Searching for a construction project management service can be a challenging process. There are a wide variety of firms out there, which can lead to a long and arduous search for finding a construction manager that’s the right fit for your specific organization and project. Sifting through the different options can result in wasted time and money, and can ultimately lead to costly project delays.

When choosing a construction management service there are some key factors that you should incorporate into your search. These factors will help you refine your search quickly, reducing time spent on the search, as well as aid you in choosing the best project management service for you. Choosing the right construction manager is a critically important part of your management plans. By working with an effective construction manager you can ensure that your project stays on schedule and within your budgetary constraints from start to finish. This helps you avoid any costly delays, while also making the process of building out your dream project as seamless as possible.

In this article, we’ll outline some helpful tips you can use to find the best construction management service providers for your specific project and organization. It should be understood from the outset that while some construction management services may be objectively more appealing, ultimately you’ll want to choose the one that is the best fit for you. You will need to work closely with your construction manager, so you will want to choose one you can communicate easily and effectively with. At the same time, a construction manager will be overseeing the day-to-day business of bringing your project to life, so you will need to find a construction manager that you can trust. These are two important factors that should be included in your search criteria, but they are by no means the only things you should be looking for. Let’s take a look at the most important factors that you should incorporate into your search for effective construction and project management services.

Why Choose a Construction Management Service?

Many organizations get frustrated when searching for a construction management service, and ultimately question why they are even searching for one in the first place. There are many benefits to working with a construction manager, but some of these may not be readily apparent from the outset. Understanding these benefits can both inform and shape your search, as it can highlight the key factors that you should be looking for when choosing a construction manager.

Construction managers occupy an oversight and coordination role for construction projects. Although you may rely on a general contractor to fulfill this role if you are building a small or simple project, for larger and complex projects it quickly becomes necessary to have an entity that is coordinating and overseeing each aspect of the construction project. Too often, construction projects get bogged down in delays that lead to cost overages and project stagnation. Avoiding this requires a team-leader that coordinates between entities involved in the project and that is capable of identifying areas that can lead to delay or additional cost and producing solutions before those areas become bigger issues.

Effective construction managers accomplish this through extensive expertise in all facets of design and construction. Through their knowledge and experience, construction managers can identify issues before they become big problems and create realistic avenues for moving forward without incurring delays. At the same time, large and complex projects have a lot of moving parts. Each entity involved in the project must have the information they need, when they need it, in order to do their job effectively. If there is a bottleneck in the flow of information, this can quickly lead to a breakdown of the entire process. As such, construction managers need to be skilled at facilitating the flow of information between the different parties involved in the project. Everyone from designers, architects, general contractors, vendors, and the client themselves must be on the same page in order for a construction project to move forward seamlessly. Construction managers provide valuable assistance in bringing all of these parties together and ensuring that they have the information they need to do their job.

The construction management service you choose to work with can have a big impact on the end result of your project. Making your dream project a reality can be daunting, but an effective construction manager can simplify and streamline the process. One misconception about construction managers is that by utilizing one you will relegate yourself to the sidelines. This is far from the reality, as the client and construction manager must work together closely to ensure that the final project adheres closely to the desired wishes of the client, including the budgetary constraints and project timeline. At the same time, a construction manager takes on the majority of the tedious work that is required to bring a large and complex project to fruition. They can help guide you through the permitting process, liaison between different parties involved in the project, and provide day-to-day oversight of the project while keeping you informed every step of the way. Choosing to work with a construction management service is an important step towards bringing your project to life, but choosing the right construction management service is essential for making this process as easy and seamless as possible.

Focus on Services

You’ll want to work with a construction manager that offers a full suite of services. This should be one of your first considerations when choosing a construction manager and is an easy way to quickly reduce your search to a manageable level. Each construction management firm offers different levels of construction and project management services, and these services can each add value in their own way.

When assessing the services that construction management firms offer, you will want to keep in mind a few basic things. Their services should be comprehensive, meaning that the construction manager and management team you choose to work with should be able to guide you through the entire process of bringing your project to life. These services should ideally include experience in assembling a design, engineering, and architectural team, as well as the evaluation and selection of general contractors. Some construction management firms will assist you in the permitting process, which is especially important for navigating the sometimes complex regulatory landscape that exists in certain locations.

