Development management is the strategic planning, administration and controlling of a project during its development life cycle, from project planning through to construction completion and project exit. It is performed to minimize project and financial risk while maximizing profit for the developer.
A development manager (DM) is the project developer's agent and construction manager. The development manager is assigned overall responsibility for project planning, project management, financial management, and project delivery through all development phases, until project exit.
Development managers are commonly appointed to identify and acquire suitable sites, inspect and appraise new land opportunities, review and advise on redundant land, and complete land acquisitions. They also liaise with local authorities to obtain permits and authority approvals.
The development manager undertakes the feasibility analysis of the project and provides the business plan, budget plan, and schedule of works. They are responsible for progress through the legal, technical and financial stages of development projects and monitor progress to project completion.
Development managers are responsible for overall project delivery, contractor tendering, and design management. They represent the developer on-site towards construction and operator personnel and work closely with the architects, engineers, designers and general contractors to ensure that all the specific requirements (specs) of the project are met.
Development managers evaluate and manage the budget and ensure that the correct financing is in place. They are responsible for completing the project according to budget and the development program.
Development managers also coordinate the marketing, leasing or sale of the developed properties and are often responsible for facilities and their post-construction asset management. They collaborate with the developers to scope services, create proposals, and close opportunities.
The roles, responsibilities and expectations of development managers vary according to each project's organizational structure, project and exit strategy, complexity and size. These issues are defined for each project in the development management agreement (DMA).