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  • Molly Jones

Choose the Right Project Delivery Method for You!

This is Part One of a six-part series on Project Delivery Methods. We want to arm you with the information you need to make informed decisions to set up your project for success. Throughout this series, we’ll be deep-diving into the project delivery method, selecting your team, and what contracts you’ll need.


What should you consider as you start your project? How can you set yourself up for success? Knowing who should make up your project team, what project delivery methods are available to you, and what you should consider when choosing a project delivery method, will get you started on the right path!

The Project Team

When you look at a project team, it’s actually made up of three sub-teams:

  1. The Owner Team. This includes the owner, their representative or project manager, and any consultants that the owner has, including survey and geotechnical consultants. If the project is being financed outside your organization, this team can also include a financier.

  2. The Design Team. This includes your architect, your engineers, and any specialty consultants that they bring on board.

  3. The Construction Team. This includes your construction manager, your general contractor, and any subcontractors that they bring on onboard with them.

An Owner’s 3 Critical Decisions

As an owner, there will be three critical and intertwined decisions that you will make on every project you pursue. First, you’ll decide which project delivery method is right for your project. Second, you’ll need to decide which procurement method to engage in. And third, you’ll need to decide which contract format to use with each delivery method. We’ll be discussing those procurement and contract decisions more throughout this series, but for now let’s focus on that first decision.

What is a Project Delivery Method?

Very simply put, your project delivery method is the organization of planning, design, and construction services on your project. It’s how you’ll execute the project!

In this series, we’re going to focus on 4 project delivery systems you can choose from:

  1. Design-Bid-Build (DBB).

  2. Construction Management Multi-Prime (CMMP, MP). The American Institute of Architects (AIA) calls this Construction Manager as Advisor (CMa).

  3. Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR, CM @ Risk). The AIA calls this Construction Manager as Contractor (CMc).

  4. Design-Build (DB). There are two DB subsets we’ll discuss, Best Value Design-Build and Progressive Design-Build.

How to Choose the Right Method for You

When deciding which project delivery method to use, consider how involved you want to be as the owner and what level of accountability you want among your project team. Consider what cost and schedule controls you’ll need. And finally, consider the risk assignment.

Starting a project is a big undertaking and it can feel overwhelming, but by assembling a great team, and considering the right factors, you’ll know which delivery method to choose and set yourself up for success.


Watch our video about Project Delivery Methods here, and join us next week for Part 2 of our series!

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