Post-BlogFor over two years leading the Project Management area at C&W, Sérgio Mendes now takes over Sustainability, adding further value to the projects run by his team.

He worked ten years in the USA, three of them — from 2007 through 2010 — involved in a quite important mission: to turn the iconic Empire State Building, open in 1931, into a modern, sustainable green building, 21st century-shaped. Sérgio Mendes took effective part in this process by consolidating spaces: the 850 offices shattered over 86 floors were distributed in unified floors, tailored for large companies. Furthermore, he managed a LEED Platinum space on the 42nd floor and led the renovation of 20 aisles with sustainable design.

The entire process demanded an orchestrated effort, involving engineers, architects and constructors. Everything without affecting their operations: the ESB receives about 1,500 people per day, including visitors to the 86th floor Observation Deck. “Just like a conductor, the project manager should coordinate heterogeneous skills of a group to achieve an objective, administering every task or activity without interfering with technical skills of each professional involved, focused on the best result for the customer”, explains the executive, who, as returning to Brazil had to deal with a cultural matter: the Project Management concept is not diffused in the country. Check the entire interview with the C&W Project Management Head.

How does a Project Management operate?

We orchestrate a construction. We perform management of the whole working process, controlling the budget, the schedule and the scope. These elements compose the Primary Tripod for Project Management, supported by its Secondary Tripod, comprised of communication, risk and quality. However, these six items would be ineffective in case our customer’s expectations are not met. Customer’s expectation & satisfaction are above all else, beside commitment and reliability.

Why it’s so important to meet customers’ expectations?

Often, the customer forecast intangible particularities in a project that, when delivered, does not fit with their expectations. Basically, the Project Management delivers the project within the budget-schedule-scope tripod, controlling communication-quality-risks. However, they may fail to meet the customer’s desire, to perceive their point of view, overlooking their expectation. In this sense, the project was ineffective. Project Management is an art, in which is essential to conduct everyone and all processes involved in a smooth and financially advantageous way for the customer.

How does the Project Management work in the Brazilian market?

Everything is pretty scattered here. The customer looks for a building, agrees with the business plan and starts the project. Then, the engineering area selects an architectural company to prepare the floor plan and the executive design. Following, the purchase area selects the construction company and the construction manager, responsible for the works. C&W Project Management applies the international model: starting, planning, building, monitoring, controlling and delivering a project. It’s an intelligence area structured to support customers in developing the project, from its conception to its delivery, protecting their interests, aligning all expectations and listing real indicators, as value engineering exercises — for both architecture and construction & furnishings — cheap and with quality. It’s a turn-key process. We assess each case and advise the customer in every stage, offering transparency to choose the best option for the service contracted.

How can we provide transparency to this process for the customer?

Through C&W internal processes, including technology integrated systems, ISO 9000, Electronic Bid, Compliance, Best Practices and other management tools. Each stage is 100% customer-accepted, based on C&W advisory, which presents all documents that support the decision. During the initiation and feasibility phase, C&W evaluates a number of buildings considering technical & financial aspects, and eventually recommends the best option. This applies to all other phases: selection of suppliers, construction company, IT and others. The hiring process should be transparent, within the budget, the schedule and the scope – all under C&W management, supported by its international insurance. This is the Construction Management Open Book Not To Exceed program.

Is there any alternative process to the Project Management?

Yes. We can apply the traditional Project Management, with the standard project stages — starting, planning, building, monitoring, controlling and delivering — however, the customer is in charge of all supplying contracts. In either case, C&W is expected to provide reliability and transparency for the customer by conveying the sense we are not a mere management company, but “the customer” himself. As the customer focuses on their “business core”, C&W delivers a product compliant with their branding.

Since August 2014 you leads the sustainability area. Will it interact with the Project management?

Absolutely! Next August we will celebrate one year of management with a new service: Management of Sustainable Projects. We live in a world in which natural & human resources are our greatest asset! In this sense, C&W — a founding member of GBC Brasil and one of the pioneering companies in sustainability matters in the Country, with several projects with certification LEED EB, CI, NC, Core and Shell — intends to implement a sustainability awareness in every area of the company and for its customers.

How this implementation will take place?

The first stage will be deployed within the Project Management itself. The current pillars Architecture, Management and Building will become Sustainable Architecture, Management and Building. We intend to set a new way of thinking when it comes to environmental preservation. We want C&W to be recognized by changing the world and its customers, by leading them to think of sustainability, human resources, our limited natural resources and our children and grandsons, who shall continue our path in this planet in the years to come.