As outlined in a recent article in The Registry by our Principal Adam Felson, construction costs are spiraling out of control due to a shrinking labor force, materials escalations, and unprecedented demand.
Where did 2017 go? Our first year of business flew by and proved busy, productive and plentiful. We are so grateful to our clients and industry partners for all they have brought to our company! It was also a wild year nationally, global and personally - full of excitement, challenges, hardship and growth. What I do know is that what we go through - as a community or nation or otherwise - we go through together and grow stronger through kindness and grace.
Wishing you and yours a peaceful, rejuvenating holiday season and joyful New Year.
Our hearts go out to all of those who have experienced the tragedy of the North Bay fires. So many people’s worlds have turned upside down. In the construction industry we’ve seen many tradesmen among those of who have had to put their work lives on hold to make sure their homes and personal matters are safe.
Ask a Construction Project Manager
Executing commercial build-outs is more complicated than most people realize. Luckily we were able to delve into the minds of some of the industry's finest to get an inside perspective on what goes on behind the scenes.
Q: What do you find to be the hardest thing about your job?
A: As the leader of project teams, we constantly are playing the game of getting people to agree to realistic deadlines and following-up on deliverables promised. A prepared project manager will be ready for people to not meet their commitments, so checking in at the right times is key. When a team member forgets their deadline or puts their task on the back burner, it becomes our problem.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about your role as a construction project manager?
A: One struggle we have is getting our clients to understand that while we are "construction" project managers, our true value happens way before the first hammer is swung. If we aren't involved with pre-construction tasks such as developing the scope of work, crafting the budget, or putting together the schedule, we not only have a lot of catching up to do right off the bat, but we're working with a set of expectations that might be unrealistic.
Q: How do you ensure that a project is always on track?
A: Communicate deadlines and impacts of updates. Constantly asking, "how does this impact the schedule and budget" and being as upfront about an adjustment or change will ensure that everyone is aware before we go too far down the rabbit hole. It's completely feasible to make an adjustment at any point but not understanding that a delay or increase in budget was incurred is never something a client wants to deal with down the line. We make sure we ask the questions and understand feasibility as early as possible.
Q: How do you prevent "scope creep", or a symptom on a project when adds to the design and budget spiral out of control?
A: With everyone wanting to keep up with the latest swanky office build-out, we often find ourself with clients uttering the phrase "while we're at it, let's add..." which can backfire into time consuming value engineering exercises. By keeping budget and schedule expectations clear to all, we work to advise our clients on impacts of pivoting mid-way through the design (or construction) process.
Q: Finally, what keeps you excited about this business?
A: Initially it was about the excitement of ending each project with something tangible that created change. I've now started to appreciate the feeling of being part of exceptional project teams. Ultimately, this business comes down to the human interaction, and not so much the nuts and bolts.
Nice to see the sun shining in San Francisco! It was a busy and rainy winter for officemorph. Lucky for us, two of our clients are across the street from our headquarters.
Whether it's helping a growing start-up create their dream workplace or creating a new lobby renovation for a landlord, officemorph is a valued project partner, assisting every step of the way.
Our belief is that construction shouldn't have to be a nightmare!
My mom used to have her own event planning business and whenever I have tried to explain my line of work to people, I always used the parallels with her business. An event coordinator at a bar mitzvah is concerned with many of the same things that a project manager is concerned with on a construction project.
There is nothing worse than having a landlord and tenant execute a lease document only for a big argument to come up afterwards. I’ve been part of deals with poorly written leases that allow for too many grey areas or topics that are simply not addressed. The result is that the landlord-tenant relationship is severed right as it begins.