addressed before execution of finishing items. As the general public mainly focus on finishing items only, hence it is mandatory to find the correct solution to tackle variations, if any, to make it correct to the extent possible. The most important aspect in executing finishing work is coordination with all related activities, such as architectural (design) & engineering streams (electrical, mechanical, instrumentation & communications, IT) to avoid rework and maintain quality. While working in execution of finishing activities one learns about various activities and their sequencing. Apart from technical skills, some soft skills (problem solver, patience, team player, detailing, coordination, and documentations) play an important role in a successful career. Diploma/degree engineers start their career as junior engineers and based on personal capability can become senior manager/project manager of interior works. One can choose to change departments after complete learning of finishing activities based on strong personal qualities/inclination/capabilities.
Architect, People, Plan, Construction
Co-ordinations before commencing finishing activities
  1. Planning & MIS –  Important team for project manager and head office to implement strategies, monitoring and controlling processes & systems (MIS – Management Information System). Planning team interacts with the execution team and does lots of brainstorming with various departments before preparing the schedule by assigning desired timelines to various activities in the project. Any changes in schedule needs consent from the planning department at head office as necessary modifications are required in MIS. Planning team’s first project level milestone is to prepare the site logistics plan with the execution team. Team has to anticipate all resources required over the duration of the project while framing the site logistics plan, which includes manpower arrangement from number of contractors, space planning for machinery/equipment (RMC plant, cranes, passenger hoists, material hoists, formwork, scaffolding, reinforcement yard,), time management for use of common machinery/equipment (crane/passenger hoist/material hoist) storage facilities for various materials as per shelf life. Planning team Interacts closely with the execution team and project manager while monitoring the schedule and then presenting it to head office for their review and actions. It’s one of the challenging profiles, wherein being project manager’s main resource, the planning team also has to play the role of an important link to head office. Team consists of civil engineering graduates with post graduation in construction management having expertise for working on planning software. There is a possibility that a planning engineer can become part of senior management but surely can become head of department.. Accuracy, logic, analytics, coordination, communications and time management skills along with full understanding of processes and systems are important while scheduling the project. Detail analysis, documentation & presentation skills are required while monitoring progress as well as while sharing required data with head office/other agencies.
five person by table watching turned on white iMac
Schedule discussions
  1. Cost Management – This department is responsible for preparation of budget, carrying out billing and submitting cost reports. Based on the organization’s policies, this department’s role varies, in small organization’s only one team is taking care of cost management, whereas large organizations have additional team members at projects. Generally limited subcontracting works as per defined guidelines from head office are assigned to the cost management team at project level and project manager/coordinator have authority to sign the subcontract.  Team mainly engages in the billing (including extra items) which is being carried out as per guidelines of IS code for measurement. Billing is a very tricky process in terms of reconciliation because the team’s credibility is at stake for the variation if any. Owner based organization’s team is responsible for not overpaying the dues whereas services based organization would concentrate more on accurate billing including additional works/extra items. The team prepares and shares monthly cost reports (budgeted quantity/amount Vs actual quantity/amount till date) to head office and the important tasks for the senior management is to compare the budget and understand the variations and strategies actions to control the budget. 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 the cost management team at head office. One should be a math lover to explore analytical/logical matrix for reconciliation, to carry out new rate analysis, for defining/certifying extra item claims and should be a good negotiator. Time management plays an important role for the cost management team because senior management’s decisions/actions are based on timely data to arrange required cash flow.
  1. Design management – This role is crucial from execution point of view, as the team interacts with head office team, architects and various consultants to address any site related issues to keep design philosophy intact. At project level, if one aspect changes due to site condition then all relevant drawings from various streams may need modifications for which design coordination is required in resolving design issues. After the receipt of revised drawings, it is the responsibility of the design team to not only issue revised drawings to the execution team but also to keep track of superseded drawings to avoid use of old drawings. Design team interacts with the cost management team to know the impact of design changes and to keep track of budget variation, as sometimes as per organization’s policy it is mandatory to take approval for variation in the budget. Variation forms are also kept updated from time to time to address extra claim issues as per contractual conditions. Team keeps all documentation of all variations for records, which are referred to before finalizing as built drawings. Team consists of architects and after relevant experience there is a possibility of being part of the head office team. Skills required are excellent communication both written and verbal, team player, patience for detailed study and timely coordination with multiple agencies, methodological control of documents and knowledge of various software. 
Creativity flowing advertisement
For defined execution progress
