What is an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM)?

An owner’s project manager (OPM) is a valuable asset to any owner. They provide a range of essential services throughout all stages of a project. With an OPM at the helm, projects run more smoothly and complex goals are more easily met.

An OPM operates as part of the project team, but they work under a separate contract held with the owner. Their role is to act on behalf of the owner to oversee the entire project. This can include the planning, design, construction, commissioning, as well as the closeout phases.

An owner’s project manager reports directly to the owner and always acts on their instructions and in their best interest. As an expert in all areas of design and construction they offer the owner valuable and unbiased advice throughout all stages of a project.

Why do I need an OPM?

If you already have a qualified team working on your project, you may wonder why you need to hire a separate owner’s project manager. An OPM is different from the rest of the team in one very important way: they work for you, the owner. Everything they do will be in your interests alone.

This means they offer expert impartial advice with no conflicting interest. With them at the helm overseeing your project, they can help expertly navigate any issues that may arise, as well as prevent problems from occurring in the first place. There are many things that can go wrong in a construction project, from unforeseen construction issues, exceeding the construction schedule, or running significantly over budget. Having an OPM oversee your project can mitigate those risks and many more.

What services does an OPM provide?

An OPM performs a range of services throughout all stages of a project, depending on what your needs are. Their goal is to reduce costs, maximize value, ensure construction quality, and keep the project on budget and schedule.

Key OPM services include:

Budget and schedule development/management

An OPM assists with budget development for the project, providing options for best value and efficiency. They also make sure that the project stays on budget and that unnecessary costs are avoided. The owner’s project manager will also provide proactive schedule management. This is to avoid delays and make sure the project is completed on time.

Design oversight and review

The best time to hire an OPM is before the design phase even begins. With them acting as the owner’s advocate during the planning and design stages of the process, they can oversee and review the designs to ensure the owner’s needs are being met. They can also ensure that applicable codes and regulations are being followed and considered from the very beginning of a project.

Construction coordination and monitoring

The OPM is also involved throughout the entire construction phase of the project. They may even manage contractor procurement and pre-qualification. They closely observe the construction through all stages to make sure everything is being completed on-time and according to the designs.

This means they are frequently on-site and in constant communication with all the different moving parts of a construction project, such as the construction manager, contractors, and commissioning agents. They can also perform construction risk assessments to proactively identify potential problems before they arise.

FF&E move management

Once construction is complete, the OPM can also oversee the building occupancy process. This includes managing and coordinating the process of tenants moving into the building and the installation of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E).

Punch list and closeout management

Finally, an OPM makes sure that the project is closed out properly. They check that all contractual obligations have been met. They also create a punch list: a summary of all tasks that were not completed during the project.

Whether building a new property or re-developing an existing one, hiring an owner’s project manager will ensure that your best interests are well represented. An OPM will also ensure that your projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to a high level of quality.

Contact us to learn how our expert team of project managers can support your organization in your next construction project.