Project Managers: Boone or Bain of Developer Success

As with any venture, execution is key.

The consistent responsibility of a Project Manager (PM) is to ensure an on-time and on-budget end result. While this is a simple concept, the ability for the PM to deliver on this parallel objective is often multi-faceted, highly complex, and relies heavily on several critical factors. We begin with the assumption that the credentialing (licensure, insurance, etc.) of the prospective candidate, or the prospective candidate’s firm, has already undergone a thorough review process.

Demographic Experience

When selecting your PM, it is critical to understand the history of their local involvement in previous projects. Local government representatives will often give permitting preference to planned projects featuring a PM with local experience, stellar local reputation, and other related factors. This one value-add can meaningfully shorten the permitting timeline from application to actual ground-breaking.

Another key advantage of demographic experience is the General Contractor (GC) component. As a developer, your project’s opportunity costs can be meaningfully curtailed by leveraging pre-existing relationships between your future/potential PM and the GC/GCs with whom he or she works. In an effort to ensure timely bidding, adherence to cost projections/assumptions, etc., the advantages gained through this pre-existing relationship should not be discounted.

Thorough Review of Previous Project Management “Gantt-to-Actual” Performance

Candidate PMs should be prepared to provide you with sufficient detail to give you a historical snapshot of their ability to keep each phase of their previously managed project on time, and mapped to the pro forma cost assumptions. Their history in this capacity is vital to predicting the future outcome of your project, potential time and costs overages, and what you should expect relative to your project’s disposition at each milestone.

Depending on the size and scope of your project, you likely will have 200+ individuals under the direction of the PM, ranging from the GC, to engineers, architects, attorneys — the list is long. The graphic attached below provides an overview of project aspects that a typical PM’s purvey will include. We encourage you to reach out to Steele Waters with any questions you may have about the selection of a competent and well-respected PM to best service your project’s needs.