Fine Art of Keeping Things on Track, on Time and on Budget; Control Is Essential to Good Project Management Says Gordon Hewling, of GVA Grimley in Newcastle

Article excerpt

PROJECT managing the construction of the global flagship retail centre of Westfield, the world's largest shopping centre owner/operator on a 40-acre site in London demanded vigilant, committed project management skills from GVA Grimley to complete the development.

We acted as lead consultant in preparing and implementing all project processes and procedures, procurement strategies, submissions and approvals, contract and legal frameworks covering contractors and consultants, planning and programming, costs, budgets and payment procedures, key stakeholder and third party representation, local authority and statutory liaison, weekly and monthly reporting.

The result is a successful retail and leisure centre with over four million sq ft gross over six levels and 1.6million sq ft of retail space, more than 40 restaurants, a luxury village, cinemas and leisure facilities.

Project management is at the centre of successful project delivery.

It is responsible not only for bringing projects in on time, within budget and to agreed standards, but for minimising risks and, where appropriate, disruption to day-to-day operations.

In its purest form, pro1 ject management separates the management function of a project from the design and execution functions.

On appointment the project manager must first gain an understanding of the client's objectives in terms of time, cost and performance, and the relative importance of each of these.

Thereafter, he or she needs to convey the client's requirements to the design and construction team.

It is also important to establish a good working relationship between the project manager and the client from the beginning. The project manager will then be aware of the areas where he may take decisions without consulting the client. …