Why should you consider the services of PML Project Management, Inc?

There are many and varied lists outlining the road to a successful real estate development and construction project. There are as many lists of pitfalls to avoid. The following list reflects the experiences of PML gleaned from over the 35+ years of service in the design and construction industry.

Effecting these requirements for success is not difficult for the experienced Project Manager (PM), but each item is critical to the success of your project. Without a confident and competent project manager at the helm of your project, you are open to a host of obstacles ready to derail the project and waste your investment.


  1. Focused Planning: Your business plan, program needs, budget constraints, scheduling pinch points, the impact on your present business and your own focus, all need to be considered when planning your project. PML is a voice of experience at your side informing your decision making, budgeting, scheduling, etc. Without an experienced PM, your planning is based on too many unknowns and on variables defined by “educated (or not so educated) guesses”. Uninformed decision making during the planning phase can erupt in disaster after you are committed to the project.


  1. The chosen project delivery system must be matched to the needs driving the project, the schedule and your budget to enable you to assemble the correct team. There are various project delivery  and contract options; Design/Bid/Build, Design/Build, Agency CM, At Risk CM, General Contracting, Lump Sum Price, Guaranteed Maximum Price, Cost Plus A Fee, Fixed Fee for Design, Percentage Fees, Fast Track, Phased Construction, etc. The list goes on with many good time tested options. The only limit to the variations of delivery method is your imagination (and hopefully, good business practice). The trick is to choose the option that best suits the project Owner’s needs. It is easy to be talked into using the system that best suits the Design team’s mode of operation or the Builders’ business plan or comfort level. You need to be informed about each option and its’ impact on YOUR business plan and YOUR company’s modus operandi. PML offers insight into these delivery systems so you can choose what is most suitable for your situation.


  1. Assembling the best project team is possibly the one item paramount to all others when effecting a successful project. Choosing the design and construction team has to be more thoughtful than responding to the pressures of a trustee or the suggestion of a senior company officer. Listening to the advice of a staff member’s neighbor who recently added on a kitchen wing at home may direct you to a good house builder, but you may not be building a house! The Architect or Builder who sent his child to your school (and is a potential donor!) may not be the right team member for your project. You have a project to build, not an interpersonal or business relationship to foster. Keep your eye on the right goal. PML is engaged to make your project successful. Let us be the professional voice that allows you to excuse yourself from using the neighbor’s house builder on your project.


  1. Coordinating the team is the job of PML. Good designers and builders realize that the only means to a successful project, for both them and their client, is to work with a well coordinated team. Each team member contracted with the Owner is required to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in their individual contracts. They also know that the Owner has contractual responsibilities required of him or her. An accomplished PM is ready to insist that the project Architect and Builder perform their jobs, and that the Owner satisfies his/her responsibilities in a timely manner. An experienced PM understands the obligations facing all parties and facilitates each team member’s work to help the entire team meet their obligations in a coordinated manner.


  1. Scope changes happen on all projects. The notion that a project can unfold from start to finish without any change is not realistic. Being prepared for change is a must for a successful project. Your project cannot stand still while you try to figure out how to make a change that impacts budgets, schedules, and phasing. Change impacts each team member, and you, as project Owner, need to have a guide who can authoritatively analyze and inform you of the impact claimed by the other parties. Timeliness in decision making is critical when it comes to Change Orders recommended by the Architect or offered by the Builder. PML informs your decision making and suggests how quickly you need to react to Change Orders.


  1. Failure to understand the design and construction process is the most readily available pitfall on most projects. You, the project Owner are not generally a Builder or an Architect. You provide medical services, manufacture widgets, teach students, house families, or maybe manage an office of professionals. You don’t design or build buildings. You cannot finesse your way to a successful project just because you are good at your profession. Each team member engaged on your project has real issues facing them; issues that you quite likely do not fully understand. Partnering successfully with architects, builders, suppliers, movers, etc, requires that everyone has at least a minimal understanding of the other team members’ needs, goals, hopes and restrictions for each project. You will see from Phil LaClaire’s CV that he has served on all sides of the table in positions of authority and responsibility. That experience is critical to understanding the challenges facing each team member as we all work together through a project striving for a win-win for all. Remember: when one party loses, all parties of the project team suffer. The Owner is not immune to suffering from other’s losses.


  1. Schedule tracking: PML Project Management, Inc. utilizes either Primavera Suretrak© or Microsoft Project© scheduling programs as needed to track the design team and construction team’s progress. The Architect and the Builder are each required by contract to provide a project schedule that 1) convinces the Owner that the scheduling goals for the project are based on thoughtful and realistic planning, and subsequently 2) to commit the resources needed to meet that schedule. It is commonplace for industry professionals to disagree on the feasibility of other’s project scheduling. PML has authored, studied, critiqued, monitored and met many and varied schedules over 35+ years in the business. We are in a position to work closely with the Architect and Builder to help them establish and meet schedules to the success of the project.


  1. Meetings and Owner representation at the table: PML attends design team meetings periodically throughout the design phase and then participates in the weekly meetings during the construction phase. There is no better way to stay in touch with the project delivery than to meet face to face with the team players on a regular basis. Your project budget, quality control, and scheduling are discussed at each meeting. It is unrealistic to believe that the Owner does not have to be represented in those discussions. These discussions and resultant meeting minutes form the file which informs many important decisions. PML provides an experienced voice at the table while weighty decisions are being sought.


  1. A Quality project matters to you: All designers and builders intend to provide you with a quality product. The pressures of business; time constraints, money shortfalls, and resource juggling, all tempt the team to shortcut quality at some point. When the Owner has an experienced PM on the project team, the team is encouraged to bring their challenges to the table so that it can work at maintaining quality while addressing the constraints that are threatening the success of the team members or the project. It is not enough to beat the “quality counts” drum ever louder while the team members are facing business problems that will inevitably undue the quality of the project. The PM must help the team figure a way to meet their contractual obligation while keeping their own project and business goals on track, if possible.


  1. Resolving troublesome, counter-purposed challenges during the project delivery process. There is an age-old approach that nearly guarantees success in any project: make certain that the various team members have incentives for completing your project successfully (by their definition of “success”). The Owner is not the only person on the team with goals for the project. Each team member wants to realize financial profit, enhanced reputation, growth in their companies experience level, and personal accolades, to name a few incentives. If the team works together, each realistic incentive can very likely be met. A true win-win situation will assure your project succeeds. PML has regularly and successfully sought to make each project a success for all parties. It is a realistic goal, and well worth the benefits realized. The Owner wins along with all team members!


When considering your next project, weigh these potential pitfalls against the joy of being the Owner of a successful project.

Engaging PML Project Management, Inc. is the first and best step toward enjoying a successful project.