Fostering true collaboration in a project team doesn't always come easily.
By Anne McFadden, PMP | Feb 27, 2019
The mission of every Owner’s Representative is, in short, to advocate for the owner. Advocacy is only successful, however, when there is a concerted effort to establish and employ strategies that foster true teamwork. We often hear from our colleagues and peers (design professionals, contractors, vendors) that their experience with Owner’s Reps is less than stellar. It seems that there are some in our profession who believe that making themselves look good to their client should be done at the expense of the rest of the project team.
Respect and collaboration are two crucial elements in a project that tend to be overlooked or ignored. We all have an obligation and desire to do our absolute best for our clients, but that does not mean any of us are perfect and things never go wrong. We aren’t, and they do. However, the type of approach you take to get a project back on track is key. In our experience, we have found that:
While an Owner’s Rep’s purpose revolves around our dedication to the client, we also have an obligation as professionals to make certain that the client understands legitimate requests for additional time or money from the team. For example, when the design professional is asked to attend 40 meetings instead of 4 as outlined in the original proposal and asks to be compensated, it is our job to make sure that the:
Similarly, when schedule duration is reduced, it is our job as Owner’s Reps to understand the necessary steps to maintain the end-date and make sure that the contractor/vendor is fairly compensated.
Owner’s Reps aren’t focused on winning a popularity contest, but on getting the job done and prioritizing respect and collaboration between each team member, colleague, and the client. Aside from our long-term relationships with our clients, we are most proud to hear feedback from our colleagues, like: “This project has restored my faith in the ability to work with an Owner’s Rep” or “Yes, Owner’s Reps are tough, but fair”.
If you’ve wondered “What exactly does an Owner’s Rep do?” check out our blog series From Planning to Execution where we delve into the part an Owner’s Rep plays in an owner’s project.