A Shared History
The project team had just one day to hire the contractor. That’s all it needed.
“We were originally only going to speak with one contractor but instead
decided to have three contractors come in on the same day back-to-back. Each in-
terview took about 90 minutes,” Mr. Dillon says. “We chose one that afternoon.”
Mr. Dillon picked a contractor he had worked with previously, in part
because of a proven track record of working collaboratively. The contractor
immediately joined the team’s weekly meetings.
“The level of shared understanding was solid,” Mr. Dillon says. “There was
daily communication and shared trust.”
no way we could’ve done it in a year,” says Paddy
Dillon, associate director, Haworth Tompkins.
Mr. Dillon secured the smallest team
possible—two people from the National,
two from Haworth Tompkins and one
theater consultant—so they could make
decisions quickly and nimbly adapt to
changes. Fortunately, theater clients are
quite familiar—and comfortable—with
a flexible project management style, Mr.
“They’re used to managing projects
because every show they put on is a
project,” he says. “And they’re used to
dealing with risk because theater shows
are inherently risky. It’s what they do
every day of their lives, so they’re comfortable with
not always knowing and having to remain flexible.”
“If we tried to go
through the usual
linear process, there’s
no way we could’ve
done it in a year.”
—Paddy Dillon, Haworth Tompkins,