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Advice and Resources for Private Club Management and Board Members

Private Clubs Should Hire a Project Manager for Capital Projects

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Learn Why Private Clubs Should Consider Hiring a Project Manager for Major Capital Projects

Private Clubs have a nearly insatiable appetite for capital. In order for a Private Club to remain competitive and thrive, there’s a constant need to invest in the preservation, modernization and transformation of physical assets.

Major capital projects can be problematic for a Private Club. Coordination of architects, general contractors, interior design firms, related professionals as well as government agencies that handle permitting is critical. When not well managed, the risks are that major capital projects may well come in late, over budget, with compromised quality and/or fewer features than originally planned. In addition to the obvious financial impact, a consequence to a Private Club could be a deterioration in member experience and satisfaction.

The General Manager/Clubhouse Manager may not be the right person to manage a major capital project. For many, they may not have required skills sets. For most, the day-to-day responsibility for managing the operations of a Private Club is more than a full-time job and there may not be enough time to devote to large budget projects. Similarly, Board and Committee members (even those with relevant skill sets) may well have other responsibilities away from the Club.

Here are some of the benefits of hiring a project manager:

  • Working with the GM, the relevant Board committee and the entire project team, the project manager helps create a comprehensive project plan. Such a plan lays out roles and responsibilities, timing, and other factors necessary to deliver the capital project on time, on budget and with the features and qualities that were envisioned.
  • A project manager will monitor cost, deadlines, and scope and keep them in sync.
  • Unless managed by one point of contact/approval, scope creep and/or change orders (even minor in nature) have the potential of adding significant cost and delays to a capital project. Working with the team, a project manager can efficiently manage change orders and their impact.
  • As a single point of contact, a project manager will make sure that the all parties are communicating effectively, dealing with any conflicts that might arise, and ensuring all involved are fully informed as to the status of the project.

When a Private Club hires a project manager, the Club’s GM and representatives of relevant Board Committees should commit to regular meetings to make sure everyone is well informed and that issues that arise are evaluated and dealt with on a timely basis.

While hiring a project manager adds a line to a capital project budget, improved management of the project and the resulting savings may more than offset the incremental cost.

Club Board Professionals is a strategic financial consulting and training firm.  The Principals, Dave Duval and Joe Abely, assist clubs achieve excellence in three areas: governance, financial sustainability and membership satisfaction. Contact us for a complimentary initial assessment of your club.

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