Managing Expectations

A strong team leader is key to a successful development project. Among his or her many functions is to educate clients and the design team as to the proper expectations for the project: processes related to the design, communication, management, invoicing schedules, deliverables, and the final result. If a leader says a project will be done in 4 months, what will actually be done needs to be defined. If, for instance only two-thirds of a large building’s construction can be built in a particular time frame, our client needs to know that. Effective team leaders do not try to sell clients on non-accomplishable goals. We can tell you what we want to do but there will never be a perfect project. Getting as close to perfect as we can is our goal.

 As team leaders, we do our best to keep projects moving forward. Unfortunately, we do not have control over all of the issues that can spring up on any particular project. Government rules may change. Engineering consultants might not be able to meet their deadlines. Clients might change their requirements, not respond in a timely manner or fail to pay their bills on time. Any and all of these things can affect schedules. Moreover, building materials and construction processes are growing more complicated as new rules take hold and prices rise at deferential times. Quality control becomes more challenging as economic factors negatively impact the experience level of our work force.

 At JHAI, communicating the truth to our clients—the real truth as we know it—helps keep expectations in check, and enables projects to come to fruition with the least amount of friction throughout the entire design process.