May, 2017

What is the Role of a Development Manager?

Much like a conductor leads the individual sections of an ensemble to do their best in achieving a successful performance, a Development Manager directs and coordinates the many team members and complex details involved in a development or construction project. The Development Management role is indispensable on a successful project team, coordinating every phase from defining initial goals and strategy to site identification to acquisition, zoning and approvals, design and construction, as well as supporting fundraising and financing efforts.

A Development Manager can become involved at various phases of a project, and ideally is the first professional engaged. Often the decisions with the biggest financial impact are made right at the start. A Development Manager can also help in a project’s early stages by bringing a professional management structure to the project, providing management continuity and follow-through so that all team members understand how their tasks support the goals of the project as well as the other team members.

The job of the Development Manager can best be encapsulated by two terms –  Project Strategy and Project Management.

Project Strategy: The Development Manger assesses the combination of professions and skills that are required for a specific project. In addition to identifying, recommending, and retaining Architects, Designers, Engineers, and Contractors, the Development Manger assists the Owner in identifying and adding specialty consultants to the project team when needed.

Project Management: The Development Manger facilitates the efforts of the project team, directing the efforts of the individual specialists required to produce the project, providing managerial oversight of the design and construction process itself, and defining the individual tasks that must be completed in the proper time and sequence.

In closing, the art of development requires introducing technical expertise when it matters most to help an ownership team make decisions. That requires a surprising array of skills: legal, finance, design, construction, marketing, management, organizational design and, (often) psychology. Understanding this, a sophisticated in-house project leader will supplement his or her own expertise with a firm that has professional knowledge and experience in all these areas: A Development Manager.


The Groundwork for Camden’s Revival

All of this work helped us believe. Read more about other early believers from The Philadelphia Business Journal piece on what laid the groundwork for Camden’s revival.