The Owner’s Missing Piece

Hey, Owners! Here’s that critical piece you’re missing…

By: Marcus Vess

A veteran of the design and construction industry once quipped:

“If you hire an architect and a contractor, something will get built.”

Well, that’s the plan anyway. Even after hiring architects and contractors, projects are cancelled for a variety of reasons, predominately budgetary issues.

All too often, somewhere late in design, as the project nears construction start, the problem of being over budget or behind schedule becomes a startling reality.  The project, which had been proceeding seemingly well, is now “off the rails.”  Now, business operations, growth plans, and revenues for the organization are at risk. The project Owner is frustrated and confused as to why everything has gone awry.

Now there’s a problem – a big one! – and the die has largely been cast.

But what if Owners could avoid these common project pitfalls?

Owners are often missing the critical element of their team – someone that translates program, design, budget, quality, schedule, and construction into a language everyone can connect to. That one missing piece is Project Management.

What are some ways hiring a Project Manager can help? Here are a few to consider:
  • Bring focus to initial set-up of the project
  • Select the right Architect and Contractor for the project type
  • Ensure the design compliments the vision, program, and financial goals of the project
  • Host constructability reviews (Can what’s designed actually be built economically?)
  • Deepen collaboration amongst Architect and Contractor for better problem solving
  • Guide decision-making in a way that maximizes long-term value, drives the schedule, and minimizes the rework
  • Create more accountability
  • Keep a watchful eye on budget
  • Consistent reporting and communication
  • Ensure what’s built will provide long-term value
  • Implement LEED programs or other sustainability factors
  • Coordinate move-in
  • Ensure productive transition to operations, including facility and maintenance staff

These are only a few of the many ways that hiring a Project Manager increases an Owner’s chance of success. And in fact, when engaged early enough in the process, ideally before the Contractor and Architect selection, Project Managers are in the best position possible to influence the outcome and deliver the highest value.

So, instead of leaving a project’s fate to chance, invest in the services of a Project Manager to guide the entire building process. You will be thankful that you did. And if cost is a concern, did you know that many Owners who have employed these services estimate that the value created by engaging a Project Manager offsets any expenses associated with hiring one? It’s true. Even more reason to engage the expertise of a Project Manager to help you reach your project goals and ensure your capital investment creates long-term returns!

To take the first step to ensure your project is a success, reach out to Darden & Company’s Executive Vice President, Kyle Taylor at ktaylor@dardencompany.com or Senior Vice President, Marcus Vess at mvess@dardencompany.com. Or for more information on Darden & Company’s services, please visit: http://www.dardencompany.com/services/.

About the Author: Marcus Vess’ career spans nearly three decades, where he spent time in planning, design, and construction of facilities improvement projects. He is an experienced director of large-scale capital projects and programs and is credited with delivering projects with a combined value of more than $1 billion.

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