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What Does an Infrastructure Project Manager Do?

Infrastructure projects, such as building bridges, are often overseen by project managers.
National and local government often sanctions the building of new roads, bridges and transportation systems to improve the transportation infrastructure.
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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2014
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Infrastructure projects are enterprises designed to create or to improve the internal framework of an organization, a community, or a governmental system. An infrastructure project manager oversees the project and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that work is completed on time, keeping costs at projected levels. In some instances, an infrastructure project manager may work on a long-term basis for a single employer and preside over multiple projects. Rather than employing full time managers, some organizations hire private contracts as needed to oversee new projects.

National and local government often sanctions the building of new roads, bridges and transportation systems to improve the transportation infrastructure and provide convenience for commuters, travelers and other citizens. The government agency sponsoring the enterprise must hire an infrastructure project manager. This individual must work closely with the architects and engineers who designed the project and determine the best and most cost effective way to complete the project. The manager typically negotiates with supply firms to buy the equipment and materials that are needed to complete the project. In some instances the project manager may have to ask the project designers to alter the plans if budgetary constraints mean that the project cannot be completed as originally planned.

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An infrastructure project manager may hire several other managers to oversee particular aspects of a complex project. The manager may hire a human resources officer to handle staff recruitment and to handle negotiations related to staff wages and benefits. Another individual may assume responsibility for ensuring that different phases of the project comply with local laws in terms of structural safety and other issues. Despite delegating duties to other individuals, the project manager must work closely with these junior managers to ensure that issues such as budget shortfalls, contractual disputes and safety violations are quickly resolved.

Businesses and governmental organizations often hire information technology experts to oversee telecommunications systems upgrades. Firms often have to replace computer systems, phone lines and other devices to take advantage of the latest technology in order to remain competitive. A telecommunications infrastructure project manager must decide how to replace existing technology without causing wholesale disruption to the daily operations of the organization. The project manager must work closely with departmental managers to determine which employees need access to certain systems and how to install those systems around the impacted employees work schedules.

Depending on the nature of the enterprise, a project manager may need to have a background in engineering, information technology (IT) or business administration. Usually, they are licensed or certified to carry out the kind of work that is essential to the project. Therefore, project managers normally boast a mixture of strong academic credentials and industry experience.

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