Why is the Needs Analysis so important?

Why is the Needs Analysis so important?

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Hard to believe clients have asked why is the Needs Analysis so important?  It’s true.  Properly done it can take some time and requires everyone to chime in.  The biggest benefit for the future tenant is that their new work place will address work flow needs, compliance requirements and provide an environment conducive to the success of the business.  However, the cost benefit trumps everything.  A Needs Analysis will provide guidelines for the architect to design; the general contractor will have insight that may raise important questions prior to a hammer dropping and ultimately bring the job in on time and on budget.

When should the process start?

The needs analysis should be done at the very beginning.  It should establish if there is even a cost benefit to remodel the space currently occupied or begin looking for a new space that will handle the business functions and growth of the organization.

Start with your business.  Determine what is working and what is not.  Interview the stakeholders in the organizations.  It is highly recommended to get some ideas from all levels in the company not just the leadership.  Also, it is worth looking at the demand for your type of business.  Is it growing do the numbers that represent your revenues prove the demand?  It is risky to assume, “If we build it they will come.”  Make sure the risks to your business are also identified during the process.

If you have not done so already, the next step will be to find a tenant focused commercial real estate broker.  I cannot stress the importance of having a broker that looks out for your interests.  A good broker will continue the analysis process in order to identify the properties that best suit your company.  The analysis you have done on your business will further assist your broker in identifying the right property.

The next steps are foggy to many.  Once you find a property, you will want to come up with a conceptual design.  Many will go straight for the architect… a logical move.  I would recommend that you work with your broker to identify a construction project manager prior to selecting an architect.  With the needs analysis in process and in tow, the construction manager will continue to refine it and help your team select an architect that will best suit your needs for your project.  Further the construction manager will work directly with the architect that your analysis is applied to the design and specifications for the bidding general contractors.

Are we done yet?

Almost…  The Needs Analysis will continue to refine prior to the beginning of construction.  During the plan review and bid phase questions will come up from the general contractors that may change or refine some of the impending needs based on site and compliance constraints.  Once the actual construction starts the improvements will be based on the design and the specification prepared by the architect.  The construction manager will continue to oversee the job progress and ensure the guidelines set in the needs analysis are met.

When the job is complete and you are ready to move the company into the new space, get together with your project team and review the space.  The likelihood that the needs specified in your original analysis will have been met.  That is a bit of an oversimplification but it is true.  The hard work done at the beginning will noticeably pay off as you check off each item.  Will there be adjustments once you move in?  Sure there will; that is called the settling in phase.

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