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Expert Spotlight | Ral Taguimacon, Senior Project Manager, Project Management

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According to Ral, being a project manager means one must focus on three major things: time, budget, and quality. Keeping all three items balanced is challenging. However, the real challenge is not any of these items; it is ensuring customer satisfaction.

 
1. Briefly explain your experience with Colliers and working in the real estate industry.
  
Colliers is the second real estate firm that I have worked for, and it is good to be back in the real estate industry. If I will be asked to compare Colliers with my previous companies, I would say that Colliers is better; it has evolved into more than a just a real estate firm and has pioneered services new in the industry.

Here, you get to collaborate with some of the known contributors in the real estate market, and work with some of the biggest companies, both local and international. Some may ask, how is Colliers different from other real estate service providers? Well, at Colliers, the support system is different: we do not work as individual business units but rather as one.

From our top management down to those who are on the ground, you can see the collaboration and the level of professionalism we maintain to provide the services needed by our clients, regardless if they are big or small, or whether they are a start-up or an established company. We do not choose our clients; rather, our clients choose us because of our exceptional service.
 
2. As a Senior Project Manager for Colliers’ Project Management, what do you think is the most challenging aspect of your job and how do you handle that challenge?
 

They say that the most stressful job is being a Project Manager. When handling a project, one must focus on three major things: time, budget, and quality. Keeping all three items balanced is challenging. However, the real challenge is not any of these items; it is ensuring customer satisfaction.

Each project has its own demands, and there are cases when a client might step out of bounds just to make sure that they get their money’s worth. The key here is communication. As a Project Manager, you need to always keep that level of communication clear and concise not only with the client but also with all project stakeholders: designers, cost managers, contractors, and original equipment manufacturers.

I always tell my team that not everyone has the same level of understanding and that they need to clearly convey the message. In order to do so, they should listen. Listen to what your client needs, write it all down, convey it to the project stakeholders as if they are your own words, and do not hesitate to laymanize if it helps to pass the message.

You do not need to be the cream of the crop or the sharpest tool in the shed; all you need is to improve your communication and interpersonal skills, and the rest will follow.

3. Briefly explain how project management (and design & build) is changing amid shifting priorities brought about by the pandemic and how Colliers Project Management is adopting to novel trends and client requirements.

Construction is one of the hardest hit industries by the pandemic. A slowdown or a halt in a project have a significant impact on the construction industry: from the project management team, contractors and vendors, and our clients’ operations, to the economy.

In order to pave our way back to business as usual, we need to accept and embrace the new normal. We need to understand and adapt to these changes, and to be able do this, we have to put safety as our number one priority.

As Project Managers, we should be nimble to adopt to the evolving safety practices implemented by the government and discuss these with clients and project stakeholders. Our number one priority is to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 by mandating social distancing and safety protocols, and as Project Managers, we must ensure that these protocols are religiously implemented on site.

Aside from ensuring health and safety on site, the pandemic has shifted our focus on remote work and the utilization of digital tools to facilitate the continuity of projects. Client and project-progress meetings are now mostly held online, and meetings on site are done with minimum health standards strictly observed.

Devices such as CCTVs, drones, and smartphones have been very useful when it comes to virtual or remote inspections, and submissions and approvals are now paperless and are done online.

The pandemic has indeed slowed down the construction business, but there has been progress. We have to adapt to the changing times to move forward.


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Ral Taguimacon

Senior Project Manager

Project Management

Manila

A licensed Civil Engineer with an extensive experience in Project and Construction Management.

As a Senior Project Manager, he gained and developed his skills on all aspects of the Project – in Planning, Design, Procurement, Construction and Transition Management. Experienced handling small scale to large scale project, ranging from 200sqm to 80,000sqm.

 

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