The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) is North America’s only organization dedicated exclusively to the interests of professional Construction Project Management
What is Construction Management?
Construction Management, or CM, is a service that uses specialized, project management techniques to manage the planning, design, and construction of a project, from its beginning to its end. The purpose of CM is to control a project's time, cost and quality. CM is compatible with all project delivery systems, including design-bid-build, design-build, CM At-Risk and Public Private Partnerships. No matter the setting, a CM's responsibility is to the owner, and to a successful project. [More...]
Who are Construction Managers?
Every construction project features some amount of CM. However, professional construction managers (CMs) are typically reserved for capital projects which are generally lengthy, large-scale, high budget undertakings, like commercial real estate, transportation infrastructure, hospitals, industrial facilities, etc. The project's commissioning entity is the owner. Few owners maintain the staff resources necessary to pay close, continuing attention to each of the projects details – yet these details can make or break a project. As such, these projects require a dedicated management professional.
Why Are CMs Used?
At its core, a capital project is made up of three parties (excluding the CM):
- The Owner, who commissions and subsequently funds the project.
- The General Contractor, who oversees day-to-day operations and manages specialized subcontractors.
- The Architect, who designs the project.
These parties perform vastly different functions from one another, and in most cases, come from different organizations. The CM's job is to skillfully manage these three parties in order to deliver the project on time, at or under budget, and to the owner's expected standard of quality. It is important to understand that professional CMs are not general contractors or constructors. They typically do not perform the actual construction tasks themselves, but rather act as an advisor to or agent of the owner, charged with assuring projects progress smoothly and achieve the owner’s business objectives.
To control a project's time, cost, and quality, the CM leads a team of specialists. These specialists oversee different aspects of construction project management, including scheduling, safety, cost-estimation, design, quality assurance and more.
How are CMs Trained?
A Construction Manager is either a member of a capital project owner's staff, a consultant, or in some cases, a consultant/contractor hybrid. Most CMs come from a civil engineering background. Many of the top CMs also have extensive A/E/C industry experience as a contractor or architect.
Construction management has always been unofficially practiced. However, it emerged as an independent profession in the late 1970's. Due to the growing demand for professional CMs, Construction management has developed into its own, unique academic discipline. CMAA has joined forces with international accrediting agency, ABET to launch a criteria for undergraduate CM programs. This accreditation has already been adopted by several universities, including BYU, with many more schools in the application process.
What is CMAA?
CMAA was formed in 1982 as a way to establish a set of standards for managing capital construction projects. Construction management is rooted in traditional project management practices, however, it requires its own unique set of skills and professional knowledge to perform. One of CMAA's goals is to help the CM profession further develop its own unique identity within the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry.
What Does CMAA Represent?
The professional construction management services concept has grown out of a universal recognition throughout the design and construction community that quality-focused, cost-effective, dispute- and injury-free project delivery does not occur without a deliberate commitment and effort to manage the project delivery process. The cost and complexity of today’s capital projects, the importance of time, and the need to deal with unanticipated events and unforeseen conditions all argue the need for an integrated and managed approach to planning, design, and construction of the built environment.
Owners are faced with an array of project delivery options, each of which involves costs and benefits matched against the needs of the owner and the specific project. The task of management is to ensure that the value of those various project delivery methodologies is realized in achieving the owner’s objectives.
Professional construction management services are selected on the basis of qualifications and experience matched to the needs of the owner and the project and compensated on the basis of a negotiated fee for the scope of services rendered. This approach results in a cost-effective, dedicated representation of the owner’s interests free from potential conflicts with regard to the cost of the project.
The Mission of CMAA is to promote the profession of Construction Management and the use of qualified Construction Managers on capital projects and programs.
The Vision of CMAA is that all owners will realize capital project and program success by using professionally qualified Construction Managers.
CMAA has nearly 16,000 members, including individual CM practitioners, corporate members, and construction owners in the public and private sectors, along with academic and associate members. CMAA also has 29 regional chapters and student chapters at colleges and universities across the country. Join CMAA today!
Looking for more info about CMAA or the CM profession? Visit CMAA's FAQs page or download the "Construction Management: Evolution of a Profession" white paper.