Parameters to Consider when Selecting a Project Management Consultant

All, Project Management & Advisory

A Project Management Consultant brings the skills and the technical know-how required for a turnkey project. They provide the expertise, tools and manpower required in executing the project from planning to completion. The parameters that help determine the right PMC can broadly be categorised into two categories – Macro Parameters and Micro Parameters.

 

Macro Parameters:

Company Presence:

Does the Company have a big enough presence in the State or the Country? Often clients that use PMCs have multiple projects ongoing in different regions including the Tier 2 and Tier 3 Cities, hence for such clients the PMCs presence in those areas is a key factor. Construction is also usually a regional business and many a times even the biggest builders struggle to work outside of their comfort zone, this makes it all the more important to check that the PMC you select does have a broad regional exposure.

Good Understanding of the Project Services Scope:

This will help not only the client but also the PMC themselves. A good PMC will always list out their scope and deliverables beforehand and have the client sign off on the same, this helps bring clarity to both parties and avoid confusion in the future.

Financial Background:

It’s essential that the PMC selected has a self-sufficient financial background. In the construction industry often cash flows are found to be a bottleneck in efficient delivery. 

Safety Policy:

This is possibly one of the most important points. The idea behind using a PMC is because the client usually cannot afford to invest the time or expertise towards a project themselves, and the last thing they would want is that after hiring a PMC there are instances of accidents at a site due to safety being compromised. A good PMC will ensure stringent safety measures and make sure that the contractor is made to follow them at all times.

Compliance and Documentation:

This again depends on how strong the PMC is in that particular region. Each project will require a vast set of compliance regulations and documentation to be in place at all the times so that the project does not go on hold at any stage. This is something a PMC should be able to manage in different regions when dealing with government officials.

 

Micro Parameters:

Robust Reporting Structure:

Each project will generally have numerous different segments ongoing at the same time, hence it is critical that the right reporting structure is in place for all of them from the get go!  Detailed schedules, progress reports, cost accounting reports; inventory management etc. must be maintained at all times and updated on a regular basis. This helps both parties keep a check on actual progress vs. planned progress and ensure that the project is within budget and most importantly will help identify any red flags in the early stages.

Scope Creep Management:

This refers to changes which are both controlled and uncontrolled post project commencement. Realistically almost all projects have changes after the work begins, however the challenge lies in being able to manage the changes in the scope of work. A good PMC should be able control this in various ways such as – determining if the change in scope is necessary or not, ensuring the change in scope is still within the project budget or alternatively changing the project budget to account for the increased scope, revising timelines and setting new progress schedules or deadlines.

Value Engineering Capability:

During the course of a project the project budget may change due to variations in the cash flow or changes in the scope of work. At such times the contractor may suggest ways to modify designs, but generally these suggestions are made to benefit the contractor more than the client. It is the role of a good PMC to Value Engineer the same designs to suit the client’s requirements, and have the contractor implement the same.

Good Procurement Planning:

Although this is linked with the earlier point regarding a robust reporting strategy, it is worth mentioning separately in more detail. A major factor in timely project completion is a synchronized procurement. Projects cannot move forward unless the right materials are available at the right time, hence strong procurement planning can ensure that a project is in order and the progress is continuous. Delays in materials reaching the site would naturally cause delays in the project, but material reaching before time will have also have a similar effect as it may cause storage hassles and come in the way of workmanship.