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Championing Your Own Project

April 28, 2022
Osman Dadi
Every project requires an Advocate-Leader who is consistently guiding the process & pushing for success – including choosing the right team, building relationships with them, & professional oversight. The Real Estate, Architecture, and Construction industries are pretty tough to approach as an Owner and as a Customer. Not only are there endless realtors and agents, […]

Every project requires an Advocate-Leader who is consistently guiding the process & pushing for success – including choosing the right team, building relationships with them, & professional oversight.

The Real Estate, Architecture, and Construction industries are pretty tough to approach as an Owner and as a Customer. Not only are there endless realtors and agents, homes and buildings, firms, and contractors to choose from – we must also remember that all of them are for-profit businesses! And we must remember that every business, and their managers and representatives, all have different goals and motives.

I am not a person who believes strictly in chance – instead, we here follow the idea of building value thru measurable outcomes and results. Especially in the world of Architecture & Construction, the process is substantially driven by hard products and hard numbers; and yet, there is a factor which is difficult to measure, yet with certainty will define your success – and that factor is Being The Champion Of Your Own Project.

Simply stated, no one can advocate for the project better than yourself, and every project requires an Advocate-Leader at the top who is consistently guiding the process and pushing for the outcome. Even when you hand off work to trusted professionals, Owners (or their Managers and Representatives) must always be involved in the entire scope of a project, and push the project to success. No one is more motivated to ensure a positive outcome on all aspects of a project, than the Owner and Manager who is defining the scope, paying the bills, and ultimately using the space!

I think that every Owner has a choice – you can either do it yourself and try to manage everything yourself; or, you can work with your team, and build a team appropriate to your budget and your project.

Here are two key skills to remember when building and managing your Real Estate, Architecture and Construction project.

Skill #1: Choose the Right Team and the Right People for Your Project.

Choosing the right people will build the project for you, plainly stated. A motivated team that works well together will align to get the job done well with all goals in mind, and will leave all parties involved with mutually beneficial outcomes; whereas an unmotivated and distracted team will simply stall progress.

Ideally you must choose a team and people whom are fully aligned with your vision and with your goals. You can identify such people and such teams through an interview process when building your project team. Interview your vendors early on, before you sign them on for work. Be sure you understand their role, their capabilities, the size of their operation, WHO on their side will actually be staffing your project, and also how busy their operation is during the duration of your project – to be sure they have the resources to properly coordinate.

An additional concern that has become further relevant in 2022 is choosing the team and staff that actually has the capability and time availability to build your project. One of the worst experiences an Owner Manager can have, is to hire a Professional or a Team, that is not 100% focused on YOUR particular project, as their may be other projects under their wing that for whatever reason (relationships, scope and money) that have a higher priority on the agenda. Unfortunately, this type of situation ensures that either your project won’t meet the required schedule for completion; or you’ll also have many mistakes to contend with along the way, due to lack of focus with the team.

Be sure to interview your Professionals thoroughly before on-boarding them, and choose your vendors wisely. Also be sure to convey the correct goals for your project; we talk about that more in our upcoming Article and Video on the Triangle of Project Management.

Our last piece of content on The Power of A Quality Team, covers this topic in more detail. Follow the link to read more.

Skill #2: Build a Strong Relationship with Your Team, Working Together to Complete the Project

More than choosing the right team, is building good relationships with them from start to finish. Realize that more often than not, everyone involved in this business wants to build the right thing and have a satisfied client at the end of the project. Both Owner/Managers, and Vendors, should share the same goal of building a project efficiently, and to a high quality to ensure that everyone is satisfied with the end product and also paid fairly for services rendered and products built and installed.

In my career and throughout my projects, I sometimes run across owners who try to bully their way towards completing a project, rather than working in unison with good vendors and a solid team. A combative and bullying process to building a project is no way to run a project for a successful outcome, as it will simply demoralize everyone and lead to less focus on achieving the desired outcome for your project.

Every Owner must step back and remember that we all have the same goal – even good Business Owners realize that good business is getting the job done right, on time and under budget. Work with your team, and align everyone on the same vision for your project.

Finally, there’s a third, and optional, but also recommended tool:

Skill #3: Hire A Project Manager.

I’ve personally witnessed in my career many an owner balk at the idea of hiring a Project Manager to manage their work; usually the cost alone drives away most, plus an overconfidence in the ability of managing everything by themselves. It is important to realize early on, that Real Estate, Architecture and Construction projects require full time, dedicated and daily management of ALL processes, in order to ensure a successful outcome that is On Time, On Budget, and built to a High Quality Standard.

Most people who try this find themselves in a world of hurt within months, as they underestimate the amount of time and dedication required for such projects to be successful and finished on time – in one particularly bad example I have heard of project that were initially estimated to take 12 weeks, end up taking 52 weeks; and naturally with the expanded time, the project itself cost 3x more than the original budget, and far beyond what it would have cost with a project manager involved.

Project Managers are professionals in the business, know the language, and most importantly know the process of build-outs and working with all of the different constituencies involved. Not all projects require them, but we encourage you to consider them, to save yourself long term time, money, and head-aches.

Remember that your project is a long term investment; and thus, paying a little bit extra in the beginning to ensure proper management, saves tens of thousands in costs through the duration of the project.

At Arcobee we provide you with the education and tools to manage your own project, to the best of your ability.

We’re really close to wrapping up our long-awaited seven day, 30 minutes a day course, REACH Professional Finance; we will be releasing it in Summer 2022. But, before we do, I have to ask you a couple of questions. Can you help us out?

You can answer two easy questions (and get a little detail on the new course), here:

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