The difference between a new headquarters that facilitates credit union growth and a project that drags organizational performance down often relates to project management. Our March column addressed how developing a strategic occupancy plan, assembling the right team and stress-testing project plans impact organizational growth. Now we turn our attention to the need for strong management.
Executives must identify up-front how the project will affect their work priorities and those of their staffs from start to finish. A common complaint is, “We had no idea how much of our time would be involved. The project set back several other scheduled initiatives.” Work with your facility consultant and/or architect and contractor to create a master project schedule and insert individual staff resource requirements throughout the process.
An additional tool is a responsibility matrix, which spells out all the tasks involved at each step of the project and the people who take primary, support, input and approval responsibilities. Developing this matrix may sound like a lot of work, but it can avert resource allocation disaster.
The credit union should provide a single point of contact, or project champion, from start to finish for an HQ project. Some credit unions hire an outside project manager for a big HQ project so their staff can focus on running the organization. The monthly costs for a project manager can range from $4,000 to $20,000 based on the size of the project.
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