There is a place for both a project manager and a construction manager on a given construction project. Each role has a different set of responsibilities and a different expertise. Watchdog’s Joe Farah discusses the key differences, as outlined below:
The construction manager oversees the specific trades in the field. The CM is an expert in building trades including electrical, carpentry, plumbing and general construction, etc. They oversee day-to-day operations from pre-construction through the project punch list. The CM is involved in personnel management at the construction site and will ensure that materials are delivered on time, that tools are available and that resources are properly allocated.
Your project manager is onboard for a longer portion of the project and therefore has more insight into the project’s goal, outside of schedule and budget. Your PM team understands the vision of the project and what the highest priorities are for the project stakeholders. Your PM will hold all consultants, including the CM accountable to these priorities.
The PM is truly the guardian of the project. The team oversees all aspects, vets all changes, invoices, costs, etc. and makes sure that the project is success in achieving budget, schedule, and desired goals such as sustainability, comfort, design aesthetic, functionality, etc.