What is the distinction between construction management and project management? Surprisingly, there is a significant difference, and any construction firm needs to determine the Key discrepancies to ensure the success of their construction projects.

It’s not as straightforward as one dealing with the construction and the other with projects. Traditionally, project management was thought to be performed from the initial concept to the final delivery, whilst construction management has only been done during the actual construction phases.

However, these distinctions and roles are frequently blurred in today’s world. Let’s dive deep into the main differences between both terms.

History Background of Construction Management and Project Management

Project management has always been practised informally throughout human history. Still, it became a separate profession in the mid-20th century when a group of forward-thinking individuals from the aerospace, engineering, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications industries realized that a changing world required new tools.

They started laying down and standardizing the tools for a new profession, driven by the need to address the scheduling and resource issues that come with increasingly complex projects.

Construction projects are highly structured endeavours, whether a shopping mall or a single-family home. They have many moving parts and people who need to be coordinated perfectly.

Construction project management, like any other project, has phases that range from design to planning to schedule to the actual construction. Each of these phases is difficult on its own, but when combined with the rest of the project, they become exponentially more difficult.

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1.    Responsibilities – Project Management vs Construction Management

To understand the difference, let us first have a look at duties of construction manager and project manager.

Construction Manager


Supervising and delegating tasks to a construction team

  • Supervising the day-to-day construction process on the job site
  • Collaboration with contractors and suppliers of materials
  • Keeping track of material inventory and ordering new items
  • Checking local building codes to ensure the project meets all requirements
  • Making schedules for team members
  • Creating estimated costs for construction projects
  • Keeping track of the construction project’s progress and informing the project manager

Project Manager

Listed below are the key duties of project manager;

  • Choosing a project location and securing land for a new building
  • Consultation with a client about a new project design
  • Creating a project timeline with milestones for each stage
  • Developing a project budget and strategy
  • Generating cost estimates for all aspects of a project, including marketing and hiring.
  • Managing project paperwork, such as preliminary plans and zoning documents
  • Team members, including the construction manager, are being recruited and hired

2.    Working Culture: Project Management Vs Construction Management

Construction Manager

Numerous construction managers use to sit in a head office but spend the considerable time at a worksite, in which they supervise the project and make decisions and choices about building projects. Construction managers frequently work very long hours to meet deadlines and respond to emergencies.

Project Manager

Project managers commonly work in an office setting, however, in some cases, may be required to visit the project’s physical worksite on occasion. They spend the majority of their time seated at a computer, typing correspondence, using project management software, and making business calls.

3.    Job Requirements: Project Management Vs Construction Management

Construction Manager

Construction managers generally need a bachelor’s degree and on-the-job training to learn management techniques. Candidates with both construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field are increasingly preferred by large construction firms.

Project Manager

A bachelor’s degree in engineering, architecture, or construction management is usually required for most project management positions. A project manager may also be required to have prior construction or project management experience.

In certain regions, they may be required to obtain a license in order to complete building tasks such as approving building codes. Additionally, those who could also get a certificate in project management or construction. Such requirement is usually optional, but it may help them get a competitive position.

4.    Project Duration: Project Management Vs Construction Management

Construction Manager

A construction manager may begin working during the budgeting stage, but their primary responsibility is during the construction process.

Project Manager

A project management duration is a comprehensive plan for one’s project. It outlines all of the activities required, as well as the deadlines for each, so that one’s entire team knows when individual steps will take place and when the entire project will be completed.

In brief, a project manager works with the client throughout the entire project, from planning and forecasting to the final building.

5.    Special Skills: Project Management Vs Construction Management

Project Manager

A project manager’s most important skills are leadership, communication, time management, negotiating, team management, and critical thinking. Furthermore, he or she must be able to keep up with project management trends and fully utilize the tools at their disposal. If you want to excel in this game of management, you must have mastery of project management related softwares such as primavera p6.

Construction Manager

Apart from having all soft skills such as communication, time management, and teamwork. It is commonly known skill set, required for construction managers to monitor and apply project control skills in order to keep everything on track and on time.

On larger projects, however, project managers have less need for construction skills because they will be dealing with construction management colleagues, so the roles diverge. Although certain technical and construction skills fall in construction management court.

Final Verdict

5 Key Differences Between Construction Management and Project Management

Project management is a broad term that encompasses all types of projects (software development, automotive design, building construction, etc.)

On the other hand, the term construction management refers to overseeing a structure’s construction.  On a construction project, Project Manager is a title that is frequently used to refer to the project’s senior manager, as opposed to the Project Executive, who may be in charge of several projects, and the Superintendents, who may be multiple on a single project.

To sum it up, the main difference between construction management and project management is the level of authority or a nature of work. To cut the long story short, a project manager may perform the duties of a construction manager on small projects.

These two professionals frequently collaborate on large projects to build new buildings. These roles are similar in some ways but there are some differences as elaborated in article above.

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