Risk Management

One of the most fundamental parts of successfully delivering projects is risk management

But its an area that most people have no clue about

Or at best pay lip service too

For me risk management has three fundamental benefits to your project

  1. It allows you to identify threats, issues and opportunities which are present on your project
  2. It allows you to put in place actions to either minimise the threats or maximise the opportunities
  3. It allows you to make an allowance for risk-based contingency on your project (both financial and time based)

So, remind me again why you don’t bother with risk management on your projects?

Next time you go late, over budget, a contractor lets you down or just in general things don’t go as you expected, ask yourself

“Could I have foreseen this as a project risk and done something about it”

The answer will almost always be


In order for us to provide the best possible service we can to our clients, we are one of only 5000 or so people on the planet to be certified by the world’s leading project management organisation as a Risk Management Professional.

Best practice is there for a reason – to be followed. No point in re-inventing the wheel!

Site Health & Safety

You should be ashamed of yourself

Well not all of you

But you know who you are

You claim to be a “professional” property investor / deal packer / sourcer / developer / insert whatever word the course you have been on told you to write

But you cut corners wherever you can

You post pictures of your refurbs on social media….

Incriminating your blatant disregard to the safety and well being of the workforce you use to deliver your construction work

Constantly seeking out the cheapest price to do everything so that you can maximise the financial gain of your projects

You have no idea about the laws that govern the projects you undertake day to day

For those of you who know I am talking about you, but don’t give a shit, it will catch up to you one day

For the rest of you who want to make a change to the way you deliver projects


Who want to make sure everyone on your projects goes home safe and sound to their families, make sure you understand the fundamental laws that govern the construction projects you are involved in

The Good Old Days

It makes me feel old to start a post like this but does anyone remember the good old days?

The ones I’m specifically referring too, are the days when at the beginning of a project there used to be the Holy Trinity of an architect, a structural engineer and a QS?

The architect would design the clients dreams, the engineer would make sure it could be built and the QS would ensure it met the client’s budget and provide a standardised basis for going out to tender.

Now we usually get the architect who asks the clients budget and tries to design something to it. Sometimes successful, sometimes not. The danger here is they will use a norm or metric which works sometimes but often any complexities in the build won’t be taken account of.

They will usually still engage the services of an engineer but often they will just design beams not carry out a constructability review.

Why is it that the QS was deemed surplus to requirements? And that the architect could carry out their role or at least part of it?

They will argue that as part of their training they did sections on how to manage contracts and carry out tenders. As part of my QS training, we did building designs and drawings, but that doesn’t mean I’m competent or capable of selling it as part of my services.

I don’t disagree that engaging a QS up front will increase your initial outlay on a project but the reality is that this will always be money well spent.

The Role Of A Project Manager

What does a Project Manager actually do?

Well for me its not the usual “manage and co-ordinate trades and contractors onsite”

Far from it. The key roles of a project manager are as follows:

  1. Stakeholder Management – making sure everyone in the project is consulted and communicated with, in accordance with their significance
  2. Risk Management – identification and management of all risks that could impact the project
  3. Setting the project up for success – producing and compiling all the documentation necessary to achieve project success (I call this the baseline)
  4. Controlling project delivery – measuring and managing project performance against the baseline set

These aren’t the only things a project manager does, but these are the fundamentals.

Project management is all about following a tried and tested process for delivering projects.

I use the Successful Project Delivery Blueprint which is based around Global Project Management best practice coupled with my experience of delivering projects from £10k to £4bn.

Under Promise And Over Deliver

Why is it that everyone always over promises and under delivers? Wouldn’t the world be a happier place if under promise and over delivers was the norm?

To me over promising is giving your client a shit service.

Im not architect bashing here but as a QS they are the bane of my life sometimes.

For those of you who don’t know, what usually happens is, a client instructs an architect and gives them a brief of what they want, and the budget they have to achieve it.

The architect then usually designs something that is right on the verge of their budget or maybe 10-20% over.

Why do they do this? Is it a vanity thing? Or are they just insane?

I say this as the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Then I receive it to price, submit it and get told by the client its over their budget. Like it’s MY fault!

Im just pricing what’s on the drawings mate!

Then what usually happens is the cheapest contractor gets chosen and maybe even asked to drop their rates.

This is usually a mistake, a BIG one.

Cutting rates = shit service

As they will go somewhere else the moment they are getting more £

My advice…

Engage a builder and a QS as early in the process as possible

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