SEO, digital marketing, website design and social media

Maria Murphy

Just as a conductor directs the various sections of an ensemble to do their best to achieve a successful performance, a development manager leads and coordinates the many team members and intricate details involved in a development or construction project. The development management role is essential in a successful project team, coordinating all phases from initial goal setting and strategy, to site identification, acquisition, zoning and approvals, design and construction, and support for fundraising and financing efforts.

A development manager can be involved at various stages of a project and, ideally, is the first professional hired. Often, the decisions that have the greatest financial impact are made early on. A development manager can also help in the early stages of a project by bringing a professional management structure to the project, providing continuity and management oversight so that all team members understand how their tasks support the project's goals as well as other team members.

The position of Development Manager can best be summarized by two terms - Project Strategy and Project Management.

Project Strategy: The Development Manager assesses the mix of professions and skills required for a specific project. In addition to identifying, recommending, and retaining architects, designers, engineers, and contractors, the development manager assists the owner in identifying and adding specialized consultants to the project team as needed.

Project Management: The Development Manager facilitates the efforts of the project team, directs the efforts of the specialists needed to complete the project, oversees the design and construction process itself, and defines the individual tasks that must be completed in a timely manner and in the order intended.

In conclusion, the art of development requires the introduction of technical expertise when it is most important to help an ownership team make decisions. This requires a surprising array of skills: law, finance, design, construction, marketing, management, organizational design and (often) psychology. Understanding this, a sophisticated in-house project manager will complement his or her own expertise with that of a firm that has professional knowledge and experience in all of these areas: A development manager.

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