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Nailed It This Summer

09/02/16: “Nailed It This Summer” article by Mike Raible of The School Solutions Group and BAISCA’s Andrew LaRowe  in the September 2016 issue of School Planning and Management Magazine.

Photos courtesy of Andrew LaRowe


This is the time of year school districts look forward to the completion of many of their facility projects. New schools, additions, or major renovations that have been in various stages of development over a course of many years are at long last ready to open their doors. At the same time, smaller capital improvement projects were squeezed into the summer vacation and are set to finish just before the return of teachers and students.

Facilities administrators are consumed with punch lists and working through the details of project completion and before they know it, they are onto the next round of projects without taking a moment to evaluate what they have just experienced and attempt to gain something from it, Leadership in the practice of facilities planning, design, and construction requires the vision to not only see what the completed project will look like and how it will ultimately be used, but also the ability to identify the likely pitfalls along the way.

Process mapping is increasingly used to visualize the workflow. This is more than a resource-loaded Gantt chart. It is a diagram of each activity and decision point within the project. A generic map can be annotated for each specific project. Another technique for risk management is an in-house pre-mortem that identifies what could possibly go wrong on each specific project and how it will be addressed including proposed schedule and budget.

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