All too often we hear of projects running into problems because the employer has chosen not to appoint a PM. This decision is usually driven by a preconception that this is an unnecessary expense, or from a previous poor experience.

So how does a PM add value?

The simple answer is ‘when the PM does more than just act as a postbox and is properly engaged in the pre and post contract processes’. It should be a hands-on management role.

Sadly, too many PMs consider projects to be a tick box exercise and rarely contribute beyond managing spreadsheets, or take any responsibility for the delivery of the project.

This is not what clients need.

The function of the PM is to guide the client and the consultants through the complex issues of team building, design, procurement and project delivery. It requires a pro-active approach to ensure that risks are identified early and can be mitigated effectively, engagement with the design process to steer and manage the work streams, and maintain prompt and effective communication with all parties.

The PM should be the main conduit for communication with the contractor, to ensure that the project runs smoothly during the construction phase, and record all details of the project to protect the parties from future disagreements or disputes.

Effective management and attention to detail will ensure that everyone is doing their best to deliver the project on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.

It is essential that the PM is appointed early enough to set things up in the right way from the outset. We have known instances where tenants could not start fitting-out works because their Landlord would not grant consent and had no obligation to perform within reasonable timescales, or could not decide which contractor to appoint because the quotations they had obtained directly were not comparable and did not represent the works the client wanted to undertake. In both cases, these situations are entirely avoidable if managed correctly, through the provision of early strategic advice to ensure that clients are guided through the whole process, even before the hands-on PM role is required.

As the construction industry becomes ever more complex, with design requirements, statutory compliance, efficiencies and sustainability all needing to be co-ordinated, more than ever the project management role needs to be a hands-on process with experienced senior involvement.

BWP is an independent specialist consultancy where all projects are led by a Director, supported by a team of professional PMs with experience relevant to the type of project. We provide a best in class service and have an excellent track record of delivering success for our clients through our user friendly, practical and dedicated approach to project management.