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PLN3C Team Management
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

I have included key elements of my philosophy for managing teams or being a part of a planning, design, and/or construction management team. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have about my Team Approach, I would be delighted to discuss them with you.
 
1. Ability to Manage a Multi-Project Program of Capital Improvements, including:

a. Developing scopes, budgets and schedules

I have developed over 200 million dollars of scopes, schedules, and estimates; ranging from small projects under 100K to multimillion dollar projects. These S, S, & Es were developed either as a member of a larger team or as a PM or a Department Director. Some representative projects as Manager or Director are:

Office reconfigurations “Churn”, General Architectural modifications, HVAC and Electrical system upgrades, security and emergency systems upgrades, and the management of re-roofing programs for multiple facilities.

The 45 million dollar renovation of the TVA office towers in Knoxville, TN. Approximately 400,000sf of renovation and upgrades to the twin towers while managing the complexity of an occupied facility. I was the team member/PM in charge of the renovation of the two main lobbies, public services, conference services, and food services.

The planning, budgeting, and the securing funding for the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The NCCH&W is a 35 million dollar complex to house, indoor athletics, student health, and the Health and Wellness Promotions curriculum.

Also, see paragraph 8. Most Resent Experience:

b. Creating a coherent program that balances goals, priorities and constraints

While at Harrison Medical Center and the University of North Carolina at Asheville I was responsible for the development of their first comprehensive guidelines and standards documents for Design and Construction. These were both web based documents and are a component of the Design and Construction Requirements Package for review by all A/E firms and all Contractors doing business with these organizations for compliance. These packages also included Supplemental General Conditions as well as the requirements for attracting underutilized design and construction firms and standard forms for project reporting. The D&C-G&S and the rest of the package represents the goals, priorities, and constraints all designers and contractors are required to operate under.

c. Reporting program status for successful decision-making

Working closely throughout my career with clients, team members, service providers, consultants and contractors I pride myself in the ability to resolve issues and conflicts through cross functional consensus building and creating the very best atmosphere for staff, client, designer, service provider, and builder success. I have also been required at numerous occasions to relate status to the media, various community foundations and public and private clubs and organizations, federal and state agencies, as well as in-house departments, management and boards. I have used MS PowerPoint, MS Projects, MS Excel and MS Word as well as Primavera and Prolog as the foundations for these presentations.

 

2. Ability to Administer Projects, including:

a. Successful management of completed projects

One of the key components of the development of the UNCA-D&C–G&S is to provide for decision making that includes the building facilities maintenance and management department personnel. This is done to achieve a facility consisting of equipment and systems that are familiar to the FM folks, for efficient operation as well as minimizing warehousing requirements. This includes the FM folks from the sanitary engineers, to HVAC techs, to management to affect the real meaning of “Ownership”.

b. Supervising in-house staff and outside consultants

My last couple of position consisted of a direct report staff of 3 and 5 respectively. I was able to succeed in creating a cohesive team that not only worked well together as an in-house team, but was able to embrace other department needs, as well as outside design / engineering consultants and service providers as part of “The Team”. This also expanded to embrace the contracted Construction Team as projects were realized in the field. This was not a start to finish process, but encompassed multiple projects small and large; at any one time we could have as many as 40 projects underway at various levels of implementation.

c. Managing budgets and schedules

As is the case with all projects there are delays and unknowns, but I pride myself in my ability to minimize these Uh-Ohs. As I have outlined in my 1c response; “Working closely throughout my career with clients, team members, consultants and contractors the ability to resolve issues and conflicts through cross functional consensus building and creating the very best atmosphere for all succeed.” 

 

3. Ability to Administer Construction Projects, including:

a. Successful construction management of completed projects

As outlined in 2a above the cross functional teaming effort continued throughout construction phase of a project as well. Along with the usual pay request reviews, shop drawing reviews and standard code required inspections project site inspections included D&C staff and FM staff. I have been instrumental in developing in-house building commissioning teams that focused on pre-functional and startup testing as well as integrated functional equipment and system testing. Examples: Successful resolution of unforeseen conditions within budget and on time. Successful resolution of contractor failure to perform within budget and on time.

b. Coordination of contractor and activities

The day to day construction activities were monitored by the assigned PMs and those persons had access to other in-house staff or specialty consultants with the as needed expertise to address concerns or issues. But for the most part the PM attended all weekly project and safety meetings as well as daily general project walk-downs and monitored key events. Short term schedules were reviewed at the contractor’s weekly meetings and long term schedules were reviewed at the designer’s monthly project meetings. Key FM staff was encouraged to review construction progress and report any concerns they had to the PM. ALL comments and directions went through the assigned PM, it is the PM and the PM alone that directed the contractor.This eliminated…, or at least reduced confusion in the field. As director of Design and Construction I monitored the PM’s efforts in our weekly in-house project progress meetings and I attended the monthly designer/contractor meetings. If there were any significant problems developing or an on going major problem I was expected to manage it if requested by the assigned PM or if I felt something was a miss I would first confer with the PM and respond as requested.

c. Managing construction budgets and schedules

The PM managed these activities on a day to day basis. As director I monitored it in the weekly in-house project progress meetings and as I had signature authority of all project expenditures I had final review and approval of the monthly invoices.