If the construction project manager you are thinking about working with doesn’t offer strategic plan development services, you should strongly consider finding one that does. Developing a strategic plan for large and complex projects is essential for ensuring that your project stays on schedule. Construction project management teams that offer this service understand the importance of having an overarching plan in place that can be used as a guide and reference point for the entire project. As such, you’ll want to make sure that the construction management team you work with understands the importance of creating a clear development plan from the outset of any project.

There are additional services that construction managers offer that are a boon to any project. These include accounting and document management, construction activity oversight, and facilitating communication between the client and vendors. Now, you may not utilize all of these services equally. However, each can be important for avoiding costly delays and ensuring accountability between all parties involved in the project.

Look at Their Philosophy

Once you have narrowed down your search to construction management firms that offer the full range of services you need to bring your project to completion, it’s time to refine your search even further. The next step is to find a construction management firm whose guiding philosophy will support bringing your project to completion. What’s especially important here is to look for a construction manager that understands that communication is key to bringing a large-scale construction project to fruition.

You might be wondering why a focus on communication is so important. Many construction management firms may offer the full range of services you desire. Of these, the construction manager that understands the importance of communication will be the one that is most likely to result in a positive experience. This is because communication is one of the most important components of what a construction manager does. Through their coordination function, construction managers ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page. This should obviously include the client, but too often clients feel like they are on the sidelines and the construction manager is taking the reins. You’ll want to work with a construction manager that will listen closely to exactly what you want out of the project, and then work to make those dreams a reality throughout the entire process. This requires someone that is adept at communicating not only with you but with the other stakeholders in the project.

By choosing to work with a construction manager that understands the importance of communication, you will be more likely to avoid any potential delays that might crop up as a result of miscommunication. This might seem like a small thing, but it is actually incredibly important. Each different entity involved in a construction project must have the information they need, when they need it, to ensure that they are able to meet objectives according to the project timeline. For example, if the engineering team is waiting for information from the design team, this can result in costly delays before the engineers can finish their portion of the project. The importance of communication is key in projects of all size, but for large or complex construction projects with many moving parts, communication becomes even more critical. Each team member must have the information they need to do their job, and construction managers are ultimately responsible for ensuring this is the case. As such, construction managers need to understand the importance of communication and use that as a guiding principle throughout the project.

Look at Their Experience

Ideally, you’ll want to work with a construction manager that has extensive experience which aligns with your project and goals. This means that you’ll want to focus on construction management firms that have demonstrated experience bringing projects to completion that are similar in complexity and scope to your project. This isn’t to say that a construction manager that doesn’t have experience with large projects wouldn’t be capable of bringing your project to completion. Rather, you simply don’t know if they would without a demonstrated history of doing so. This introduces a level of risk into your project that could otherwise be avoided by choosing to work with a construction management company that has extensive experience related to your project.

During your search, take some time to look at each potential construction manager’s portfolio of completed projects. These should give you a good sense of whether they have the required experience necessary to bring your project to completion successfully. You’ll want to make sure that the construction management team has demonstrated experience in all aspects of construction management. While a firm may offer a specific service, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a track record of providing that service. As such, you’ll want to exercise a certain level of due diligence during your search to ensure that the services they offer align closely with their history of construction management.

Closing Thoughts

Choosing a construction management service can seem daunting at first, but once you break the search down into more manageable parts it becomes much easier. At a basic level, you should seek out construction management firms that offer a full range of services that span the entirety of the construction process, from bringing your ideas to life on paper to making them a reality on the ground. Because communication is such an important part of what a construction manager does, you’ll want to work with a construction management firm whose guiding philosophy puts communication at the forefront of their efforts. At the same time, you should be working with a construction management firm that has a demonstrated record of bringing projects to completion that are similar in complexity, scope, and budget to your own project. By starting with these three criteria, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best construction management service for you. Contact Gilliland Construction Management today to discuss how our construction management service can help your project.

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By Kirt Gilliland

Jan 07, 2019