We have always believed that project management pays dividends for the owner. The requirements for the technology systems now dwarf the requirements from 1998, NTI’s first year in business. This is true in every market we serve. Accordingly, proper planning, design, and implementation have become more complex. The evolution of technology over the past decade raises issues that can cost an owner in change orders, delays, and operations.
Some people in the industry refer to technology systems in commercial developments as the 4th utility. Unlike the first three utilities (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing), there is no requirement to hire a Technology Consultant. Doing so, however, can avoid oversights, mistakes, and delays.
A technology consultant can assist the owner and project team as early as Master Planning, translating into savings later in the project. Real savings are achieved by having a well trained and expert technology team help with all phases of technology. The general areas that help save time and money are:
- Systems/Budget Process
- Review of Drawings
- Delivery of a Supplemental Set
- RFP Process Management
- Service Providers Liaison
- Installation Oversight
- Technology Installation Management
Each year there are technology advances that affect commercial development. The DAS article discussing adequate cellular coverage included in this newsletter is an excellent example of advances with technology that affects commercial development.
Technology changes occur more rapidly than any of the original three utilities, so logically, project management pays for the technology for the project. Yet planning, budgeting, and management are often overlooked for technology. We have found that in projects where the technology was managed from planning to implementation, there were fewer problems, change orders, delays, and operational issues.
Project management of technology is not a requirement, but it is certainly a smart business decision for the owner and/or operator of a commercial property, whether the project is a new, renovation, or adaptive reuse development.
by Jeff Cook, RCDD - NTI Founder