When I started working at Vigilant Management, I had very little knowledge of the construction industry. RFP? What? Change orders? Huh? These were all foreign concepts to me. On my first day of work, the process of Owner’s Project Management was explained to me. It was explained that this is what Vigilant specializes in. We work with the owner to guide a project from the idea phase to the day you cut the ribbon. Never before had I encountered a concept so simple but yet so effective. Allow me to break it down from a laymen’s perspective:
An Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) works for you and only you. Have you ever wondered what it is like to have someone on your side of the table during a project? That’s where an OPM comes in. An OPM acts as your eyes and ears during a project. When something goes wrong or not as planned, you, the owner, are the first to know. An OPM drives the bus that is your construction project. They act as you. If you’re the owner, shouldn’t you be in charge of the project? The most important part of Owner’s Project Management, as I see it, is the day to day management of a project. An OPM does regular on site supervision to ensure what is supposed to be done is being done. Doesn’t that just make sense? If you only check in with a project once in every little while, a whole array of things could go wrong. An OPN acts as your guide all the while ensuring that your project is on time and on budget.
I have very little experience with construction; I mean I can barely hammer in a nail. But it has occurred to me that the majority of people have very little experience with construction. If I was going to build something, I would want someone to help me make sure that all of the nails are hammered in correctly. To make sure that my project is completed the way I envisioned it. One of my dreams is open up my own comic book store (if you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a huge nerd). While I may know a lot about Superman or Batman, I don’t know the first thing about constructing a facility to house my comic business. So if I ever get lucky enough to venture into that business and do something I love, my first phone call will be to an OPM. Because when you venture into a realm that is unknown to you, you should have a guide. Luke Skywalker had Obi Wan. Batman had Alfred. And you should have an Owner’s Project Manager.