Building Relationships Versus Buildings

By Scott Evans, Director of Business Development

We are in the ditch! The project is over budget, it is behind schedule, and the project team is not working together.

We all know this story or have experienced it first hand, but how do we change the narrative?

Our industry is changing but we could do better – much better. We are employing lean construction ideas, pull planning processes, and flowline or location-based scheduling, and we are collaborating with our project teams. But these are just the first steps toward changing our industry.

We have to communicate better, involve all the project team members early, and have trust and transparency in all that we do. Only then will we realize success. None of this is new. We all must get outside of our comfort zones, force ourselves to give the extra effort required, and ask the same of all the stakeholders.

First, once the project statement is conceived, we need to bring the entire project team together, entrust the team to share and understand the financial goals of all the parties involved, and discuss the ultimate vision we want the project to achieve. This not only includes the proforma and design aesthetics but also the construction considerations needed to see it to successful fruition.

Throughout the project development, we need to communicate often with each other. This also means delivering bad news. I have found that solutions present themselves when you have all the information and time to react. Furthermore, leverage the talents of the entire team throughout the design phases including the trade partners. There is a great deal of knowledge to be gained from practical experiences, and collaboration only enhances the outcome.

Lastly, we have to trust that everyone has a vested interest in the success of the project. The partnership is not just bound by contract but by the project experiences and outcomes.

Our goal is for our clients and design team partners to experience the benefits of a successful and profitable project that will enhance our communities. If we communicate, involve, and trust, we will build more than buildings.

After all, the best clients I have had, I now consider to be my friends.