Buildings & Boardrooms - Part 1

Hi. I'm Sarah. I started my work term here at Vigilant on August 25th, nearly a month ago now. I am not a Project Manager (PM), nor do I work as a PM, even though that is our core business. I am a Commerce co-op student with no background in project management, engineering, or even construction for that matter. Despite all of this, I have managed to develop a reasonable understanding of the industry. However, my understanding does not come from the technical side, but from the business side. This is what I’ve learned so far.

One of the things that has become clear are the project stakeholders. Stakeholders are the people, or in many cases, the companies, who have a direct interest in a project; at the very core of projects, there are three traditional stakeholders involved:

  • The project Owner. This is who initiates the project, foots the bill, and is the final decision maker on a project.

  • The Designer(s) or the Prime Consultant. These are generally the Architects and/or Engineers in charge of project design, and many times they assist the Owner on the rest of the project team development and even project management.

  • The Contractor. This is the company or group that is awarded the contract to physically construct what the Designers design.

Generally, each stakeholder is completely independent from all of the others; it is only for the term of the project that these three stakeholders connect. We believe that each of the stakeholders wants the same thing: for the project to go smoothly, and for everyone to make a profit. However, most construction projects have some issues, and throughout the duration of a project, these can have a snowball effect; what was once a small issue may now result in major project inefficiencies.

You’re probably now thinking to yourself, “Okay, so what? What does that mean?” To be honest, so was I. Identifying the stakeholders seems pretty basic, right? Well, bear with me, I’m coming to understand that the relationship among these stakeholders can be tricky, and that the quality of that relationship can have a big impact on how well (or not well) a project moves forward. Throughout the weeks, I will use my blog to relate what I learn about these relationships, where project issues appear to lie, the resultant project consequences, and how they can be mitigated. If you give me some time, and a bit of your patience, I will lay out an argument in the best, most logical way I know how.

If you have any questions on this please contact us on Twitter @Vigilant_PM or on LinkedIn

All the best,

- Sarah

The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.
— Joseph Joubert