Picture of Isabelle S Nyamgeroh

Isabelle S Nyamgeroh

Property Developer

So what is the role of a Project Manager in any Construction project? The main role of a PM is to deliver a project successfully through managing the three project deliverables i.e. Cost, Scope and Time. Many a times you see stalled projects in Nairobi, you hear of contractors who were paid but never delivered. You see buildings collapsing, you see “Coming soon” on developments only for them to never be commissioned five years on. Majority of these stem from poor management! This is where, we as Project Managers come in! 

If you have been keeping your eye on the developments within the Kenyan construction industry, you may have noticed some changes in the list of construction consultants listed on the Site Boards. When you wish to build, you normally engage an architect and other engineering consultants i.e Civil and Structural Engineer and the Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing Engineer. For Grand projects, you could proceed to bring on a Quantity Surveyor.

Traditionally, the Architect has been taking on the role of Project manager, but as projects are becoming more and more complex, the market has dictated that the role of project Manager be assigned to a separate specialised consultant. One that would be able to focus entirely on the successful delivery of the project.

Image: Construction Site Board


Did you know that 9 out of 10 projects experience cost overruns at the time of completion? Furthermore, the cost overruns averaged around 25% percent. A practical example of this is that if your house was to cost KSh 4,000,000 and was then mismanaged during the construction process, then it would end up costing you KSh 5,000,000 at the time of completion. If you were working with a tight budget, then this effectively means that you would be unable to complete your project once you utilised the maximum KSh 4,000,000 that you had.


Just 25% of projects come within 10% of their deadline; meaning that most projects are not completed on time but even worse, 75% of projects overshoot their deadline by over 10%. I will give you a practical example. If your project was to  take 10 months, an average outcome would mean that it would be completed within 11 months. Now if you are building a hotel and you only manage to get financing to commence in February with an expected end date of November, right in time for Christmas, then a mis-managed or poorly managed project would mean that you wouldn’t be able to launch your hotel right in time for the Christmas Holiday. This would be devastating to you financially since you would be unable to start recouping your (and the banks) investment during peak season.


Scope in construction is what was intended to be built and at the right quality. Once you have a budget, there is a cost attached to it and the quality that is afforded by that budget. If you want to build a luxurious mansion, then it would cost you slightly more than an average residential house. Managing the input (materials, budget, workmanship) versus the output (your mansion) keeps every stakeholder in the project on the same page and is what is referred to as scope management.

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