The Blue Book Network® is proud to announce the latest post in a series by our industry experts. The following content has been created by Caroline Shelly, of HF Planners, LLC, a Blue Book Network® Premier Member.
Upper management may impose construction project deadlines that are unrealistic, based on their desire or a perceived financial benefit, force-fitting a plan to suit the situation. When imposed deadlines are unattainable, projects are delivered late, which can overextend the budget. As often happens, missing or misunderstood project information can cause some of the confusion that leads to unrealistic deadlines. The facility manager needs to become the educator to avoid these types of issues.
Ways to help educate the end-user include:
1. Become a first-rate communicator
Get comfortable talking to everyone, from the part-time associates to the C-suite executive. Communication also includes being a good listener and reading between the lines. It is human nature to want to share experiences by interjecting relevant stories; instead, ask open ended questions to encourage more interaction. By doing so, information is shared in conjunction with both the daily and long-term needs of a company. You will also earn respect and trust by showing your interest in others.
2. Build and manage effective teams
Learn to work with a variety of teams and communicate to everyone what their expectations and duties are. It’s a good idea to know hiring techniques, staff training, task allocation, and how to set expectations. Make sure everyone has a clear idea of what your team needs to accomplish. This will help to establish clear time frames and responsibilities that all members of the team understand.
3. Review how the project timeline and budget is developed
This review happens in conjunction with the company’s strategic plan. By explaining how each item can affect either the budget or timeline, you will help enforce what the team is up against in completing a project. The pay-off will be a project that is done on time and within budget. Once a project is behind schedule, generally it will be over budget as well. Underestimating the amount of work and funding required can result in the vicious cycle of headaches, high stress, and frustration. Therefore this review is an important step in establishing the tone of a project and the expectations.
The detailed sequences will fall into place once resources are assigned and the duration of the project is established. As long as the entire team is on board and a project plan is communicated properly to the end-users so that realistic expectations are understood, your project can be a success.