Every Facility Manager or Office Manager eventually has to pull-together a Tenant improvement project, and often they aren’t as prepared as they would like.
Facilities Management includes such a broad range of skills that many don’t practice those skills on a regular basis, and some skills may not be used very often over the course of a career. Managing Tenant Improvements is one of those, since few companies regularly implement Tenant Improvement projects.
Tenant Improvements can be anything, from building-out new leased space to making minor changes within existing space. They may be funded (and even managed) by the landlord as part of a Tenant Improvement allowance on lease signing or renewal, or may be a result of your organizations changing needs.
According to Tara Mackenzie, a principal at Infrastructure Interior Design Inc., a common mistake is not understanding all the issues involved in Tenant Improvement work.
This can include trying to re-use too much of the existing walls and finishes, underestimating the engineering required when space use changes and not doing a full analysis to determine the real needs and solutions.
Finally, ‘you need to define the goals up-front’, she insists. This includes everything from budget to schedule to how you want the space to function.
When faced with Tenant Improvement work, you will have no choice but to become involved with the details, and you will be in a better position if you understand what the issues are, even if you hire someone else to implement the project.