 

4. Ability to Successfully Negotiate Contracts for Professional Services

As Director or Project Manager I approved all advertisements, contracts, and services. Architects and engineers were selected on a per project basis. Major projects (over 300K) were selected via RFPs (Requests for Proposals) and depending on the expenditure (usually over 5 million) a selection committee reviewed and interviewed a short list of no less that 3 or as many as 5 firms. Small projects (under 300K) were selected from a pool of A and Es that had already been screened for Annual Design Agreements. At Harrison some projects were executes in-house with the assistance of the operations staff.

 

5. Ability to Facilitate Group Decision-Making Processes, including:

a. Obtaining meaningful input from users and affected parties

As I hope you have already perceived from my previous responses my focus on consensus building, cross-functional teaming, and the need and requirement to instill ownership in a project is paramount to my management style. This is best done by allowing the exchange of ideas, recognizing the importance of those who will manage and maintain the facility are just as important if not more important than the designer or contractor. Also, are we meeting the users needs, does the budget meet those needs and if not, where is the client willing to cut or compromise. There is no member of the diverse group of people involved in a executing a project that should be alienated by the process. This makes for a more involved process, but it also makes for a well received and functional facility that we can all be proud of and feel “Ownership” with.

b. Facilitating groups in working towards a common vision

As I suggest in my response to 5a….., “consensus building, cross-functional teaming, and the need and requirement to instill ownership” is paramount.

c. Gaining consensus while maintaining the integrity of the design process

Again as suggested in response 5a…, are we meeting the users needs, does the budget meet those needs and if not where is the client willing to cut or compromise”. It is not only important for the client or user to understand the limitations of the budget, but it is important for the designer to understand them too. Were a designer might see square footage cuts as the answer, to save his signature lobby, it is the Owners Management Team’s job to be vigilant and understand “before the fact” that the signature lobby should not be a part of the project to begin with if it means functionality is compromised. I say, “…Design appropriate”.

 

6. Ability to Maintain Effective Relationships, including:

a. Working successfully with a variety of people with a wide diversity of perspective

Again I quote 5a…., “This is best done by allowing the exchange of ideas, recognizing the importance of those who will manage and maintain the facility are just as important if not more important than the designer or contractor”. I go on to say…, “This makes for a more complex process, but it also makes for a well received and functional facility that we all can be proud of and feel “Ownership” with”.

b. Maintaining flexibility and the willingness to find solutions to problems

The design and construction effort is primarily the process of finding solutions, whether they seem routine or unique the answer is the ability to generate solutions and to entertain all options while anticipating the cause and effect of each scenario. Open communications and cross functional decision making are the key to this success. Albeit the owner, the designer, the contractor, the user, or the maintenance technicians they all have a stake in the results and ownership in the solutions.

 

7. Ability to Analyze Complex Issues, including:

a. Developing and evaluating multiple solutions

The process of building facilities is chiefly the cyclical process of developing, analyzing, and selecting solutions, whether they seem routine or unique the goal is for the Owner’s D&C Manager to be the catalyst that instills the willingness in the team to understand that each solution is as important as the next and to build a consensus for arriving at the right solution again and again and it is this solution cycle that is actually unique to each project.

b. Analyzing the implications of decisions

All decisions begin with a cause and end with an effect, it is with experience one is able to anticipate the effect. But “one” or the individual is more effective when part of a team analyzing the cause and effect. It is the duty of the Owner’s D&C Manager to create the boundaries that helps a diverse team arrive at the “design appropriate” decision, as all aspects have been reviewed and the each key team member has been heard..., what is the constructibility, what is the cost implication, what is the effect on schedule, what is the maintainability…, all of these questions should have a rational and valid answer to reasonably anticipate the cause and effect of any decision.

 

8. Most Resent Experience:

a. Master Planning/Strategic Planning

The leadership committee is focused on the development of the medical center’s growth through 2010 for the three primary campuses. This includes an upgrade to the main hospital from double occupancy patient rooms to single occupancy rooms; the relocation of these beds to our secondary hospital campus facility; as well as the development of urgent care satellite facilities. I am a Medical Center Leadership member and provide technical and data resources for the Committee. I feel my long range planning experiences equates well with the needs and programs of a Municipality such as Asheville.

b. Renovation and Expansion Planning

This includes the modification of existing spaces into 1) state of the art Emergency Service Angiograph Suite, 2) the addition of a second Radiation Oncology Linear Accelerator Suite, 3) interim upgrades to the Echo/Ultra-sound Suite, 4) as well as general office and conference space renovations, minor modification and department and individual office move coordination. Hospital patient room upgrades, as well as two Urgent Care / MOBs, and out-patient service centers. 

c. The development of In-house Planning, Design, and Construction Guidelines and Standards

This includes conducting cross functional development team meetings focused on building design and construction and how it relates to operation’s inventory reduction, equipment standardization, and operation’s technician familiarity and understanding of new systems coming online. This will be a web based document accessible by Architects and Engineers doing work on the Medical Center campuses.

d. Federal and State Codes, Regulations, Guidelines and Standards

As well as the in-house criteria effort, I also am familiar with the latest healthcare codes and regulations, including but not limited to NFPA requirements, ICC Requirements, JCAHO guidelines and procedures (as it relates to facility requirements), and the Washington State Department of Health and the Department of Labor and Industry requirements. These last two agencies equate to the North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Insurance as to their governance of facility planning a development.

 

Once again, thank you for visiting to review my thoughts and examples of past and present professional experiences. My goal is to help you pinpoint your client’s needs and to realize those needs as they relate to my TEAM MANAGEMENT - KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ABILITIES.

 

Respectfully,

P Peter Nielsen, AIA, NCARB

360-477-2397 or 828-333-5118

info@pln3consultants.com