Pillars of a Successful Construction Project

Mike Reid 2070

By Mike Reid, Vice President, Construction, Capital and Facility Contracting

To shape building or renovation plans, decrease costs and ensure projects meet functional requirements, healthcare providers must build a comprehensive program that covers all aspects of construction – from planning to furniture. Just as important as design specifications and functional requirements, are clinical resources and considerations to support the information needs for compliance, regulatory and research developments. The advantages of utilizing an end-to-end construction and renovation program include:

  • A comprehensive solution that consists of more than just contracts.
  • A voice at the table during construction meetings.
  • Construction specialists to maximize savings through interaction with architects, general contractors, equipment planners and interior designers at all stages of the project.
  • Utilization of local contractors and vendors throughout the process if desired.

Let’s take a look at four pillars necessary for building a successful construction project (Contract, Team, Communication, Budgeting and Scheduling) and some important points to consider for each.


  • Develop contracts that protect the owner’s best interests.
  • Select a project delivery method that aligns with the owner’s needs and concerns.
  • Implement a detailed review process for the change orders and pay application process.
  • Allow a process that selects the most qualified contractor and design team.
  • Carefully review and align the correct project delivery strategy to match the project key outcomes (Design-Build, Guaranteed Maximum, CM at risk, Fixed Fee, etc.).
  • Clearly identify and document whose responsibility and whose budget responsibility it is for key processes (examples: equipment planning, transition planning, move management, art and minor equipment installation).
  • Obtain a third party review of plans and contract language prior to execution.


  • Establish the right project and consulting team early on in the process.
  • Make sure the owner and the consultant team are engaged early on in order to make timely decisions.
  • Assign a single point of contact on the owner’s side of the project.


  • The contractor and design team must fully understand the goals and vision of the client and leadership.
  • Coordination and communication during design and construction is key among all stakeholders involved in the project.
  • Make project management tools and software available to all team members.

Budgeting & Scheduling

  • Ensure that the project team and its consultants manage to the approved scope and budget.
  • Closely monitor and adhere to the budget at each phase of the project.
  • Assign appropriate contingencies to handle unforeseen project conditions.
  • Apply lessons learned and past knowledge from previous construction projects to the planning, scheduling and budget process.
  • Use value analysis based technology decisions to ensure lower building operating costs for energy and service agreements.
  • Determine service agreement costs during capital equipment purchases to ensure best negotiation leverage.

Your team should encompass years of practical and managerial construction experience and be well-versed in product selection, sourcing solutions, product specification and interaction with contractors, architects and interior designers to maximize contract utilization and savings throughout the project.

With the above bases covered, you should be positioned to create and deliver truly unique cost saving alternatives in all phases of a construction/renovation project specifically geared towards your facility’s needs.

To always keep these pillars and tips top of mind, download our 4 Pillars of a Successful Construction Project graphic.

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