Project management is an important part of the installation of any new office.
Here’s what Christina Brunkel, the newest member of our Project Management team, had to say on that subject during a recent interview:
We asked: What do you feel are the top 3 most important aspects of your job?
Christina answered: Project Management is a new adventure for me even though I have been in the industry for 6+ years. I am going to say the most important aspect of my job is communication. Communication is vital so that the client, installers and any other important players are up to date and able to work together toward a successful completion. Another is honesty. The client is expecting to be able to rely on you as their advocate and if I am not communicating accurate information, I have failed the client. Finally, creativity is necessary when those events take place that will ‘throw a wrench’ into the regularly scheduled program. You have to be creative to ensure that the show goes on and without any inconvenience to the client.
We asked: What was your most recent, or most important project to date?
Christina answered: All projects and clients are of equal importance. I was very proud to have been able to assist Laura with some small aspects of the Mazzoni Center project, as the center will provide such amazing resources for the LGBTQ community of which I am a member. It is nice to see a building from infancy and to have played even a small part in its creation, especially when you know it is shaping into what will be a pillar of your community and will provide so much support to people you know and interact with in day to day life.
We asked: Give an overview of what the project entailed-highlighting any special challenges, or exciting aspects, or achievements related to this project.
Christina answered: During the Mazzoni Center installation, we were faced with a challenge that can often occur in a busy city area. Parking. In order for our trucks to gain delivery access, we arranged with the parking authorities to have the immediate vicinity marked as a “No Parking” zone for a short period during the installation. Unfortunately, residents of the area didn’t realize that this applied to them, which resulted in a situation where our trucks couldn’t gain access as planned. Thankfully, we managed to overcome this challenge with help from the local authorities and soon our trucks were able to offload. For a Project Manager, these kinds of challenges add a little extra excitement to our day!
We asked: What’s your best advice for someone who is thinking about revamping their office space, e.g. what are the critical factors you would say need to be considered before embarking on the project?
Christina answered: Of course the one and only best advice to give is…..Call COFCO.
I do believe that COFCO is top notch and will get the project done on time and within budget. If the client is doing much of the planning on their own: measure, measure, measure. Convey vital information with your teams such as time frame, goals, budget and concerns.
We asked: Why does a client benefit from working closely with you as opposed to trying to handle the project by themselves?
Christina answered: The benefits of working closely with a COFCO Project Manager is that it is not just a project to us. We genuinely care about our clients and their ongoing projects. We will do what we have to do, every time, because it is rewarding and we genuinely enjoy people. Having a second set of eyes and ears is invaluable. Also, being trained in the products and procedures, we are able to act as an advocate for the client to be sure they are getting the service they deserve. Time is not always on our side but we can help utilize the time frames currently put out by decision makers.
We asked: What is the profile of your perfect client/project and why?
Christina answered: The profile of a perfect client/project is someone who is open, honest and up front. Someone who doesn’t have a problem telling me how I can better help them with their needs. Again, communication is going to make or break any project. I want a left hand that lets the right know what it is doing and when as well as tell the right how it can help.