Q&A: During the building process, which duties should I delegate?
Q: During the building process, which duties should I delegate?
First, it’s important to understand what duties come with a building project, says Wayne Usiak, AIA, a member of Veterinary Economics’ Editorial Advisory Board and owner of BDA Architecture in Albuquerque, N.M. There are three roles during a project that every practice owner must take on or delegate:
Practice manager. This is a different role from your actual practice manager. The project practice manager considers the impact of the building project on the practice itself. What staffing needs will the practice develop after construction? What new services will you offer? What new equipment will you need—and what can you afford? What approvals or certifications will you seek (e.g. AAHA certification)? Finally, how will you retain or improve your practice culture in the new facility—how will you continue to make team members and clients happy? The project practice manager is responsible for answering all of these questions.
Developer. The developer handles much of the overall project planning. He might negotiate the site purchase price and determine necessary zoning approvals. He’ll select and coordinate the build team, including the architect, civil engineer, surveyor, engineers, attorneys, and practice management consultants. The developer typically shops for the best financing options. He’ll also critique the site plan layout, approve final designs, and make final decisions after analyzing recommendations from other project team members.
Project manager. The project manager handles many of the day-to-day tasks involved in the project. She’ll submit permit applications, set the project schedule, and coordinate the purchase and delivery of equipment. She’ll manage communication between project team members. And she’ll manage all of the contractor and construction issues that come up on a daily basis.
So what should you as a practice owner take on? Whatever you’re comfortable with, Usiak says. Take on the tasks you want and make sure you have time to execute them well. Delegate the rest to a trusted colleague in the practice.
Whatever you do, don’t neglect your duties as a veterinarian—that’s what brings in the money that will pay for this new building. If necessary, hire an associate so you have more time to dedicate to the project. Or hire an assistant practice manager to handle routine daily tasks so your practice manager can assist you with the construction process.