a project into chunks can help a team maintain
ulers shouldn’t get carried away. “Don’t break
that you can’t measure progress,” says
Rider Levett Bucknall.
optimistic update, she also knew how
much she could push the schedule.
“To me, it’s a very logical process,” she
says. When making any changes, she plotted
each move out while considering the
consequences the alterations might have on
other deliverables. For instance, if the flooring contractor was delayed, and the cabinet
installer was ahead of schedule, Ms. Francis
would work with the Martin-Harris team to
figure out a way to rearrange deadlines.
logs, the team
not wait for the
bus to crash.
She also served as the project’s traffic
cop, making sure, for example, that the
plumbing and electrical work weren’t
scheduled for the same areas of the floor
on the same day.
To plan out the work, the building was
divided into east and west sections on the
schedule. In some instances, one subcontractor started on the east side of the
building, and the other on the west, and
they crossed paths halfway through in
almost perfect choreography. “The way
subcontractors were coordinating was
amazing,” she says.
Ms. Francis updated the schedule weekly,
and if any conflicts arose, she would sit
down with the Martin-Harris team “and go
through major brainstorming [sessions] to
come up with alternatives,” she says.
In one case, the local fire marshal
wouldn’t allow the team to store any flammable material in the building until the
water supply was set up and active.
Unfortunately, the existing water supply
couldn’t provide enough pressure to service higher levels, so the team resequenced
the remaining work.
“In any project, there’s a certain
amount of tap dancing that you do to keep
everybody happy,” she says.
The tap dancing seems to have
worked. The team can’t do much about
the current housing situation, but the
high-end condos went on the market—
two months ahead of the revised schedule’s
completion date. —Susan Ladika