I find it interesting and a little sad how often simply doing what you say you will do means you are exceeding expectations. At American we describe ourselves as “genuine”. We tell the truth, always. so believe me when I say we respect the educated risks you take as a business person. We appreciate you taking the time to read up about us and we will live up to the Platinum Rule which is to treat others as they want to be treated.
If you are not careful and if you choose the wrong design/build firm, you may find yourself needing to be an emergency project manager. At American we recognize you are in a position to consider a construction project because you have done something right. You have been successful at whatever you do. You cannot afford to take time away from what you do well to assist with the construction project. At American we pride ourselves on open, consistent communication that allows you the comfort to continue doing your job while we do ours.
Below I offer a couple tips to make the best use of your involvement with the project. Test whoever you hire, heck, test us during the project to make sure we are living up to our commitments. I bet we will:
- Don’t make 1 change at a time. The nature of construction is identifying modifications before, during and after construction. If you call your contractor every time you have an idea, you will drive yourself crazy and not get your own work done. At American we suggest scheduling weekly or bi-weekly progress meeting. These help define what has been done, what is upcoming as well as critical deadlines where decisions have to be made.
- Be careful. Often 1 little change can trigger multiple other plan modifications. For example, moving an office wall 6” may shrink the adjoining restroom causing the toilet and plumbing to move which now interferes with the sink causing the door to interfere with the walking path meaning the hallway is too narrow to walk down. It can happen. I’ve seen it. Often it is more cost effective to identify several changes at the same time, allowing the team at American to move several puzzle pieces at the same time. Consistently, a little give and take results in no financial change at all.
- Above all else, hire a firm you trust. Hire people you like. Have a real conversation about the process, the firm’s fees and methods of coordinating change orders. Anyone unwilling to have this kind of heart to heart has something to hide. At American we work hard to get to know you and to understand your ultimate facility goal. Hold us accountable to deliver and perform on your behalf, we will do it.
Keep in mind, if you need to be an ‘assistant project manager’ something is wrong. Our job is to perform so well, you are comfortable focusing on continuing to operate a successful business.