Project Management for Real Estate

Flex BldgActivating an initiative for real estate without carefully aligning it to your objectives and a cogent, time-sensitive strategic plan(s) will set your business up to clean up a big mess that’s expensive and time-consuming. Would you risk your cash (and resources) on an investment initiative without researching the likelihood of it performing? Of course not. A structured action plan that plans for success includes a business case, an impact analysis, activated by a project management framework. BREG’s 7-Point Service was designed to guide each real estate initiative along a tested business process to ensure each project’s success; see case studies in Mayer’s Blog for examples.

strategize-iconStrategic Planning

Executive planning includes strategic, tactical and operational plans. Strategy is a high-level view of a vision to achieve. Tactics are the means to realize the strategic plan. Operational plans are the goals for departmental managers to achieve from deliverables. Your real estate project (initiative) should be aligned to your organizational objectives, realized through tactical planning. A business case and a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is recommended to determine how well the initiative is aligned to organizational objectives. Neglecting or passing-over this step could lead to an unplanned outcome or unwanted constraint, blocking the realization of objectives; fixing that problem creates excessive costs and downtime that materially impedes business operations.

Business Case. Any initiative needs cost-benefit analysis to justify how its implementation helps to meet organizational objectives. For real estate, it defines how an investment, expansion, or relocation effort would meet organizational objectives. Qualitative (judgement per criteria) and quantitative analysis (financial modeling) are performed with sensitivity analysis (what-if scenarios) to identify if the initiative is justified.

Business Impact Analysis. This assesses the risk associated with implementing the change. Is the risk worth the reward, or does the risk bring unwanted harm to the business?

Steering Committee. This group of thought leaders evaluates results of the business case and BIA, deliberating over the reports; an established commercial realtor can answer questions and offer advice. This group decides whether to return the research for more information, reject the initiative outright, or approve the initiative for implementation.

pm-iconProject Management Framework. The content below are the key points of project management.

Project Charter. An approved initiative is formally outlined in a project charter, to be signed by the project sponsor and BREG. The charter represents the goal of the project with which to create a Scope Of Work (the efforts performed to realize the goal), aligned with the scope of the project.

Scope Of Work (SOW). How your project will be conducted with the resources assigned to realize the deliverables. Roles of the steering committee, project manager and project team are outlined. A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) outlines how work is distributed to project players with delivery dates of work completion. Project Procurement is a 5-Phase process to source services and materials for processing to produce deliverables. These two documents are critical to guide the project players along a path to completion, with deadline dates to realize deliverables on time. (Note: a scope statement may be needed for larger projects.)

Project implementation. Initiate, Plan, Execute, Monitor & Control, Close. These five core phases conduct the effort of the project. A certified and experienced project manager is versed with this process.

This framework can be abridged when the project scope allows for it, yet the framework guides project participants along a critical path to complete the project.

Project Close. Project participants may be inclined to part from the project after the deliverables have been met, yet this step ensures all parties agree the customer received their deliverables and have accepted the outcome. This brief formal process reviews deliverables with the customer, seeks acceptance of deliverables, and written consent to close the project. All project participants are informed when the project is formally closed. BREG extends the date of project closure several weeks after the go-live date to identify a punchlist items that ensure the customer realizes its objectives from the project. Then, the brief process of project closure is performed.

Centralized Management = Timely, Integrity, Reliable, Predictable:

  • CAPM BOK to assess project, prepare business case, seek consensus for project, prepare project charter, scope of work, WBS, assemble functional or matrix staff.
  • ITILv3 principles and processes include strategy, design, implementation, operations (support).
  • Daily and weekly monitor and control to fine tune processes to ensure project produces deliverables as envisioned.
  • Project is documented in cloud-based PM productivity app to ensure timely documentation of project progress.

    handshakeIf you’re considering to activate a real estate project for your business, the process outlined above works consistently. If you’d like to discuss your plans for a real estate project, please ask your CFO or COO to fill out “Request a Consultation” at the base of About Me at Enter “Strategic Planning and PM” in the subject line, then paste the email signature of their executive assistant the message body. I reply within 24hrs to arrange an exploratory conference call within their calendar. ###

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