construction chief development officer

CDO Group has a unique perspective when it comes to construction project management. We understand what it’s like to not only build structures, but to manage construction projects for other businesses, or in other words, act as the client’s Chief Development Officer.

That’s why we’ve put together a go-to guide for the first 180 days as a brand’s Chief Development Officer — what to do, when to do it, and what to expect.

First 30 days: Getting to know the brand

During the first 30 days as a brand’s Chief Development Officer, it’s imperative to establish relationships with the client and understand their brand fully. Learn about their values and goals, existing knowledge of the industry, and the best way to communicate with them. During this phase, there is opportunity to explore not only the project at hand, but position the brand for long-term growth.

Once you’ve learned the key players and their ultimate goals, it’s time to review logistics. Now is the time to gather licenses, review architectural plans, and understand trade zone/site requirements, which can include demographics, co-tenancy, and overall access to the space.

While construction encompasses the physical building space, it’s critical to cover the inside of the space. You can do so by leveraging supply chains for kitchen equipment, furniture, lighting, signage, and more. Essentially, you’re thinking about the space from the outside in, down to every detail, including flow and customer experience.

Finally, you’ll want to work with the Landlord to make sure insurance, HVAC, plumbing infrastructure, etc. are in order. And of course, the whole process would not work without a detailed project management software. We recommendSmartsheets to get you started.

Days 31-90: Strategy and growth

Maintaining good relationships with all parties involved is arguably the most important part of making a project run smoothly, so during this period, continue to build rapport with the team.

Now it’s time to get started on the marketing strategy and growth plan. During this time, you’ll coordinate with the surrounding businesses to establish differentiation among the market. You’ll also want to set the target goal of how many structures will be built in the coming months. This is a great opportunity to pitch additional spaces that would work well for the brand (and gain you more business!).

Next, you need to identify the key consultants outside of the brand that will help move the project along — legal, architecture, engineering, zoning, permitting. Create relationships with these players and make sure they understand goals and ambitions straight off the bat.

Days 91-180: Construction and change management

Here’s where all of your preparation (lining out a detailed scope of work, doing your homework when it comes to the brand’s goals and values, and understanding the key players in making the project go smoothly) pays off. Now you can bid the project and award it to the best company for construction (if it’s not your own).

Once you’ve selected your construction team and everything has been approved by internal and consultant teams, you’ll need to get your hands dirty in every aspect of the project. This includes visiting the construction site, meeting up with the key players, supporting your internal team, and finding the right staff for the new establishment.

Something to anticipate during the construction process are change orders and alterations to the original scope of work. Clients like to change their minds, so make sure communication flows smoothly, expectations are set, and no job is left unpaid.

Now, you can look towards the future. Is there potential for expansion? Where, and what will that entail? The rest is up to you.

CDO Group manages and executes construction projects on a day-to-day basis. You’ve learned our best tips and tricks for the management process, but feel free to let us know if you need any additional support from the experts.