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APPENDIX D Characteristics of Effective Owners' Representatives In the private and public sector, projects that are managed well and perform well have effective owners' representatives, typically called project managers. The following are the committee's view of some of the attributes and functions that make owners' project representatives effective (NRC, 1998, 2000~. An effective owner's representative (or project manager) has the following traits: Appropriate skills, experience, training, and managerial and technical ability to plan, guide, evaluate, and direct the project acquisition process. Good communication skills. . Rapport with, and open communications channels to, the owner's execu- tive management. Can get the attention of upper management when decisions are needed. Sufficient authority, stature, and management support in the owner's organization to carry out all project management responsibilities without ambi- guity or interference. Good rapport with, and open communications channels to, the end users of the project. Can get their attention and get them to make decisions when needed. Decisiveness. If additional information is needed to support a decision, takes steps to acquire it, sets a commitment date to make the decision, then makes the decision on time. Does not procrastinate. Does not second-guess decisions once made. 92

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APPENDIX D An effective owner's representative (or project manager) understands: 93 The contract and all its provisions. Knows the limits of the contract and what constitutes constructive change. J The owner's mission or business model and how the particular project is ustified by it, fits into it, and supports it. The value of the project, not just its price. The price is what the owner pays for the project; the value is what it is worth. Costs and the factors that affect costs. Understands the dangers of scope creep and how the costs of seemingly minor changes increase geometrically with the state of completion of the project. . The contractor's value proposition and business model; understands how contractors make money, how contractors think; what is easy for contractors and what is difficult. This does not imply that owners' representatives should adopt the contractors' viewpoint, only that they should understand it. The owner's and contractor's project objectives how they are the same and how they are different. An effective owner's representative (or project manager) can perform the following functions: planning. points. . Set up an integrated project team from the beginning and uses it effectively. Assure that the owner and the contractors perform adequate preproject Develop plans and supporting information as necessary at all decision Serve as the single point of contact between the owner's organization, including users, and the contractors. Take responsibility for all owner activities. Face up to responsibility. . Keep the focus on maximizing the owner's value through high quality, excellent performance, and early completion, as well as on holding costs to the budget. . Design and implement means of meeting shared objectives to increase project value but defends owner objectives when decisions or actions will impact the owner and contractor differently. . Perform a risk assessment for the project and develop a risk management plan. Identify the significant risk drivers or root causes and actively take steps to eliminate, mitigate, or manage these risks. Update the risk assessment and risk management plan and continue to manage risks actively throughout the project. Determine and control the management reserve (or owner's contingency). Solicit input from stakeholders as relevant to the project citizens' groups, abutters, and others affected by the project. Work with these groups to prevent misunderstandings, making decisions as necessary to avoid escalation of dis- .

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94 APPENDIX D agreements and the development of adversarial relations. Take a genuine interest in obtaining these inputs and preventing and resolving potential conflicts. Develop a project execution plan, maintain the plan up to date, and com- municate it to all concerned. Set up clear, objective performance metrics for performance-based contracts. Avoid the use of award fees based only on subjec- tive criteria, attractive as they may seem. Accept responsibility for all actions and omissions of the owner's organi- zation. Maintain a commitment tracking system or other schedule of the owner' s commitments, such as obtaining permits and sign-off on drawings, specifications, change orders, etc. Follow up to make sure that both the owner's and the contrac- tors' commitments are met. Advise the owner's organization about the impacts of potential owner decisions on project value, on project performance in all relevant dimensions, and on contractors. Know the status of the job at all times. Monitor and track contractors' performance. Stay up to date on project problems and issues. Track the schedule performance and cost performance indices (SPI and CPI). Work actively to complete the project as fast as economically possible. Continually forecast the expected date at completion, the cost to com- plete, and the estimated cost at completion. Take timely and effective steps to get the project back on schedule and on budget when any deviation is forecast. Assure that the owner's personnel are trained and prepared to accept turnover of each system or building of the project promptly on completion. Track the to-do (punch) lists of incomplete items and their impact on the start-up schedule. Close out the project in a timely fashion. Assure that retainage and incentives are paid promptly on acceptance. . Make the owner's expectations clear and open to all contractors. Build in incentives wherever possible for contractors to increase the owner's value. Recognize that it is in the owner's interest to award incentives for exceptional performance that advances the owner's value proposition. Maintain win-win relations between the owner and the contractors. Take steps to assure that the real costs and schedule impacts of changes, including the nonlinear ripple effects that can propagate through the entire project, are realistically evaluated before change orders are approved. . . Visit the site often. Be widely recognized on the site ("walks the talk"). Convey the owner's commitment to the job, to the schedule, and to the budget. Give directions only to the contractors' designated project managers or site representatives. Do not give direct orders or suggestions to other contractor personnel except in cases of severe safety violations and imminent loss of life, limb, or property.

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APPENDIX D 95 REFERENCES NRC (National Research Council). 1998. Government/Industry Forum on Capital Facilities and Core Competencies. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2000. Outsourcing Management Functions for the Acquisition of Federal Facilities. Washing- ton, D.C.: National Academy Press.