A day in the life of a project manager
Girlfriend’s alarm goes off at 6.30am which means I’m awake too.
Phone still on not disturb to give me some much-needed time to myself every morning to prepare for the day ahead. I always start the day by flicking through my emails and checking my diary. Once showered and ready, I make my way to the station for my daily commute to either the office or a live site, it always varies! This gives me a good chance to make any quick phone calls on route. I have always got my nose in my kindle on the commute, fantasy fiction is my bag as it allows me to escape for a while and forget that I currently have my face in someone’s armpit on the northern line. I have never been one for breakfast, but a coffee when I arrive will get me through to lunch!
My overall responsibility is to make sure each project is delivered on time and to the high standard that our clients expect. Bringing to life the visions that our design team have thought up.
The client side of my role means conducting weekly meetings and keeping in contact daily to make sure that their vision still aligns with what we are building on site. Making them aware of any small issues that we are facing and potentially changing things to meet their needs as the project progresses.
Behind the scenes is basically keeping on top of all the subcontractors and the in house team. Making sure all drawings are updated and keeping to the projected programme. Another key element is making sure all this is done in a safe environment!
Why Interior design?
I used to be a chemical engineer. Snore I know. The offices were so outdated and the general feeling within the office really used to get me down. I could go a whole week without talking to someone, in an environment that was generally quite toxic. It always made me wonder what it would be like to work in a fun office where there was a good mix of working autonomously and with people that you actually enjoy working with (and also partying with).
When I started working as a site manager for ThirdWay and made the steps to becoming a project manager for Dthree, I realised that not only could I work in such an office but help to create this for others…
My main skillset as an engineer was always based around problem solving, something I’ve always loved to do. Which made the shift in to being a project manager in this industry a really fun, challenging but natural progression.
Typical day …
Every day is different… Typically 8am I‘d be getting to site to see how works are progressing which would lead on to a subcontractors meeting. Following that, it lends naturally to have a client meeting to also discuss how the project is progressing.
Later in the day may involve a quick lunch followed by a site survey. Then back to the office to implement all the mornings on site work! There is always lots of admin work as a project manager!
Most proud of?
In terms of a project delivered, I am most proud of is Badoo. The design truly is fantastic, the client was really fun to work with and the many changes each day on site really kept me on my toes! The final weekend when the furniture all went in was the best day I’ve had as a project manager.
In terms of project management I am most proud of my team, especially Tony, who is new to the industry. Watching him become the project manager he is today is massive highlight in my year to date. Similar to myself, coming fresh from another industry, he has shown himself to not only be competent, but is also well on his way to becoming a great project manager and huge asset to Dthree. I would like to say it has been all my doing but to be frank, he’s made it incredibly easy for me. I only worry that someday soon he’ll be a better PM than me.
Surprisingly, I’m not inspired by anyone in design really. Unless you include Leonardo di vinci. He was an engineer, architect, scientist, designer etc etc etc. The man was an absolute genius.
Other than that, it’d be my dad. He has had about 17 different jobs and has never been afraid to take a leap of faith into something new (which currently means he is now a paramedic). It gave me the confidence to jump in to the world of design and construction and I couldn’t be happier having done so.
If there were no limits in design what so ever, what would you create?
QPR’s new 200,000 seater stadium on Mars. Which can be reached in 3 minutes by my solar powered speed of light rocket.
Advise to anyone in or out of design?
Get your work / life balance right for you.