It pays to know the players

As a prelude to building a comprehensive development schedule for Dollar General stores, I identified all “Players” in the process.
1. Accountant
3. Analyst
4. Appraiser
5. Architect
6. Attorney
7. Building Department
8. Building Contractor
9. Buyer
10. Cable Utility
11. Civil Engineer
12. Concurrency Dept
13. Dollar General
14. DOT
15. DRC
16. Ecologist
17. Electric Utility
18. EPA
19. Escrow Agent
20. Executive Committee
21. Fire Dept
22. Gas Utility
23. Health Depot
24. Insurance/Bonding Agent
25. Land Development Dept
26. Land Seller
27. Lender
28. Landscape & Irrigation
29. Owner/Developer
30. Owner’s Rep/Development Manager
31. Planning & Zoning Dept
32. Phone Utility
33. Public Utilities Dept
34. Real Estate Brokers
35. Signage
36. Sign Contractor
37. Site Contractor
38. Site Lighting
39. Site Permits
40. Soils/Environmental Engineer
41. Solid Waste Utility
42. Surveyor
43. Traffic Engineer
44. Water Utility
45. Water Management District

I then built a detailed schedule in MSProject that would have been the envy of a professional scheduler and his “Scheduling Professor”. Right here, I should probably admit that nobody understood the schedule-except me. It was bulky and complicated. And every time a consultant or permit department held up the schedule, I had to change dependencies to keep the turnover date the same. However, when I ran reports, everyone understood the dates that my partners and I expected their tasks to be completed.

The list of Players above may be of some use to the odd reader. At the very least it should make you think about all the moving pieces, and players that we are dependent on to complete projects.

Please consider, also, that some people may be players in multiple categories. For example, the Executive Committee in # 20 was made up of the Owner/Developers in # 29 and me in # 30. And the Soils Engineer in #40 was the same person as the Environmental Engineer.

All of this background is meant to point out that there may also be hidden or unannounced player-roles that can bite you in the you-know-what if you aren’t careful.

The first example goes back to 1968, when I was a lowly USMC Corporal in the tropical paradise of Vietnam. The details are not important. But, in retrospect, I may have been too forthcoming in my response to a question from an unknown Lieutenant who later became our Commanding Officer and refused to sign my promotion warrant until the day he rotated home.

The lesson here is that players can change positions


On a project in Orlando where, I was the manager of design and construction for a franchisee, the contractor was also a principal in the franchise corporation and I didn’t know. Although I would do the same thing today, there were bad results for me when I firmly denied a payment request by the contractor that was obviously padded to his benefit. He ultimately got his money from that draw and I got the privilege of not working for any of his franchisees again.

The lesson here is that players may not disclose all of their roles.