What's best - A Project Manager or Project Administrator?
This article was submitted by Subdivision & Construction Management [aka SCM Projects]
What's the difference? One may end up being very costly.
Here at Site Surveys we have been involved with SCM on many successful projects.
Now just because this article has been submitted by a project manager don't start thinking there is bias. Don’t be fooled or seduced into thinking that there is no difference between Project Administrators & Project Managers because there is and it’s substantial and ignorance of it may cause substantial delays to your project, cost you a lot of money, and possibly even result in lengthy disputes, the sum of which will be frustration and loss of profit.
Here at SCM we are Project Managers, not just Project Administrators. Yes, the Project Management (PM) role does encompass project administration but it’s a lot more than that. As the complexity of developing property has increased over time it has become a key specialty area in recent times.
Getting the Roles Right:
Property Development Projects do require highly qualified Specialists to fulfill their various roles. As well intentioned as some of these other specialists in the property development space may be [e.g. Town Planners, Surveyors, building designers etc] if they were to offer to ‘Administer’ your project, the truth is that it’s likely to require a much more “Hands On” approach than they will provide to bring it to fruition in a timely manner within the budget that is compliant with Council and other local bylaws, ensuring you obtain all necessary ticks of approval for your project to be signed off.
Project Administrators (PA’s) [sometimes also called Contract Administrators] rarely if ever leave the office or visit the project site whereas Project Managers are frequently on site physically inspecting the various aspects of the project as it proceeds, and in face to face meetings with Contractors, other Consultants, Council Inspectors to name a few.
At SCM we have both:
With no intention to belittle a true PA role, it is essentially that of a paper shuffler and will involve such things as assembling quotes or processing claims. They are receivers & dispatchers – not drivers, and from our observations, projects tend to drift. In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to pick up projects that have started in this way and have subsequently gone off the rails. What’s more we often get our best testimonies from such project owners.
Here at SCM because our Project Administrators work in a true ‘hand in glove’ relationship with the PM, they are much more involved in your project often making countless follow up phone calls for all sorts of things, setting up meetings, keeping timelines etc to name a few but it’s the PM with the intimate knowledge of what the project requires who will interpret the relevance of those quotes or claims or technical drawings etc as the case may be as they apply to each specific project.
A Project Manager is invested in outcomes:
Project Managers have sometimes been likened to a movie director and just like movie directors a true Project Manager is genuinely invested in the outcome – he drives the project and is ‘in the swim’ so to speak all the way through – he’s there at the end, whereas many PA’s, from our observation, tend to take a more passive, detached role. Furthermore, often the PA role is secondary to their primary specialty.
All projects vary to different degrees so a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work – and will inevitably cause problems. Projects do require highly qualified Specialists to fulfill their various roles and it’s the Project Manager’s role in applying his ‘whole of project’ knowledge and experience to bring them together to form a successful team.
Teamwork is key:
A good team is made up of good specialists in their specific role. For instance, the ‘Wicket Keeper’ in a cricket team cannot, at the same time, fulfill the role of ‘bowler’, just as the ‘Coach’ is not going to take on the role of ‘opening batsmen’ nor the ‘fast bowlers’ keeping wicket. Each are specialists in their role.
Here at SCM we specialise in property development project management. We put the "O" for organising into Teamwork. Our strength is in knowing what’s involved in the different development projects, and importantly, knowing who is needed to do what and when. This also involves knowing the policies and processes of the various Councils that can affect the outcome in different ways.
We have in-depth knowledge of the correct project sequencing, knowing exactly when each step must be taken so we can schedule ahead. This means that we have all contractors engaged and ready to go as soon as they are required on the job, which ultimately, saves you valuable project time and as we all know, time is money.
You may have heard the saying “start with the end in mind”? This is exactly what we do every time, working backwards from getting those new titles with each inspection and milestone already set and allotted into an organised and achievable pathway. As Confucius reportedly said – ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ recognizing the need not just to make a start but also that a journey involves many steps. Here at SCM we take all those steps on your behalf.
Project Management is about planning to get your job done in the most time efficient and cost-effective way and then ensuring that the project stays on track. We deal with any day-to-day problems that might turn up, with minimal involvement on your part. Project Administrators leave all those things for you to sort out.
At SCM we apply a ‘Solution based Strategy’ for your project based on our combined knowledge, skill and experience to make your project a success including town houses, home units and of course land subdivisions and even high quality single custom designed & built homes and major home renovations. Please make contact with us if you have a project that you would like to discuss