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Many times, a project manager is engaged once drawings are complete and the client is ramping up for construction. While our team is no stranger to coming in once a project has already taken off, there are many crucial reasons that it is more suitable to engage a project manager before much of the project timeline has passed by.
In some instances, we see client and vendor teams that do not collaborate well. Project managers can assist the client when engaging vendors such as architects and engineers, ensuring each is an appropriate fit for the client and that their visions best align with the client’s specific needs. The architect, for example, is an integral part of the project and will establish how the client will engage and function within their new space.
Early engagement with a project manager allows for timely planning with owner furnished vendors such as AV, data, and furniture. These vendors are best to bring into the project early so that all information can be coordinated directly with the architect and incorporated into design documents before construction, ultimately leading to less change orders and unexpected financial commitments later in the project.
With the early engagement of a project manager, the client receives additional review and expertise throughout the drawing phase. Many project managers are former architects and designers who are used to sitting on both sides of the table. This allows the project manager to assist in identifying any opportunities for cost savings and avoiding errors that could lead to change orders and additional costs later in construction. This also gives the project manager the appropriate understanding of the budget and schedule needs of the client which can protect from the “over-designing” of a project and ultimately reduce VE needs while also allowing proper management of project budget and schedule.
The most important intangible piece of any project is team cohesion. Early engagement of a project manager allows the PM to establish relationships with all vendors up front to keep a seamless line of communication and direct point of contact from conception through completion of a project.
-Christina Reggio, Project Manager with Watchdog Real Estate Project Management