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A Day In The Life of a Senior Project Manager at Barker Ryan Stewart: James Cross

At Barker Ryan Stewart, we’re proud to have a highly motivated and passionate team that works together to deliver infrastructure and create better outcomes for our communities.

Project Manager

In our day in the life of blog series, we aim to showcase the work of our talented team and help you get to know the faces behind our projects a little better. This month, we sat down with James, one of our Senior Project Managers, to chat about what led him to a career in project management and the biggest highlight of working at Barker Ryan Stewart so far.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what interested you in project management.

In my early career as a local government engineer, I was pushed a fair bit into becoming a Council Development Engineer. Which surprisingly I really ended up enjoying. Getting to have knowledge of all the development that was going on, finding noncompliance, gave me a good understanding of problems and issues that developments faced. One day an opportunity came along to move from the assessing side of development to Project Managing urban land multistage subdivisions. Understanding the process and projects from an assessment perspective was a good fit.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Not sure there are typical days but definitely repeat periods. You might be trying to solve an assessment issue to get an aspect of the development over the line or obtain an approval, going through designs and reports making sure that they work and that they contain the right information. Then there is following up the consultants and assessors, walking that fine tight rope with keeping your project on their radar and not being too annoying. This than gets followed up with construction management which involves processing claims (usually big $$$), dealing with construction issues. Which when done well can save a developer in variations. Lastly followed by trying to get the Subdivision Certificate/lot registered as soon as possible. The pressure is usually on. As the developer has had all the outlay of funds and needs the settlements to get funds in the door.

Time feels like it’s always against you, as a subdivision can take around 18 months from the developer saying go ahead, to registration of lots. So, I basically just resolve issues and keep the process going by remembering what I did 18 months and doing it again.

What’s it like being part of Barker Ryan Stewart’s project management team? Are there any stand-out projects that you’re currently working on? 

They are a caring bunch. I have a number of mid-size subdivisions on the go at the moment (5/20/50/100 lots) but probably the most interesting is Lakes Ridge (300 lots) which is probably because it’s in the early stage and I’ve been involved evolving it and not just inherited it mid-way through.

What’s been the most memorable aspect of working at Barker Ryan Stewart so far? 

The hunter social event of Bingo. There were lots of laughs and I somehow won a round of bingo. Work wise it would be completing Lochinvar Ridge Stages 1-7.

Looking back at your career, is there anything that’s surprised you about being a project manager? 

How handy it has been having a good understanding of development and knowing where to look for information. i.e being a jack of all trades knowing a little about of lot of things (like design, construction, planning, surveying) master of none.

Finally, what advice do you have for anyone considering a career in project management? 

To be a good PM you need to have a good understanding of what the project is trying to achieve, the process and be able to solve any problems or issues that come along.

Want to meet our team?

Check out our other ‘day in the life of’ blogs to learn more about our talented team.

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