Why your Supervisor is the Number One Person on your Project
It may or may not surprise you and definitely different countries operate in different ways. However, in my experience there are many people involved in the whole project but there are a few key players!
1. On the Front Line
The supervisor or site manager is the person on the cold face of construction, spending most of their days out in the field and understanding exactly what is happening. Unlike some of the office staff who spend their days planning, the supervisor deals with facts, deals with reality and is implementing constantly. Often the information from the field is fed back into the office to the relevant engineers or managers to make decisions. This is the value of the supervisor in terms of them knowing exactly what is happening. If this doesn’t happen the communication breaks down and the chain is broken – nothing worse than 2 sides moving in different directions due to lack of communication!
2. Knowledge & Experience
The supervisor’s knowledge plays a huge role in how the project is built because at the end of the day, they are the individuals who are in control of the the day to day operations on site. Their knowledge and experience in specific methodologies or staging of the construction works makes or breaks the project. Their knowledge and experience is also important to educate the relevant engineers or coordinators who they generally deal with on a day to day basis. These are the individuals that are organising, planning, ordering materials and sign offs. The engineers and coordinators that are at the cold face of the construction on site are generally younger and not as experienced hence, there is mentoring involved too (whether they like it or not!).
Depending on the discipline your supervisor is working in, they will not only be responsible for their specific area/zone and discipline but also responsible for coordinating between ever other discipline that intersects. This coordination can be timely and costly but is still required and can include multiple pieces of the puzzle to come together – traffic, environmental, safety and utilities just to name a few.. And that’s not even anything to do with the construction methodology and staging. This coordination goes back to the office to formalize everything with what ever protocols are needed but the supervisor is already one step ahead and moving onto the next problem on site!