CMAA was formed in 1982 as a way to establish a set of standards for managing capital construction projects. Construction management (CM) 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.
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What Do Construction Managers Do?
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.
At its core, a capital project is usually 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.
CMs are not general contractors or constructors and 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 to oversee different aspects of construction project management to include scheduling, safety, cost estimating, design, quality assurance, value engineering, commissioning, construction inspection, risk management, and more.
Construction Managers adhere to CMAA’s Construction Management Standards of Practice which establishes industry standards of service and serves as a guide to the range of services that constitute professional construction management.