  1. Quality department – This department prepares project specific quality manual based on the organization’s policy, which consists of processes and systems for quality plan, assurance and control. Team is accountable for quality execution for which they take help of various checklists which defines responsibility and accountability for the particular activity, to verify material/machinery specifications and their tolerance limits, checklists before execution of any item and also checklists after execution to certify quality of execution. These documents are helpful for the certification/re-validation process as well as for the maintenance team to address any severe problems in future. Quality team interacts with project teams to maintain defined quality and also carry out internal audit along with head office team in regular intervals as well as actively involved in external audit for certification/re-validation process. It’s a difficult profile wherein quality needs to be maintained without affecting progress, for which it is important to work coherently with the execution team so that defects, if any, can be rectified during the process itself. Quality team enhances profitability passively by avoiding rework of any defective item, thereby reducing repair/rectification efforts, timelines  and charges. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain all quality norms after repairing works. (For example : curing of repaired masonry/plaster work) hence execution of quality product is most important. Diploma/graduates having inclination for research, processes and systems can someday be able to be part of head office. Skills required for quality team members are mindset of researcher, auditor, team member to follow strict quality policies & procedures, time management, excellent coordinator and communications for quality assurance and control. 
Team, Quality, Performance, Flawless
Vigilance for quality
  1. EHS department – (Environment, Health and Safety) It is mandatory to have this department at projects and policies need to be adhered as per project requirements. Project manager is responsible for implementation of policies with the help of the EHS team, for which the department’s manpower strength depends on the magnitude of projects and as per organization strategies/policies. EHS officers have to create manuals for particular projects as per organization’s policies. EHS project team takes care of the organization’s resources, manpower (Project office team and labours), materials for effective utilization and machinery by proper maintenance. Team has to work with other departments to effectively implement EHS policies and maintain records of each activity. EHS team is actively involved in maintaining hygiene at projects including labour colonies, cleanliness at all over project facilities including kitchen, canteen, washing areas, toilets and having clinic/doctor’s visits as per project’s requirements. Safety policies are implemented diligently by use of PPE (personal protective equipment), safety posters at various levels/locations, training of personnel.  Monthly data needs to be shared with project manager/head office/government officers as part of the process and for record purposes. Team consists of diploma/graduates and one can be part of the head office team in future. Skills required for this role are team player, socially active, vigilant, strict followers of EHS policies & procedures, time management, documentation and excellent coordination.
men wearing reflective vest and hard helmets
Safety at Projects
  1. Services department –  Services team is actively involved in electrical/plumbing/fire fighting/mechanical aspects of the project. The project manager decides the timeline for each service in the project to control resources, generally the electrical/mechanical team is on board initially whereas the plumbing/fire fighting team joins the project as per commencement of related work. Services team studies the relevant drawings, discusses issues with the internal team followed by the design team at head office. They coordinate with respective consultants to resolve issues and follow up with relevant consultants to revise drawings for variations, if any. Services team coordinates with the civil team to carry out respective work simultaneously. Team generally reviews the machinery/equipment details and actively participates in value engineering for electrical substation, panels, generators, alternative connections, solar paneling, pumps, air conditioning, ventilation’s, treatment plants, chiller plants, cooling towers, vertical transportation, security systems, communication systems, and building management systems. Team consists of engineers (diploma/graduates) from relevant teams and can become part of the head office team. Apart from engineering skills, a person should be a team player to be able to execute respective work in coordination with other team members during various stages of construction.
  1. Equipment department – Generally projects having large magnitude needs equipment/machinery for execution at various stages. Please note that this department’s role is different from the services department. Equipment department helps in executing projects and exposure is only for ease of execution whereas the services department takes care of project requirements which will be part of projects on a permanent basis. Equipment team studies the requirements, analyzes the use, timelines, quantum and then selects the equipment/machinery details and informs the head office for rent/purchase. Team takes care of operations and maintenance of all equipment/machinery regularly as per defined timelines. Sometimes they take help from outside agencies for services on the equipment/machinery. Team keeps track of warranties/guarantees over the period and shares all required details when organization decide to send equipment/machinery to other projects or sell it.   Mostly electrical, electronics, instrumental and mechanical engineers (diploma/graduate) contribute to this department and can become part of head office team. Apart from technical knowledge, 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.
  1. IT department –  Project location has lots of challenges compared to office locations. Project IT team has to understand the environment (dust), internet connectivity, users behavior, sources of required consumable/replacement of parts, transportation timelines and knowledge about various software. Team interacts with the head office for implementation of various software, understanding new systems/technology, directions for implementation of technology changes. It’s the responsibility of the project IT team to implement all policies defined by the head office for effective and efficient flow of information resulting in transparency (defined responsibility and accountability). Team needs to maintain a proper record of all inventories, licences, renewal details for smooth operations of systems. The IT team consists of graduate/post graduates in computer science and after joining an organization at project level as an officer/engineer, one can become part of the head office team. At project level, the IT team should have effective coordination and communications skills along with relevant technical knowledge about hardware as well as software. 
Industry, Industry 4, Web, Network
Managing IT network
