Now that you actually have the house its time to change it to your future home. Its time to start doing the changes you planned. Its time to put your project management techniques to the test. It is a continuous challenge to finish your project with the right quality, time and budget. I’m a software project manager and deal with these kind of challenges on a day to day basis. After mastering the simple principles explained below I can guarantee that your project will be a success.
First of all, a successful project, is delivered in full, within time, budget and with the right quality.
Consider this triangle:
You can change the scope by varying what gets done. You probably don’t need all 3 bathrooms finished together. At first 1 is enough. The curtains, carpets and air conditioning systems can be installed at a later date. By doing these you can vary the scope of this triangle. Start by focusing only on what’s important.
I would start by writing down a list of things that need to be done. For example:
For each of these try to make a note if it’s a must have or a nice to have. There are multiple ways of doing this. You can either think in phases or in rooms.
When thinking in phases, phase 1 would be structural changes for all rooms, phase 2 would be electricity and plumbing for all rooms and phase 3 would be flooring for all rooms.
When thinking in rooms, think of all the different phases applied to a single room and then starting over to do all the phases in another room. In the longer term this approach is slightly more expensive however with this approach you are able to control your budget better. You can easily stop after the bathroom is done or else plan in another room. In some cases this approach will not work. For example you can’t pass the electrics or plumbing for a single room then do the next. You might need to pass in new pipes from the room you just fixed.
So initially its better to use the phased approach then switching to room approach as you get closer to the furnishing stage. Use your list of “must haves” to try to establish what needs to be done. If the kitchen is a must have you will need plumbing and electricity for most of the house. If the washroom upstairs is a nice to have you can keep back from doing the washroom flooring and finalizing the plumbing for the moment.
More often then not you are not really in particular hurry to finish the house. If you have no where to live you might consider renting somewhere till you gain more time. More time gives you the ability to compare quotes and make sure you get best deals. If time is on your side you can start learning some skills and even work on items yourself.
This is simple enough. If you can throw more money, at your project you should be able to get things done faster and with higher quality. Whenever an issue is found you can easily throw in more money to help resolve this issue.
Varying scope and time: This is what most of us usually have. In this case I would try to do as many items as possible by myself. Keep things into proportion. If an extra hour of overtime is less then or equal to what a professional would take you might consider that option. Furthermore you can remove items from scope to make sure that the cost aim is met.
Varying scope and cost: Here you can remove things out of scope to make sure you finish on time. In this case I would even be tempted to select one supplier from another, based on how quickly they are likely to start the work, even if one supplier is more expensive then the other.
Varying time and cost: Even though you can throw in more money to solve all situations I would still try to compare quotations and get the best deal to not compromise quality. Remember that the cheaper option isn’t always the best.
So you have a fixed budget, you are not willing to compromise any rooms and you like the project finished within a particular time. I got bad news for you… it is quite likely that the quality will be compromised. I would say, that your chances of success in this scenario are quite diminished. Things will go wrong, and when they do the only thing which you can compromise would be quality. I would try to find a way to get out of this situation.
Hope this information helps you as much as it has helped me. Even though the process might be overwhelming, you are not the first person doing this. If it’s the first time you are doing this consider getting a project manager to assist with this work.
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