project manager

Architect v Project Manager

15th September 2021   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

Learn why it pays to appoint a specialist project manager for your construction project

If you’re new to property development or construction projects, you will probably know an architect is needed for the design of your project, but when it comes to the delivery of the building onsite, can your architect manage the full process or do you need to appoint a specialist project manager?

Architects can, and often do, project manage the delivery of buildings from start to finish. However, a better question to ask might be – are they the best option?

Read on and learn why it pays to appoint a specialist project manager.

First and foremost, architects are designers

Architects love to design new buildings or changes to existing ones. Specialist project managers love to deliver finished projects. 

Of course it’s important to work with an architect to achieve your design goals but when it comes to coordinating professional teams, managing risk and preventing/resolving disputes, a specialist project manager is a powerful member of your team. 

Project management is a complex technical role

It takes years of training and industry experience to become a fully qualified architect. 

The same is true for professional project managers who will typically hold an industry relevant degree, post graduate professional qualifications and will be a member of a professional body such as the APM, CIOB or RICS. In addition to their qualifications and memberships, your project manager should be able to provide examples of projects they have worked on during their career. 

In learning their craft, a professional project manager will have developed a unique skill set that allows them to build a collaborative professional team and manage the onsite delivery of large and complex projects. 

Far from being an ‘additional cost’ to the project, a specialist project manager should add clear value including around managing and mitigating risks, controlling costs and dealing with delivery risks. 

Continuity counts

Depending on the project, your chosen architect may not be involved for the entire project. For example, if you are using a Design & Build contract, your architect is likely to step away from the project after a specific RIBA stage (typically RIBA stage 2 or 3) has been completed. The technical design phase is then completed by the contractor’s design team. Whilst the architect may be novated to the contractor’s team, this is by no means guaranteed.

By contrast, when you work with a specialist project manager from the outset, they will have been involved in the early RIBA stages of design development alongside your architect. This means that they will have a detailed understanding of your project goals and aspirations and will ensure those goals remain central to the project as construction progresses.

Project Managers are puzzle masters

Construction projects almost always run into some delivery challenges as the build progresses. To a certain extent, it’s the nature of the beast. But the action taken when that happens has a direct impact on the project outcomes. 

A good project manager thrives on the challenge of solving puzzles in order to keep your project on track for time, cost and quality. An experienced project manager will be able to draw on a raft of past projects/experience and uses this rich mix of industry knowledge to devise innovative solutions. 

The key difference between architects and project managers

When you choose a specialist project manager you are engaging a professional whose specialism is the management of your project from start to finish. 

Your project manager will be wholly responsible for, and focused on, the delivery of the project in accordance with your goals & objectives and placing your requirements at the centre of the service delivery. They are not distracted by design issues and will even challenge the design team to ultimately deliver the optimum solution that meets your requirements.

How Evolution5 can help you?

Evolution5 has a technically qualified, experienced and highly skilled team of specialist project managers who build collaborative client teams to facilitate high quality project delivery for construction projects. 

Evolution5 is a professional consultancy offering project management, quantity surveying, employer’s agent, contract administration principal designer and CDM advisor services for projects across London and the South East.

If you have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.