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When you think about what goes into a home renovation or remodel in Victoria, BC, you can usually see what the designers envision and how the carpenters bring it to life, but without the project manager, the process is far more challenging and full of opportunities for things to fall through the cracks. If you said the project manager is the glue that holds the renovation together, you wouldn’t be wrong.

At MAC Renovations, we’re a Design-Build construction company, which means we take a team approach to your home renovation project in Victoria. With this method, you — the homeowner — have a single point of contact throughout the life of your project. Your project manager is there to help you meet the crews working on your home, and they’ll walk beside you on the other end of the project, showing you everything that’s been done to make your home better.

Margaret Cormode, senior project manager at MAC Renovations, gave us a glimpse into what a project manager does and how she helps the MAC Renovation team stay on time and on budget.

What is a Typical Day for a Project Manager at MAC Renovations in Victoria?

“Usually, I’ll start the day in my inbox,” said Margaret. “I’ll see if there are any pressing concerns and deal with them immediately. Then I’ll check the schedules on BuilderTrend, our project management software. I’m always looking a few weeks ahead to coordinate timelines for the different components required at the homes. My priority is the projects that are in construction, and once those jobs are on track, I can move on to the jobs that are in the planning queue. Monday’s start with a kick-off meeting, and Friday’s usually end with a review of the coming weeks so we can stay on top of everything.”

“On top of project management, as the senior project manager, I support the development of our SOPs — standard operating procedures — to ensure everyone on our internal teams are on the same page, working through how we operate as a company and how we deliver to our clients: are we beating expectations or is there room for improvement?”

What makes a great project manager?

“I’ve always been a great multi-tasker and a high achiever, and these are vital qualities for a successful project manager,” shared Margaret. “You have to be motivated by the project: your only goal is the successful completion of a project. Done and done right.”

“You need to be someone who enjoys the details. You also need to be great with people, understanding that you’re only as strong as your team. Building that relationship is essential to our success.”

“My education has been organic. I was a project coordinator for JC Scott Design Associates, and then I began my Project Management Program (PMP) with a prep course at UVic, which led to me earning my certification. What I learned in my program is relevant across multiple industries: the project might be different, but you end up solving similar issues, managing stakeholders the same way, and using a lot of the same language. It’s just the scope that’s different. I like rules. I like to follow a process, and I like things that are organized the right way.”

“The best parts of this job are usually the site trade meetings and camaraderie,” said Margaret. “We introduce the customer to the crew who will be working on their house. It’s a blast, and everyone is keyed up and ready to make the magic happen.”

“Most of my day is on the computer or phone, where the communication happens, but since we work anywhere from Sidney to Sooke – and beyond – I travel to the job sites and see what’s going on. That’s when I can fully appreciate the beauty and variety of neighbourhoods across Victoria. I’ve seen parts of the city that I likely wouldn’t have if I didn’t have this job.”

What Does ‘Done’ Look Like?

“I like to stimulate conversations with the team to get a good idea of what ‘done’ looks like to them,” said Margaret. “It’s a great question to lead with and helps me ensure that when we have completed a task, there aren’t any lingering to-dos. The job site is clean, there’s nothing on the punch list, and the project is fully complete. 

“One of the great things about working at MAC is the commitment to collaboration,” said Margaret. “You can raise your hand when you need support, especially in the field, where it’s hard to feel like it’s OK to ask for help and guidance. But everyone here is quick to offer suggestions and support because we’re all working towards the same goal: to make the project right for the homeowners and to be proud of our part in each project.”

If you can see yourself on the MAC Renovations team —in project management or on one of our other teams — check out our profile on Indeed.com to see our current opportunities.