The Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) acts as the owner’s representative for large construction projects. Hired at the earliest stages of a project, the OPM provides advice and guidance to the project owner on all aspects of the project (see our post, “What is an Owner’s Project Manager?” for a complete description).
The OPM will work with the project owner to choose a Construction Manager (CM) or the owner may have an existing relationship with a construction management company. Whatever the case, the OPM and CM have two separate and distinct roles, although their jobs overlap.
The Construction Manager performs or oversees the actual work of the project, including hiring and assigning workers and/or sub-contractors, requisition of supplies, and providing the OPM with budget / cost reports.
The crucial difference between the OPM and CM, however, is that as the owner’s representative, the OPM is completely independent from the Construction Manager (and project designer, sub-contractors, etc.).