• Molly Jones

Part 1: Choosing a Project Delivery Method

This is Part One of a six-part series on Project Delivery Methods. Throughout this series, we’ll be deep-diving into the project delivery method, selecting your team, and what contracts you’ll need.


Making informed decisions about your project will set your project up for success. There are many things to consider as you are starting your project. Keep reading to discover what you should consider when choosing a project delivery method.


The Project Team

The first thing to consider is who is on your team. A project team is comprised of three sub-teams: owner team, design team, and construction team.

  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 you bring on board.

  3. The Construction Team. This includes your construction manager, your general contractor, and any subcontractors that you 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.


  1. Which Project Delivery Method is right for your project.

  2. The Procurement method to engage in.

  3. The Contract format to use with each delivery method.


This post will focus on the Project Delivery Method, but future posts will dive deeper into the other critical decisions for your project.


What is a Project Delivery Method?

Your project delivery method is the organization of planning, design, and construction services on your project. It’s essentially how you’ll execute the project.


There are four main project delivery systems to 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.

Stay tuned for a future blog post about each one of these delivery methods.


How to Choose the Right Method for You

When deciding which project delivery method to use, there are a few things to consider:


  1. How involved do you want to be as the owner?

  2. What level of accountability do you want among your project team?

  3. What cost and schedule controls do you need?

  4. What is the risk assignment?


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


To learn more about the different Project Delivery Methods, watch the full video.


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