Owners: Follow This Simple Metric To Diagnose Project Health

  • Bill Palka, Newforma Enterprise Sales Representative
  • March 3, 2016
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As a building owner involved in a construction project, your top goal is to complete the job as quickly and efficiently as possible, without flaws or disputes. You select your designs, build a project team, and put a plan in place. You expect your team to keep you apprised of progress, and turn your focus to your core business.

And then it happens: An issue arises, seemingly out of nowhere, which threatens the schedule or outcome of a project. What went wrong?

Building owners are taken by surprise because they don’t have visibility into their projects. What causes that poor visibility?

Track how your project team is performingBy necessity, you rely on your GC to track and archive project data. That makes sense, but it carries risks, too, if the GC’s process is out of your sight. To begin, you leave it to the GC to judge when an issue should be brought to your attention, but by that time the problem may be more advanced than necessary.

Instead, more owners are availing themselves of real-time insight into the project data. With those insights, you can proactively identify and resolve problems.

How to take the pulse of a project.

Tracking RFI and submittal statuses is a great way to reveal bottlenecks you can resolve before they creates costly delays.

Moreover, if a dispute or lawsuit arises, you’re wholly dependent on your GC to tell you what happened and why. It’s better to be in possession of the data your legal team needs to document how decisions were made, and to piece together the steps that led to the dispute.

Finally, a GC is probably only involved in the building phase of your project only. As the owner, you are involved with your project from the initial designs, long before the GC is ever selected. An owner should have a clear record of the entire project lifecycle, not just the construction phase.

What could go wrong?

GC ownership of data is not the only source of risk. Another is siloing of data in the email and computer folders of your team members. For example, a discussion regarding a critical decision may be stored in (or deleted from) an employee’s Microsoft Outlook email folder, consequently out of reach of lawyers performing a discovery.

Sometimes risk arises not from a dispute, but from ordinary transitions. When decision makers leave your company, do they leave behind records their replacements can consult to move forward?

Poor visibility into a project carries risks. If you as a building owner would like to improve management and reduce risk, think about taking ownership of your project data, in all its myriad forms.

For more ways Newforma software improves the lives of owners, visit newforma.com/owners.

Bill Palka is an enterprise sales representative for Newforma. To reach Bill, email bpalka at newforma dot com.

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