We get called by a lot of different names in our line of work. When our clients think of the various project consultants, they have a solid idea of the exact job each performs based upon their consistent titles, such as general contractor, architect, or electrical engineer. It seems that as the Project Management field has grown over the several years, so have our titles:

  • Owner’s Representative
  • Construction Manager (CM)
  • Construction Manager Advisor
  • Program Manager
  • Project Manager

While all might fit, depending upon the job, they are not exactly interchangeable. Here are some subtleties between them:

  • Owner’s Representative – entity that manages on Owner’s behalf; usually has an agreement only with the Owner and no other entity.
  • Construction Manager (CM) – Similar to an Owner’s Representative but will hire and manage subcontractors on the Owner’s behalf. The CM doesn’t hold the agreements with the subs, the Owner does.
  • Program Manager- Owner’s Representative that is managing multiple projects for one Owner.
  • Project Manager- This is where it gets a little blurry. A Project Manager could refer to the person leading the Program Management, Construction Management or the Owner’s Representative. Many of our RFPs will simply request project management services, which is fine, as long as the scope of the project and detailed work items are combined.

So, tell me, what do you call me?

~ Paul Wember, Owner’s Representative