  1. Administration department – At project level, the administration team is very active in not only implementing organization’s policy for the project office but also at project sites wherein labour are engaged in execution. Team has to take care of the security (project office/site, materials, machinery, labour camps), transport, canteen/medical facilities, licences for various activities (during visits of relevant government officers), annual maintenance contracts for multiple systems. Team interacts with all departments but mainly with the EHS team to help them adhere to all relevant processes to maintain the organization’s defined standards. Any graduate person can join the project administration department and can excel to be part of head office operations. It is preferable to have working experience on various software/ERP system. Team members need soft skills to address requirements of social interaction, effective communications, coordination, implementation of organization’s policies and  time management. 
  1. Procurement department – Project manager decides the strength of this department  based on the magnitude of the project. As per organization’s policy, the project procurement team interacts with head office for sourcing the minor project requirements from registered vendors and takes approval from project manager. Project team interacts with all relevant departments at project level for their requirements as per defined procedure and verifies inventories at store to manage timelines and storage capacity. 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 become part of the head office team after learning multiple project life cycles. Integrity of the person is most important in the procurement department along with ability to follow timelines at projects. Computer/software knowledge is key to manage data, create analysis and control timelines as per inventory. Effective coordination, communication and follow up are additional skills required at the project procurement department.
  1. Store (Inventory management) –  While defining site logistics plan, planning team along with project manager defines the area required for store – Inventory management. Based on project requirements, the area for the store is defined considering peak material storage and also material movements as per FIFO (first in first out) method. Material storage are planned efficiently keeping in mind the expiry date for each material as well as to maintain minimum inventory for effective utilization of cash flow. The store department undergoes audits at regular intervals to address reconciliation requirements. Graduates with material management knowledge can become store in-charge of a project and in due course of time be able to manage multiple projects. Apart from relevant knowledge of store management integrity plays an important role and skills such as time management, documentation and computer/software knowledge are required.   
  1. Document controller –  This position exists with organizations which are process and system oriented and at project level maintains transparency by having records of written correspondence with architects, consultants, contractors, suppliers, over the complete duration of the project. Proper documentation helps in resolving multiple issues as well as it enhances confidence in all related parties for justice. Detailed documentation eases decisions during arbitration and resolving contractual claims. In case of certifications/re-validation such as ISO, maintaining defined documentation helps streamlining responsibilities and accountability to relevant departments/teams. In organizations except few employees there is always movement either by transfer/resignation, but fortunately new employees on board go through all earlier correspondences to keep the pace of the processes & systems. Generally document controllers report to project managers and have major interaction with planning, contracts and execution teams. Diploma/graduate person can take the role of officer and can become senior manager while taking care of all relevant documentation. If someone desires to take multiple roles, then at project level, there are opportunities to explore and enhance career. For document controllers, skills required are of accuracy, dedication, methodological, computer literacy to work in ERP systems. 
Ring Binders Aligned, Organization
Document management
  1. Coordinator (Execution) – This role is completely different from the role of coordinator/controller in head office. Project level coordinator reports to the project manager and coordinates with all relevant agencies as well as project/head office team for the project only, whereas project coordinator/controller based in head office controls the project by monitoring progress and framing multiple strategies with all concerned departments and senior management. Project manager is involved in taking decisions, resolving issues, giving direction to the team and project coordinator facilitates the progress by sharing all relevant details to the project manager. Project coordinator takes responsibilities of streamlining all project related operations such as site logistics, resolving variations with architects/consultants due to site constraints, helping various contractors to streamline their resources and setups, tracking material movements through suppliers and resolving all social issues within and surrounding the project. Project coordinator’s aim is to enhance project progress by anticipating problems or resolving issues without affecting progress. Generally senior level professionals get the role of project coordinator which in future transforms into managing projects as project manager.  Hence skills required are strong technical knowledge, effective multi-tasker, excellent communication and coordination skills and leadership qualities.
  2. Project Manager – One of the prestigious role at project level, which everyone in the project team desires for. Project manager owns the projects in totality from design till handing over and interacts with all concerns (internal & external) of the project throughout the project’s life cycle. It’s a balancing act of managing both physical as well as financial progress with the help of assigned responsibility and accountability. Project manager should be passionate and have strong technical knowledge with extra capabilities to lead the team, strategies various action plans, take decisions, resolve problems, develop & motivate/guide team towards defined milestones, disciplined to adhere to all government norms. Strong administration skills are important to deal with various unknown scenarios (social, political) at project level. Project manager’s are respected in any organizations and after successful completion of few projects, can be absorbed as project controller at head office and able to contribute as part of senior management team.
This Must Be The Place signage
Project Manager – Project team’s desire job profile

