Simon Rawlinson’s excellent article on construction management (1 September, page 62) will hopefully dispel any myths surrounding the CM route.

The key to the successful use of CM is ensuring clients use only experienced, specialist CM organisations that have the culture, systems, people and skills to make it work and operate on a fee-only basis.

One of the reasons why CM has fallen out of favour is because clients misguidedly used builders, designers, QSs or project managers to deliver their CM projects, because they were already involved in the project or had previous working relationships; yet in reality they had no grasp of CM at all.

While ownership of the project by the construction manager is essential to the success of the project, the main advantage of CM is the ability of the client to influence the project at all stages, ensuring he and his stakeholders realise their objectives in full. The client and the construction manager can successfully manage this influence if they have the right control procedures in place. This does not mean the construction manager does not take ownership or the client spends all his time on the project – it is about having a clear and robust strategy, identifying all of the objectives and having defined milestones where the client needs to be involved to make informed decisions about the project.

The CM must be strong enough to manage the client in the decision-making process, making the client fully aware of the impact of any decisions and the timescales available. It is for these reasons that construction management is a specific procurement solution and should not be undertaken by anyone other than a specialist construction management company.

Matthew Loughlin, director, PCM Management