Time was, when you had a big construction or renovation job, you hired a general contractor, and if the job was big enough, that contractor hired subcontractors.
But in recent decades, a new player has entered into the process, helping with not just individual projects, but building-wide and multi-building jobs: the construction manager. The “CM” as he or she is often known, takes pressure off owners and managers by overseeing the job and coordinating between contractors, building administrators, and sometimes even residents.
Selecting a CM
Not every project calls for a CM's expertise, so it's important for boards and managers to consider whether or not their particular project would benefit from having some professional oversight and management. Obviously using a CM adds to a project's price tag—so why hire one?
There can be many reasons: project size, building size, product duration, cost and complexity. The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), a nationwide organization headquartered in McLean, Virginia, breaks down a construction manager’s responsibilities as project management planning, cost management, safety management, contract administration, cost management and quality control.
These functions can be further broken down to include developing and directing a formal construction management plan, organizing and leading a project team, developing project budgets and cash flow, reviewing design documents, keeping abreast of safety legislation and workers’ compensation law, and monitoring workers' compliance with job site safety protocols.