By James Haung, MPM
Condominium associations have projects that are large and small. Obviously most do not require a specially trained project manager to run them, but there are principles from the discipline of project management that can help improve the efficiency, minimize disruption, reduce costs, and improve the results for all of an association’s projects.
Condominium associations do not just have one project. They have a lot of projects that require management. Some projects are recurring, whereas others are only done once. The best way to manage multiple projects is through – program management. A Program Management Plan for a Condominium association might be for 5, 10, 20 or even 30 years.
It is understood that all things
will not go according to plan, but some time spent thinking through likely
possibilities is worthwhile. Some
of the general factors to consider in the Program Management Plan include:
The Program Management Plan can be developed with the assistance of appropriate professionals such as architects, engineers, and contractors. Some of this is frequently referred to as a “reserve study”, to help the board determine the amount of reserves needed by the Association based on the projected useful life of some of the mechanical systems, infrastructure, or other physical assets of the association. While a lot of things can change from the time projections are first made, the time spent on the Program Management Plan will give the board a better understanding of the big picture, and may save the Association from making the kind of mistakes of doing things out of sequence or running out of money.
As the board tentatively approves a specific project, there are a number of preliminary considerations:
After firm plans and budgets are determined, the board can make the final approval to get the project underway. The Project Manager will focus on:
Following the above, the association enhances the likelihood that the project will be on time, on budget, and serve the needs of the residents of your condominium association.
James Haung, MPM, is a consultant to Enlan Condominium Management Company, a Chicago property management company serving condominium and townhome associations in and near downtown Chicago. James has a Masters of Project Management degree from Northwestern University, as well as a master’s degree from Hohai University in civil/structural engineering. James is the director of research and development department of Newtec Windows, and has worked as a project manager for a developer of luxury homes.
Enlan Condominium Management Company specializes in providing property management services for condominiums and townhomes. http://www.enlan.com
Newtec Windows is a Chicago manufacturer and distributor of quality windows. http://www.newtecwindow.com
For further reading see:
Capital Improvement Planning for Condominium Associations