stok’s Project Management team has shared a few words of wisdom for the pre-lease phase of any project. Now it’s time to build the team. Encompassed in this critical step are form of contract, AEC on-boarding, and landlord relations. Here are a few key considerations when putting together the right skillsets and work styles to optimize communication and collaboration through your project team:
1. Write the Owners Project Requirements (OPR) prior to issuing Request for Proposals (RFP).
The more information available in the proposal request, the better respondents can accurately staff and price the project. Be sure to include a format or template for responses. This will facilitate consistency when bid leveling.
2. Identify the types of consultants needed for the project from the beginning.
In addition to the Architect, Engineer, and General Contractor, will the project benefit from a lighting consultant, permit expeditor, acoustician, commissioning agent, sustainability consultant, plant designer, etc. Be sure to build these roles into the budget!
3. When interviewing Architects, Engineers, and General Contractors, look for chemistry.
Does their communication style jive with yours and the client’s? Are they aligned with project goals? Can you work together for the next several months or years? Include situational questions in the candidate interviews to see how they respond to finger pointing and high stress issues.
4. Do your research on vendors, contractors, and subcontractors.
Check their references, LinkedIn connections, and industry contacts. Dig deep into their qualifications and past projects. Ask questions to learn as much about the candidates as possible in a short time frame.
5. Take time to understand the ins and outs of the contract(s).
In addition to terms and conditions, this governing document should outline dedicated staff, rates, estimated hours, reimbursables, schedule, and more. You will need to refer back to this document to address misalignment or changes in the project.
6. Let the Project Kick-Off Meeting set the tone for the entire project.
Be prepared to discuss ground rules and project goals. Ask the client to communicate to the team first-hand what their intent, drivers, and risks are. Spend time focused on project discovery to uncover any project constraints.
7. Set expectations for project process and promote organization.
Consider how you will share documents and collaborate remotely. Discuss if and when in-person meetings are required. Create templates for meeting agendas, meeting minutes, change orders, and invoices. This will save time down the line and facilitate approvals.
8. Identify and avoid potential patterns and pitfalls by examining your team’s past work.
Ask stok about our Engagement Survey! This is a simple way to inspire dialogue and learn about team members’ past experience and work style.
9. Discover connections among team members.
We are professionals, but people first! Find out where people live and what they enjoy outside of work. It is likely the team has more in common than just the project at hand. Fostering amiable relationships will bring joy to the project. Also, strong working relationships can result in future opportunities.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to our Project Management team.