Project Manager Spotlight: Take 5 Project Manager Annet

Effective project management in the construction industry requires a blend of organisation, strategic planning, and clear communication to bring clients’ visions to life while meeting budget and timeline constraints. In this project mananger spotlight, we had the pleasure of interviewing talented project mananger, Annet Maurer. Take 5 and delve into her journey, how she prioritises tasks in her busy schedule, advice for people aspiring to get into project management, and much more!

Annet has worked on a variety of fitout projects across commercial medical, hospitality, retail, office, wellness & beauty and fitness industries. She has a wide scope of experience gained from managing numerous, and sometimes unusual shop fitouts.

Annet has been involved with fitting out everything from a fish market to a French provincial style bakery. Her varied experience means she is always learning something new about different commercial industries, which certainly keeps her on her toes and her brain in high gear.

Annet comes from a long background of administrative work in a wide variety of sectors, though the building industry is new to her. Since joining Total Fitouts in 2022, she has made a significant impact, showcasing her progress in project management and catapulting Total Fitouts Wide Bay into becoming the top commercial fitout company locally within the construction industry.

Annet and the Total Fitouts Wide Bay team

TFO: What do you find most rewarding about being a Project Manager?

A: The most rewarding aspect of being a project manager is seeing a project come to life. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see a project start from someone walking into our office with an idea, seeing that be shaped and drawn by our commercial interior designers, and then seeing the site transformed into a space that the client (and customers) love.

TFO: What are the biggest challenges you face as a Project Manager, and how do you overcome them?

A: Some of the biggest challenges include coordination of trades and materials, making sure that we can stick to timelines by having everyone in the right order. Missing key materials creates flow-on effects that can throw timelines off, so getting orders in early is key… but then you have to think about where to store things until you need them!

During a commercial fit out, there is always an aim to finish quickly, so the clients can begin to utilise the space and a missing item can quickly throw a schedule off (don’t ask me about being short on tiles…).

Historic building features, subway tiling and inviting dining area for this hospitality fit out for French Hot Bread, Total Fitouts Wide Bay

TFO: How do you prioritise tasks and manage your time effectively?

A: Ordering and booking in trades is always key once building approvals have been put in motion. I am a dedicated handwritten list maker for daily tasks (and I’m not adverse to writing something on the list just so I can cross it off!), but I use BuildXact throughout each day for scheduling and purchase ordering.

I should try to utilise tech more effectively for task management but I do love my lists (to the bane of my boss’s existence) and keep going back to the old school way. If an email is in my inbox (not filed), that means I still need to address it. I don’t love a full inbox but it’s been a while since I’ve had a completely empty one!

TFO: What key skills do you think are essential for success in Project Management?

A: Communicating clearly is key to me – if everyone knows what is happening and the plan book onsite has all the information, projects run a lot smoother. That means that more work like good documentation is getting done upfront for those that need it, so that once the commercial fitout is underway I am much less involved, leaving that to the site supervisor.

I’ve enjoyed developing processes and documents for our office that have helped us get more organised, which means we can manage more projects at once.

Sheer linen curtains, stone tile flooring and inviting reception area for this office fit out for A&G Realty, Total Fitouts Wide Bay

TFO: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become a Project Manager?

A: Project management requires both big-picture overview and a focus on details, which is not always something that many people are comfortable with, so if you can do both, it would be a great fit. My work background is over 25 years of administrative experience, across a wide range of sectors including health, education, legal, non-profit and government, so I have been able to bring across things I’ve learned from everywhere into this role. 

TFO: What is the most interesting part about Project Management in a commercial setting?

A: What’s especially unique about commercial fitouts versus say a home builder that builds the same house over and over is that we are continually changing what we are learning about – gym equipment, specialised kitchen equipment, cold rooms, reception desks and even an ice flaking machine. That keeps it very interesting!

Neutral colour palette, custom LED signange and itimber door framing for this hospitality fit out for Lulus Japanese Cafe, Total Fitouts Wide Bay


TFO: Favourite Project?

A: The Baker’s Room, turning an old run-down rabbit-warren building into a beautiful and highly functional open bakery was a feat that challenged us in every way but has been so wonderful to see come alive. Photos will be coming soon!

TFO: Biggest Learning Experience?

A: Being in the building industry has been a steep learning curve but I’ve loved getting to learn all the new terminologies and materials. Just don’t ask me to visualise a measurement, I am terrible at that!

TFO: What is coming up (that you can tell us)?

A: We are currently working on a nail salon in Hervey Bay and a Thai restaurant in Maryborough. The rest is a secret for now!

Black and white colour palette, eccentric styling and high end hair salon equiptment for this wellness and beauty fit out for Madame Me Mes, Total Fitouts Wide Bay

Learn more about Total Fitouts Wide Bay and their team here.

Whether you’re a project manager interested in being featured in Project Manager Spotlight or you’re searching for your next commercial design to fitout project, we invite you to reach out to Total Fitouts and contact us here to explore exciting opportunities and collaborations.