Strategic Property Planning – The Key is Quality Due Diligence

Successful property development is dependent on quality due diligence. Performing the necessary due diligence at the correct time is the key to effectively managing risk. Property development is not in reference only to new buildings but also inclusive of existing buildings scheduled to be retrofitted or updated once acquired.The primary impacts in all property development and property planning are scope, schedule and budget. Careful management of these three impacts and timely assessment of performance in each impact category will allow you to advance from milestone to milestone with confidence.Throughout the past twenty years I have come to realize there are as many project processes as there are projects. Standardization of process in the building industry is not existent for many reasons. This is a bit surprising since most projects have the same basic criteria and impacts for success. Those criteria being scope, schedule and budget.Property developers would benefit from finding a way to minimize risk or at least have a system to quantify risk and have a continual understanding of where the project stands relative to risk factors. Each person involved in the property development process has a responsibility as a risk manager whether they are the development manager, project designer, project engineer, project attorney, financial analyst or any stakeholder who is involved in the project advancement from milestone to milestone. There are predictive steps in the process and those steps if handled correctly can be manageable.Property development comes in many shapes and sizes. This may not be a one size fits all industry but there are some basic areas of due diligence that apply to most projects. Risk management and change management are the critical areas to focus planning.There are four basic levels of due diligence however there may be multiple steps for each level. The due diligence has a required order to be effective. It is important that your risk plans and change plans have measurable results. Considering the importance of project scheduling it is key that the risk and change plans can be tied into a milestone schedule.First you must Identify the factors that will have an influence, negative or positive on the success of your project. Second you will need to assess the impact of each factor or influence on the project. Next you must conceptualize or prioritize a solution to respond to all factors and impacts. Once you have completed these three levels of due diligence you are ready to begin the process of putting together a plan.Make a plan for change management. Make a plan for risk management. You will be glad you did. Check out my upcoming articles where I will go into more detail on the primary levels of risk management and provide information on how to build a risk management plan and a change management plan to help you succeed in the new economy.

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