One of the first things you learn as an apprentice carpenter is always keep your tools sharp. They work better that way. It’s a simple statement that makes sense. Sometimes we all let our tools get a little bit blunt.

My tools may not be exactly what you would imagine. There’s no need to run down to Bunnings as there are no hammers required, just some plain old fundamental skills that we all have. The trick is to keep switching them on every day when you come to work and ensure they are sharp and working at 100 per cent. 

 

Tool #1 Thinking

Let me tell you what I think about thinking - not enough people do it. If your mind’s not switched on, then this office building process will end in tears. You have to be across many different levels depending on where you’re at in the project.

Big View Thinking 

This is right at the start of the journey. It’s when you move from concept to thinking about a lease, what does your business need now and what will it need in three to five years’ time?

Detailed Thinking

You have selected a property and now need to get the details out to experts so you build what your business needs to be the best, most productive and inspiring company it can be.

Action Thinking

It’s go time here and you must be on your toes. Construction has started and it’s busy on-site. There is action everywhere and your pulse is racing.

Completion Thinking

The project is nearing completion and it will be a smooth ending as long as you are in the completion-thinking mindset. Have you got everything under control?

Tool #2 Focus

As if thinking was not hard enough! Now you have to focus too. It’s the only way to follow through on all that thinking. If there is no focus on the tasks, then those great thoughts will always remain that - thoughts. 

Without Focus, there is no Strategy

Business Strategy Focus is the period from conception through to design. It’s basically where you’ll focus on all the things that will benefit the business from this building project. It’s where you must be on the ball, gathering information about the business activities. It’s short to medium planning; your lease has been signed and the design is almost complete. Lose focus here and you may not get everything you want in your fitout.

Construction Focus is the period from design to handover. The office space is turned into a building site and the walls are erected. You, as the project manager have just got busier. The game is on and it will only last so long, so you need to make sure you are kicking goals all the time before the final whistle blows.

 

Tool #3 Time Management

Time is the first of two key denominators that will span the entire project process, always vitally important. Without an awareness of time your project will end in tears.

It is vital that with every stage and every key step you take that a non-negotiable time frame is understood and agreed upon by all parties. Commitment to time is an absolute key to success.

 

Tool #4 Money Management

Money Management is the second key denominator, which like time spans the entire project process and one that requires accountant-like control.

Money is part of every decision you make. From what property to lease, to the type of furniture you select, down to the sign you put on your entry door.

Money, like time, needs to be controlled and a series of budgets to undertake moving the business should be developed using business planning and future forecasting as the inputs.