We sat down with Scott Brantley, Director of East Coast Civil Engineering at Tower Engineering Professionals to talk about what goes into being a great Project Manager– from what qualities make a great project manager, how to succeed, how technology can be a game-changer, and why project management is unique at Tower Engineering Professionals. Oh, and his pizza-delivery aspirations.
You have been at TEP for a while! How long have you been there and how did you get started in Project Management?
I’ve been a project manager for seven years at Tower Engineering Professionals. I would say I started out just as everybody does here. We’re very much a “grow from within” kind of company. I started out at the production level, just learning the industry. From there, I was able to build up confidence and really understand the scope of work that we typically do. Then I was able to develop that into a project management role, where I was more client-focused in front of customers, and now I have a team of about 70 that report to me across five different offices on the East Coast. They range in roles and responsibilities, from division managers, project managers, CAD designers, and engineering associates.
Wow! Do you know them all?
Yes, I do, name and face. Got to know them all.
Tell me a bit more about the industry. What is the biggest change you have seen recently?
There has been a lot of change. I think the biggest thing for us is keeping up with the latest technology, especially recently, with the push towards public right-of-way, small cell networks, and 5G innovation. That’s been the biggest change as well as making sure we’re up to date on the latest standards, and ensuring that we’re servicing our customers in the best way possible.
“The pen and paper world is gone.”Scott Brantley, Director of East Coast Civil Engineering at TEP
Interesting. I’m sure the change in telecom has affected the types of projects your team completes. Do you have a favorite?
Probably the small cell. I like the volume of work that the small cell public right-of-way infrastructure provides to our industry. It’s cool to move through an entire city, if you will, and start from ground zero. It is awesome to see an entire 5G deployment be pushed through a whole market all because of the hard work of the team.
What makes a successful deployment?
I think the key to success for these types of deployments is understanding the requirements of each individual jurisdictions. A lot of these installations and deployments are high volume within a single jurisdiction or a single city. So, forming that partnership with those entities is key in the development of 5G within the public right-of-way.
Anything else that goes into a successful deployment?
Definitely a lot of other big factors. One huge one is the pen and paper world is gone. The key now is making sure that you can be efficient in your communications. Having software that will allow you to do real-time tracking, eliminate back and forth email correspondence on capacities, run rates.
“Ultimately Sitetracker makes you a better project manager because you’re able to stay up with your latest capacity to fulfill your clients’ needs.”Scott Brantley, Director of East Coast Civil Engineering at TEP
What makes project management unique at TEP?
I think one of the key things that makes project management different here at Tower Engineering Professionals is the fact that we’ll supply a single point of contact to our customers. Because we’re a turnkey provider within this industry, we’re able to in house source all of our services. Providing that single point of contact really helps projects move and progress in a timely manner because we’re able to handle it internally.
Let’s dig into that a little more. You’ve been a project manager for a while. What is the most important quality of a PM?
I think the number one quality for a Project Manager is someone who
● Has good verbal communication skills
● Represents themselves well in front of a client or a customer
Ultimately, those are the people you can build around. You can know and trust that they’ll represent the company well, in a client setting.
On the flip side – what is the biggest misconception about being a PM?
I think the biggest misconception with project management is that it stops at a certain level;
“I think the key to being a good project manager is not saying, “that’s not my job.” You separate yourself as a project manager and as a company when you have folks that will go above and beyond the normal call of duty.”Scott Brantley, Director of East Coast Civil Engineering at TEP
Final question. What did you want to be when you grew up?
The first job I thought I’d have for the rest of my life is going to be rather embarrassing. So as a kid, I was a big connoisseur of pizza. So I told my parents I wanted to be a pizza delivery driver. That’s been adjusted.
Keep an eye out for the Projects are Life video featuring Scott coming soon!
|About Tower Engineering Professionals|
We are a full service, multi-discipline, turn-key engineering, and construction organization who believe in the work hard, play hard philosophy. We are a team with more than 700 of the best and brightest minds in the engineering industry, specializing in telecommunications. Approximately one-third of the Tower Engineering team are certified climbers and we have worked on more than 50,000 cell towers around the globe. To learn more go to http://tepgroup.net/
Sitetracker, Inc. powers the successful deployment of critical infrastructure. As the global standard for managing high-volume projects, the Sitetracker Platform enables growth-focused innovators to optimize the entire asset lifecycle. From the field to the C-suite, Sitetracker enables stakeholders to perfect how they plan, deploy, maintain, and grow their capital asset portfolios. Market leaders in the telecommunications, utility, smart cities, and energy industries — such as Verizon, Nokia, Fortis, Alphabet, British Telecom, and Vodafone — rely on Sitetracker to manage millions of sites and projects representing over $19 billion of portfolio holdings globally. For more information, visit https://www.sitetracker.com/