Keys to Short Term Planning with Chris Catalano

Keys to Short Term Planning with Chris Catalano

Chris Catalano, senior project manager, led the team for BXP’s 103 CityPoint project in Waltham, a 115,000-sf ground-up laboratory, office, and potential cGMP manufacturing space. The complex project required numerous short-term plans to adapt to changing market conditions, unforeseen conditions, and unanticipated challenges in order to deliver this project on time and under budget.

The keys to success? Adaptability and flexibility, input from team experts, and, above all, trust.

Adaptability & Flexibility

The only constant in construction is change. On any project, there are unforeseen conditions and unexpected issues that can impact the project. A great example of this at 103 CityPoint was getting power to the building. Due to unanticipated delays from the vendor and changes to the yard layout requirements, we had to wait an additional six weeks to get power. As a result, the team couldn’t start our major MEP installations because there wasn’t enough temporary power on site. The team worked tirelessly on a short-term plan that would condense three months of MEP work in the penthouse into six weeks. Every single day was preplanned with our trade partners, and the result? There was no impact on the final schedule.

This solution would not have happened without the expertise and flexibility of each member of the team. They were ready to adapt quickly to schedule changes and develop creative solutions to achieve our goal.

Input from the team experts

The greatest strength on any project is your team. Short-term planning can’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a collaborative process that relies on the expertise of each of our trades to reach a common goal.

At 103 CityPoint, the Commodore team would meet to discuss what the critical elements were for our short-term plans to reach our target dates. We would then hold a subcontractor meeting with all relevant trades to share that plan, explain our thought process, and to get their input on what changes needed to be made. The process was rooted in active listening and transparency.


Short term planning begins well before ground is broken and even before most of preconstruction. Successful short-term plans come from trusting relationships that are built very early in the project. Our job is to create an environment where each team member understands how important their voice is, and to encourage their expertise to shine through.

Trust is hard to measure, but easy to identify. Building trust starts with showing that you trust your team through honest, transparent conversations. By setting that standard early in the process, you create an inclusive environment in which team members are willing to speak up. People feel comfortable identifying any issues before they become major problems, and you hear new perspectives that can provide the right solution necessary to complete the job.

Ultimately, short-term planning is a team effort. It’s not just the superintendent and the project manager; it’s the entire team, from the Owner to the APM to each trade partner that steps foot on our site. Everyone has something important to contribute to the project, and success comes from valuing and incorporating their expertise.

Photo Credit: BXP