CCI Newsletter 3 - 2021-2022

The Little Manager that Couldn ’ t

This is the fable of the well - intentioned Condominium Manager who made all the wrong choices in Project Management:

Once upon a time, there was a condominium manager, who awoke everyday with purpose and drive to make their communities run without the boards or the owners having to fret or fuss. This young Hero felt that condominium managers typically did not take enough of a hands - on role with their buildings and communities. It all started when the board and our Hero discussed the corridor refurbishment planned in the upcoming Reserve Fund Study. The board wanted to paint the common walls red and replace the corridor wallpaper. Never having done a project like this before, our Hero treated the painting and wallpaper replacement as the goal of the project and met with a couple of contractors on site to obtain pricing. First mistake: Ignoring the vision of the project of corridor refurbishment and seeing only the tasks of painting and wallpaper replacement.

Justin Tudor, P.Eng., is President and Partner of Keller Engineering. His specialty is in building restoration design, building envelope design, and is a multi-discipline project coordinator, project management.

TIP: Consult (or hire) a designer. There are benefits.

The contractors were helpful for discussing potential scope. Responses varied from “ Here ’ s your price ” to “ Tell me what you want me to do, and I ’ ll price it ”. In these discussions, it became apparent that the aging carpets should be replaced at the same time. Second mistake: not realizing that the lights mounted in the corridor would have to come down to replace the wallpaper. TIP: Create a scope of work with the help of a designer or manager who has completed this type of project before. Look at all of the elements as you stand in the location, with the contractors who are bidding, allowing questions to be asked by all parties. When our Hero returned to the board with the scope of work, Jane Q. Boardmember asked if they could include the wallpaper they recently saw installed at the new condo down the street. “ Of course, ” said our Hero, who then diligently sourced the wallpaper for inclusion in the scope of work. Third mistake: not considering that this wallpaper was made of gold - plated rhinoceros ’ horns and was 4 times the price of what was existing. It ’ s at this point that the narrator decides to stop numbering our Hero ’ s mistakes and decides to let the train wreck unfold without judgment. Our Hero sent out a 7 - line email to multiple contractors to ask for pricing on the project. Timelines for providing the price or completing the work were not defined. Some material was specified (wallpaper) and some was left up to the contractor ’ s judgment (types and sheen of paint). Our Hero reached out to their network and received various references for contractors to invite. The board also requested Joe Wallpaper (the building handyman) to submit a price. The contractors submitted pricing on different days, and our Hero, rather than collecting them all, sent them to the board as they arrived. Jane Q. Boardmember, casually mentioned to Joe Wallpaper that they were still

Jennifer Dickenson, BSC (Hons), RCM, LCCI is a condominium manager with Dickenson Condo Management. She was elected to the CCI Board in 2016 and currently serves as the President of the London and Area Chapter.

CCI Review 2021/2022 —March 2022 - 24

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