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The Construction Management Project Delivery Method Explained

As a constructor, you should be familiar with the term “construction management” as an overarching concept. It speaks to the larger principles that hold the job together and govern how constructors, clients, contractors, and managers interact in their day-to-day activities.

But what is the construction management project delivery method, and how does it function in a real-world scenario? The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) can help clarify details around this common delivery method.

The Two Sides of Construction Management

In the realm of construction, the term “construction management” has a dual identity. It serves as a job title/function and a project delivery method, capturing a complex mix of responsibilities and strategies.

Understanding the intricacies of this complex concept is essential for stakeholders seeking efficient and effective project execution. That’s why we’re going to dive into the role of a construction manager and unpack the construction management project delivery method, exploring its nuances, variations, and significance in the construction industry landscape.

At its core, this delivery method is a strategic approach to overseeing and coordinating construction projects. It encompasses a spectrum of tasks – ranging from planning and scheduling to procurement and execution – aimed at achieving project objectives within the defined scope.

What’s the Difference? Construction Manager vs. Construction Management

One crucial aspect to grasp is the dual usage of the term “construction manager.” In industry parlance, it refers not only to a job title but also to a specific project delivery method. This duality can lead to some confusion, as the same role may be titled differently across organizations.

For instance, one company may designate the position as “construction manager,” while another may opt for “project manager.” Despite the difference in naming, the essence of the role remains consistent: to oversee the construction process and ensure its smooth progression toward project completion.

Construction Manager: The Basics

A construction manager plays a pivotal role in the successful execution of construction projects, overseeing various aspects from inception to completion. Their responsibilities cover a wide range of tasks aimed at ensuring projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the highest quality standards.

Planning and Coordination

A construction manager is primarily involved in planning and coordinating construction projects. This includes collaborating with architects, engineers, design and construction teams, and other AEC stakeholders to develop project plans, establish timelines, and define project objectives.

They are responsible for interpreting project blueprints, specifications, and other technical documents to ensure that construction activities align with project requirements.


During the pre-construction phase, construction managers are involved in procurement activities, such as soliciting bids from subcontractors, evaluating proposals, and selecting vendors.

They negotiate contracts, establish budgets, and procure necessary permits and approvals to initiate construction activities. Additionally, they conduct site assessments to identify potential risks, ensure compliance with safety regulations, and develop risk mitigation strategies.

Operations and Personnel

Once construction commences, construction managers oversee day-to-day operations on the construction site. They coordinate the activities of subcontractors, suppliers, and laborers, ensuring that work is carried out according to schedule and quality standards.

Managers also monitor progress, resolve conflicts, and address any issues that may arise during the construction process.


Communication is a key aspect of a construction manager’s role. They serve as the primary point of contact for project stakeholders, providing regular updates on project status, milestones, and budgetary matters.

Managers also facilitate meetings, conduct site inspections, and liaise with clients, architects, and regulatory agencies to ensure project objectives are met and stakeholders’ expectations are addressed.

Budget and Resources

In addition to managing the operational aspects of construction projects, construction managers are responsible for financial management and budget control. They track project expenses, review invoices, and monitor construction costs to ensure that projects remain within budget. 

Managers are also responsible for identifying cost-saving opportunities to help reduce costs. They look for opportunities to optimize project resources and minimize waste.

Overall, the role of a construction manager is dynamic and demanding, requiring a combination of technical expertise, leadership skills, and project management acumen. By overseeing all facets of construction projects, from planning to execution, construction managers play a vital role in delivering successful outcomes and shaping the built environment.

Construction Management: What You Need to Know

The construction management project delivery method entails a strategic approach to overseeing construction projects involving collaboration, flexibility, and accountability. Construction managers coordinate various stakeholders, optimize resources, and mitigate risks to ensure projects are completed efficiently and on time.

This delivery method has two primary execution models: “Advisor to the Owner” and “At Risk.” Let’s unpack these subsets.

1. Advisor to the Owner

In this model, the construction manager is a consultant or advisor to the project owner, offering expertise and guidance throughout the construction lifecycle.

Here, the manager works directly for the owner. The manager directly contracts with individual trade contractors, using their knowledge and experience to support decision-making and mitigate risks.

2. At Risk 

The At Risk model entails a more hands-on approach, wherein the construction manager assumes greater responsibility and accountability for project outcomes. In this scenario, the manager contracts directly with trade contractors, assuming a role akin to that of a general contractor.

This construction project delivery method empowers the manager to utilize resources, mitigate risks, and drive project performance while shouldering the inherent risks associated with construction activities.

Benefits of the Construction Management Project Delivery Method

Regardless of the chosen execution model, this project delivery approach offers several distinct advantages.

Collaboration and Communication

Firstly, this method fosters collaboration and transparency among project stakeholders, promoting open communication and alignment of goals. By involving the construction manager early in the project lifecycle, owners can leverage their expertise to optimize design, minimize costs, and streamline construction processes.


The flexibility inherent in the construction management approach allows for dynamic decision-making and course corrections as project requirements evolve.

Construction managers are adept at navigating complexities, responding to unforeseen challenges, and implementing innovative solutions to keep projects on track. This agility is particularly valuable in today’s fast-paced construction environment, which is marked by changing market dynamics and technological advancements.


This project method focuses on efficiency and resource optimization, driving value for clients and stakeholders. Through strategic procurement, scheduling, and risk management, construction managers strive to maximize project outcomes while minimizing waste and inefficiencies.

A holistic approach extends beyond project execution, encompassing sustainability, safety, ethical dealings, and quality considerations to deliver enduring value to the built environment.

Learn More About Key Topics in Construction Management

As you can see, the construction management project delivery method represents a sophisticated framework for orchestrating construction projects with precision and efficiency. Whether serving as a job title or a contracting model, the role of the construction manager is pivotal in driving project success.

By embracing collaboration and innovation, stakeholders can tap into the full potential of construction management to successfully bring projects to completion.
Want to know more about construction management and the various project delivery methods that impact construction project delivery? Follow AIC on LinkedIn. We regularly share helpful articles that simplify complex topics in our industry. Take advantage of these resources to grow in your career.

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