Are you cut out to project manage a reno?

By Staff Reporter

While anybody can project manage, there are certain skill sets that make some investors fit the bill better than others for the job.

Renovating for Profit’s Cherie Barber says being highly organised and someone who ‘makes lists’ are desirable qualities.

“Being a good communicator is also important, and definitely being friendly -- you need to be personable,” she continues.

Those who intend to take a management approach to renovating also need to understand that it requires treating the project as a business and as a job.

“There’s a big difference between the amateur renovators and the professional renovators,” she explains, saying the ‘Three Cs’ are the factors that separate those who will be successful in this role from those who will not.

These include: Time Control, Cost Control and Quality Control.

“Professional renovators are aware of those three things and they map them out on project plans and they work through their list.”

By using a business strategy, investors should aim to be organised from Day One and should have a list that can be crossed out as tasks are completed."

Directing is one of the most important parts of being a project manager and underpins the entire renovation’s success.

From organising work in progress meetings to ensuring that targets and schedules are being met, without this stage the project may fall apart.

However, it’s far simpler than it sounds and just requires sticking to a plan.

“A renovation is really just a big to-do list. You need to have your eye on making sure that you hit your targets, including time and quality control targets. You want everyone to be briefed properly, knowing what they have to do,” says Ms Barber.

“With all renovations it’s just a run sheet: you start at A and you end up at Z.”

Pravda Projects’ Angela Hemming explains that this part of being a project manager is very important when ensuring that problems will not occur down the track.

“It significantly reduces the risks associated with renovating by preparing realistic budgets, clarifying scope, managing timelines, quality and compliance efficiently,” she says.

In order to stay on top of renovations, savvy investors often choose project management software to assist with creating these run sheets.

“I use Microsoft Project for my project plans. It’s about $1,100 to buy the software and the beauty of it is that is really good and if one day changes, you can lift all the tasks that need to be done with who's responsible and when it starts and finishes.”

Consider organising these resources:

+ Scope of Works Document – This is a detailed contract that explains what is expected to be done for the price paid.

+ Site Diary – This is a daily record of everything that happened on site, including deliveries, issues, incidents and accidents. If a problem occurs, it can be subpoenaed in Court.

+ Project Management Software – Many programs exist that help streamline the renovation process and can help with planning. This can vary, from using Excel to Microsoft Project.

+ Run Sheet – This can often be created using the project management software, and is essentially an ‘A to Z’ list of what needs to be done.

+ Whiteboards – These can work as communication boards for the times you are not on site, and it can work both ways. Both the tradies and you yourself can leave messages.

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