By Simon Daniels, PMP   Principal, Colliers Project Leaders

Thanks to the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) program, universities are replacing aging infrastructure with new and more relevant science facilities. The program is time sensitive, making it both an opportunity and a significant delivery challenge. Addressing this delivery challenge during the planning phase of your project is the most effective way to meet your program deadlines and spend your funding correctly.

1.      Do not rush onto site.

Your project needs a robust plan that considers your project holistically. A good plan will give you a timeline for your project, right up to completion, and significantly improve your chances of success. No matter how soon you start work on-site, you need to anticipate and understand risks such as cost overruns and schedule delays before they materialize. A plan will help you do this effectively.

2.      Set realistic goals.

When your deadlines are so tight, the traditional design-bid-build approach to construction is unlikely to help you succeed. For SIF-funded projects, the design-build or construction-management methodologies, with their increased flexibility, are much more appropriate. But even having the right approach won’t guarantee you success. Invest time outlining your project parameters and setting realistic expectations to make sure you can achieve your goals.

3.      Time is valuable.

With time so limited, significant change orders can completely derail your project. You need to ensure that your scope is in line with your program expectations from the start. To avoid this common problem, start a Project Implementation Plan immediately.

A Project Implementation Plan outlines the process you will take to make your project a reality. You can use the plan to:

  • Define your overall delivery strategy
  • Identify key tasks
  • Diagnose significant constraints
  • Devise mitigation and management strategies
  • Organize your project and define the procurement route project structure, schedule and decision milestones

4.      Define your requirements

A Project Implementation Plan provides the roadmap for delivering your project on time, from procurement through to completion. But you will need more than a good plan to succeed. A precise Statement of Requirements will describe your project requirements, as well as any special considerations. This document is an essential supplement to your Project Implementation Plan.

A complete Statement of Requirements highlights:

  • Instances where your project requirements may vary from standard procurement and management processes
  • Time constraints on your internal resources

5.      Understand the checks and balances

Your Project Implementation Plan, supplemented by a Statement of Requirements, will help you to identify problems in your RFP documents. An accurate and clear RFP, combined with concise design drawings, goes a long way to attracting the best proponents in what has become a congested contractor market. This is a great example of how understanding the checks and balances on your project, in this case your Plan, can give you the required knowledge to decide your key decisions well in advance of having to make them, saving you time.

The more planning you do, the more complete your RFP will be when you send it out to market. If you need help in getting your bid documents right, be sure to explore the option of a Colliers Bid Document ReviewTM  to help you save time and money.

Better quality firms respond to complete documents, getting your project off on the right foot. Firms responding to clear and detailed RFPs understand your project’s specific challenges and can accurately allocate their resources. This helps to reduce risk and increases your chances for success during your project’s construction stages.

Remember, the best teams deliver the best projects, and the best RFPs attract the best teams!

Complete the initiatives in order to achieve success!

Completing these initiatives will set your SIF project on track for success. Effectively manage time constraints; identify key project objectives and problem areas; and allocate resources using these simple steps, and ensure that your time and money is spent effectively.

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