Building is a balancing act

Posted On Dec 18 2020 by

first_imgHarmonizing Quality, Schedule, and Budget A successful building project requires a common vision of stakeholders. Having everyone on board is paramount – balancing quality, schedule, and budget with individual and team needs can make or break a project. Often these variables are at odds with each other, which makes the planning phase crucial. It also entails a strategic, thoughtful approach.A project manager’s job is to keep things moving… Which means asking the right questions, and setting the right course before building begins. It’s also being nimble enough to adjust to changing project demands and the ability to work together to solve problems. Ultimately, a project manager manages expectations, to ensure clients are pleased with the project not only upon completion but as the years go by.The first step of the project process is the pre-construction phase to align priorities, project requirements, and stakeholder expectations. Through alignment meetings and strategic sessions, stakeholders map an effective strategy based on agreed-upon organizational objectives, including a written statement or Project Charter.Adjusting to project demandsThe CEO’s role is to manage these approved stakeholder expectations throughout construction. Many variables can impact a project, including cost and functionality, and eventually add to or detract from member service. The project manager will guide the CEO through the process with a series of reviews and approvals, and help the CEO to manage change as it occurs during construction. This thorough review and constant check-in process helps to plan for and mitigate risk, and maintain realistic expectations, as the balancing act continues.More about costConsider that a transaction station (or teller line) can have multiple casework design options. For the optimal design, executive management should seek operations and teller feedback on how to best construct the equipment workflow (i.e. printer, monitor, and teller drawer layout). Perhaps not the least expensive solution, a more efficient casework will improve transaction flow and member service.Part of the balance also hinges on decisions about contractors, suppliers, and materials. For example, some materials have a larger initial investment but lead to future savings and improved ROI, such as LED lighting – which has a higher initial cost than incandescent, but offers significant savings over time.SchedulingIf any part of construction lags, costs increase. Here, labor contracts may be extended, property or equipment considerations evaluated or even the local authorities satisfied. As a preventive measure, a project manager should seek approvals from project stakeholders early on, before construction, especially for items with longer lead times, such as steel, glazing, furniture, etc.TeamworkThe importance of team support is never more evident than during the project building process. Leadership can gauge how the internal team operates as a whole and their ability to work under pressure. For the project manager, it can mean continually monitoring project progress, evaluating and aligning outside talent to meet project needs, or managing a project with an emphasis on community ties. It can also be selecting appropriate materials and resources. Balancing all priorities, the project manager will keep the Project Charter on focus and find the right solutions, without decreasing morale. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Colin Winters Colin has 15 years of project management experience and brings a myriad of expertise to the Momentum team. He guides clients through a constant check-in process throughout construction. He is … Web: www.momentumbuilds.com Detailslast_img read more


Fitch launches ESG credit rating ‘relevance’ scores

Posted On Sep 29 2020 by

first_imgFitch Ratings has introduced a scoring system to show how environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors affect the agency’s individual credit rating decisions.The ESG “relevance” scores “transparently and consistently display both the relevance and materiality of ESG elements to the rating decision”, Fitch said.It claimed the move filled a market gap by publicly disclosing how an ESG factor directly affected a company’s current credit rating.Fitch also declared that it was the first credit rating agency “to systematically publish an opinion about how ESG issues are relevant and material to individual entity credit ratings”. The rating agency has initially made all of the scores publicly available, with a plan to subsequently maintain and publish the scores on an ongoing basis as an integrated part of its credit research for individual issuers.The scores – on a scale of 1-5 – were to be introduced across all asset classes, Fitch said, although it has started with non-financial corporates.A score of ‘1’ or ‘2’ indicates no impact on the credit rating – because a given issue or topic was considered irrelevant either to a sector or to the entity with the sector.A ‘3’ score either indicates that a particular ESG issue has a minimum risk impact, or that the potential credit impact had been neutralised or diluted because the issuer was actively managing the issue effectively. “We lumped those two together because we thought, from an investor perspective, if we can highlight things that are potentially a risk but they’re being managed so they’re not a financial risk then there’s value in that,” said Andrew Steel, global head of sustainable finance at Fitch.According to Richard Hunter, global head of corporate ratings at Fitch, a ‘4’ score indicated that an ESG risk was beginning to affect the discussion about a credit rating, while a ‘5’ score was for “the very rare cases where a rating action was specifically driven by an ESG factor”.According to the rating agency, the scores would “enable investors to agree or disagree with the way in which we have treated ESG at both an entity and a sector level, assist them in making their own judgements about credit rating impact, and enable them to fully discuss all aspects of the credit with our analytical teams”. Expectations managementFitch emphasised that the scores “do not make value judgements on whether an entity engages in good or bad ESG practices”.While “some stakeholders would clearly like views and opinions which extend beyond credit, and address different timeframes and considerations”, Fitch’s focus was “purely on fundamental credit analysis”.In an FAQ document accompanying the announcement, the rating agency added: “Asset managers and asset owners are in the business of managing and directing funds, whereas our role is to provide rigorous, independent and insightful commentary on the credit risks surrounding an entity with respect to its ability to repay debt.“Providing this information in a transparent and challengeable manner is a significant step, but remains just a part of the overall considerations that investors are faced with when deciding how to allocate funds.”last_img read more