Below is a glance of 16 functions at project level (Preview in PDF).

Functions RolesQualifica-tionsSkills
Civil structureJunior Engineer to Project ManagerCivil Engg Diploma / Graduate Problem solver, team motivator, leader, quality oriented, go-getter
Civil FinishingJunior Engineer to Senior Manager or Project Manager of Interior worksCivil Engg Diploma / Graduate Problem solver, patience, team player, detailing, coordination, documenta-tion 
Planning & MISEngineer till Planning HeadCivil Engg Graduate / PG / Planning Software Coordination, logical, analytical, curious, listener, documenta-tion, detailing, time management communica-tion
Cost ManagementEngineer till Cost management headCivil Engg Graduate / PG / Software Coordination, maths/matrix, logical, analytical, negotiator,  contractual documenta-tion time management communica-tion
Design ManagementArchitects to Design team at HOArchitects / Software Methodolo-gical control of all documents, lead role in design meetings and coordination creativity, communica-tions, team player, presentation 
QualityOfficer to Quality team at HODiploma / Graduate Team player,  excellent coordination/ communica-tion for quality assurance and control, strict follower of quality policies & procedures, time management
EHSOfficer to EHS team at HODiploma / Graduate Motivator for site team for EHS, socially active, vigilant, strict follower of EHS policies/ procedures, time management team player, excellent coordinator
ServicesEngineer to services team at HOElectrical / Mechanical  Engg Diploma / GraduateTeam player, coordination, technical / execution knowledge, communica-tion
EquipmentEngineer to Equipment team at HOElectrical / Mechanical / electronics Engg Diploma / GraduateTechnical knowledge, excellent communica-tion team player maintenance & operations of all equipment
ITOfficer to IT team at HOGraduate / PG Computer applicationsBoth hardware and software knowledge, licences, curiosity to be updated with latest technologies, ERP & other software applications
Administra-tionOfficer / Senior Manager
Diploma / GraduateTime, Inventory management and control, facility management excellent coordinator, communica-tion
ProcurementOfficer to Procurement team at HODiploma / Graduate Time management integrity,  inventory control, negotiator, communica-tion follow up
Store – (Inventory mgt.)Officer till store headDiploma / GraduateInventory management time management integrity, documenta-tion  
Document ControllerOfficer / Senior ManagerDiploma / GraduateProcess and system oriented, computer literate, dedication, documenta-tion
Execution – CoordinatorProject coordinator to Project manager to Senior MgtGraduate / PG Leader, excellent communica-tions, technical knowledge, planning, framing strategies, presentation, should be efficient and effective multitasker
Project ManagerProject Controller to Senior MgtGraduate / PGStrategist, Decision making, leadership discipline, Passionate, strong technical knowledge

Related reading

1.1 Professionals in Construction Industry: Career Mapping

Find direction, Organization’s key areas & 3 levels

Opportunities, Application of RAM

1.2 About 22 Organizations: Part 1

9 Ownership based organizations

Funding, Structure, Duration

1.3 About 22 Organizations – Part 2

11 Services based and 2 Specialized fields

Functions, Structure, Fees

1.4 Functions – Roles – Expectations – Head Office

40 Functions – Educations & Skills

24 Functions at Head office