Does your project manager have the drive to get your project moving?

18.12.19 2 MINUTE READ

Image of Project-Management-illustration_Bidwells

Does your school building project seem to be dragging on? Are you having meetings about meetings, and not seeing any progress?

Tom Sampson suggests perhaps it’s time to crack the whip on your project team.

Here’s his five top tips on what you should be demanding from your project manager.  

1. Communication that gives you confidence

Who’s chasing whom to complete actions? A proactive project manager will give you the confidence that they are fully engaged and in control.  Whether by phone, email, Zoom, or carrier pigeon, you should be hearing from them – a lot.

2. Personality that delivers

Many school projects last for two years or more, so it helps if you get on with your team. Ask for testimonials and conduct a thorough interview to get a sense of individuals’ personalities. Do you like them? You need good listeners to fully grasp your needs, and an energetic leader with an effective management style you can trust get the job done. A harmonious team will work more productively.

3. The right skills for your school

You wouldn’t employ an English teacher who had never read a book, so your PM should also have the right experience to deliver your project. Ask them to fully explain how their past schools project experience will help to deliver yours. They should have key skills in leading multi-disciplinary teams and robust reporting procedures.

4. Resource

Ensure your appointed team has sufficient resource, at the right level, to manage the project to completion. What are their contingency plans for holidays and sickness? Get the key partner to confirm they will stay involved for the duration of the project, and not disappear after being appointed for the work. 

5. If it’s not working, change it

Rushed tender processes often lead to poor choices of project team. If you find yourself in this situation, and your project is stalling, don’t be afraid to make short-term tough decisions for long-term gain. In other words, if your team won’t change – it’s time to change your team!

Bidwells’ independent schools specialists offer consultancy on estate strategy, funding, surveying, planning and project management for new build, extension, repurposing and refurbishment projects across the South East.

Thank you.

You have now been added to our database to receive emails about Schools.



I would like to receive updates on

Privacy notice

Get in touch with our Project Management team


Tom Sampson

Partner, Project Management

Tom has vast experience of repurposing property into award-winning facilities. From old fire stations to unused air traffic control towers, he's done it all.

Read more

Search Bidwells