Art of the Deal

Donald Trump wrote a book called Art of the Deal, which underscores my belief that there is more art in our work than science.

“Art” is somewhat synonymous with years of experience, i.e. past experience which has influenced the response by CHA to two similar, but different, recent situations.

Situation #1

The owner’s program manager (campus architect) attended a project meeting with our client, the architect.  Also present was the CM and swimming pool contractor’s field manager.  The purpose was to discuss the closing out of the project including commissioning and the orientation of the operator.  The owner’s project manager was very disappointed in what the SPC was proposing and instructed the architect to request a scope of services from CHA to execute the tasks that were spelled out in the specification- 13150.  CHA’s fees for this additional service would then be back charged to the swimming pool contractor.

The CHA team identified two ways of dealing with what could be an awkward situation resulting in meetings and confrontations between two or more of the parties.

  1. Prepare a submittal of a scope of services and a fee, and then forward the proposal through channels followed by communications and meetings to respond to issues from all parties.
  2. Or, option B – call the SPC owner, describe what had happened, what the owner’s project manager had requested and ask the swimming pool contractor if this is really what he wants to occur.  The swimming pool contractor owner stated that he wanted to fulfill the specified work and train the owner’s operators to be competent as per expectations.
  3. In this case the experience indicated that the SPC owner was not supportive of what his project manager had proposed and the time the SPC spent showing the operators how to properly operate the pools would be time well spent.
  4. Had we proposed a scope and fee to the owner, we would have included LOT which would have been logical, except that in this case, such a proposal would have offended the recently hired aquatic director who is a seasoned AFO and CPO instructor.

Situation #2

A second situation involves a project in which the swimming pool contractor contacted CHA saying he had proposed a substitution of the filter tanks which will cost less and have more features, etc.

  1. He asked if CHA will approve the substitution.
  2. The CHA project manager was advised to tell the SPC to submit the request for substitution through channels according to the specifications.  By following the prescribed protocol, CHA avoided offending the CM project manager by appearing to make side deals.  The swimming pool contractor was told to follow our specifications for substitutions, etc.
  3. These two situations are similar, but were handled differently due to CHA’s experience with the players involved on both sides.  If the responses had been reversed, the results would have caused loss of time and money to CHA as well as upset by the respective parities involved.

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