Where’s the risk? Part 2


by John Scott, Scott-Long Construction

Last time we talked about unforeseen conditions being a significant risk to the project. A church must rely on it’s design team to guide them through mitigating these risks. Part 2 is about “Scope Creep”. Control of scope creep rests in the hands of the building team.

Every project starts with a program. Let’s say the church decides on a 400 seat sanctuary with an electronic organ, fellowship hall for 250 at a seated dinner, 4 offices, and 8 children’s classrooms including a nursery. If a stakeholder wants to make a change to the program, say add a room for the youth group, then the cost and time impact of this change needs to be evaluated, presented to church leadership, obtain approval, and then the design team and contractor needs to put the work in place.

Poorly controlled scope creep occurs when the building team allows a stakeholder to change the program without properly studying the impact to the project budget or schedule. Oftentimes the architect is directed to proceed with integrating the change into the design and the contractor is given an change order to execute the work. Unfortunately this often occurs without approval of all stakeholders like the finance committee, bank, or building team leader. This kind of scope creep gets expensive.

Things to watch for:
– New staff who have new ideas for ministry and space usage: Of course they need to have a voice and they need to be heard, but the costs and time impact of these changes need to be carefully evaluated and communicated.
– New worship style: Adding a contemporary worship service does not just involve adding a microphone and some speakers. Everything changes. The room shape, the materials selected for finishes, sight lines, lighting. Be careful to integrate this thinking early!
– Adding a preschool: Whoa. There are tons of code issues with this one. Does your zoning ordinance allow a school? Is there enough parking? Will there need to be a traffic study? Do we need a bathroom in each classroom? Do we need a playground?

Our recommendation: Make a plan and stick with it.

If you found this article helpful, you can meet the author and learn more from ministry expansion experts at Building On Purpose 2017, for more information or to register, click here .