September 20, 2017 Article

How an Owners' Project Manager Can Smooth Collaboration

Engineering News-Record

As the construction industry has moved toward more collaborative forms of project delivery, many owners have begun engaging outside professionals who are known as owners project managers (OPMs). They assist with overall project planning, coordination and project oversight beyond what is typically performed by the owners’ design professionals. They also serve as a liaison between the owner and project team.

Many contractors feel that OPMs often cause more harm than good and that these professionals should be unnecessary for any high-quality construction manager who would be just as effective doing what’s right for the project without a “watchdog.” Contractors also lament the lack of direct communications with their customer, particularly when conflicts arise and when they feel the OPM may be casting them in a bad light or simply filtering the truth.

The irony is that the more effective an OPM is at building healthy team relationships, including personal and cross-team accountability, the less he or she is needed.