A Roadmap To Success For Country Club Improvement Projects

8 Factors Influencing Successful Outcomes for Country Club Facilities

As country club membership continues to evolve so should club facilities. More and more country clubs are undergoing renovations to reinvent themselves and modernize their facilities while enhancing their offerings for today’s members. Marcus Vess, Darden Senior Vice President, has applied his 30 years of managing design and construction of projects in a country club environment to offer advice that will keep your projects on-track. Here, he outlines eight key factors that will influence your project’s successful outcome:

  1. Leadership and Teamwork- Every project team needs the following: a clear vision of the project, commonly shared goals and objectives, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and “roadmap” for how to reach success. Having a strong and efficient team will greatly affect your projects results.
  2. Expectation Management – That pesky reality of market costs pushes budgets out of line. Often our desires and hopes exceed our budget. That being said, it is important to carefully manage communication and information. Make sure you estimate conservatively and include contingencies.
  3. Effective Budgeting and Scope Management – Develop a complete and comprehensive budget. Make sure that the budget and scope match.  At the first sign they don’t, stop and adjust so that they do.  Consider a “cost model” approach (i.e. “Budget” [the verb] with enough granularity so that there is a clear understanding of quality, quantity, etc.).
  4. Comprehensive Planning – Planning takes time. Done well, it can help streamline the process of design and construction and avoid many of the pitfalls that would occur otherwise.  It helps with expectation management and can help minimize disruption to ongoing operations and member events.
  5. Timely Decision-Making – A design and construction project is a journey of thousands of decisions. The goal is to “make decisions once”!  That requires making well-informed decisions.  Decisions today are the foundations of future decisions. In other words,  time is money.  Having an effective process for understanding the importance and impact of decisions – the timing, the choices, and the pros and cons of the options – is key.
  6. Complete and Coordinated Documents – Construction Documents (the contract + plans and specifications) define what is to be built. A well-developed set of documents (that represents what the Owner wants) is critical to a successful project outcome.
  7. A Linear Process (change avoidance) “Make Decisions Once” – Avoiding changes, such as false starts, can save huge amounts of time and money. Clubs who undertake design and construction projects are, in effect, becoming a “developer” assuming certain risks.  Working toward the concept of “straightening out” the process means working efficiently and effectively.
  8. Recognize and Celebrate Success Moving projects forward is often a process of identifying what needs to be done and pressing for completion of tasks and responsibilities. Doing so can be perceived as having a negative focus on what isn’t done.  It is important to acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of the team along the way to keep momentum and focus through completion.

Managing the design and construction process can be an ominous task, but keeping these things in mind as you approach your next facility improvement project will improve your chances of success.

For more information or advice on managing your next facility improvement project, reach out to Marcus Vess at mvess@dardencompany.com.

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