According to Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, “teaming is essential to an organization’s ability to respond to opportunities and to improve internal processes… well-designed teams are those with clear goals, well-designed tasks that are conducive to teamwork, team members with the right skills and experiences for the task, adequate resources, and access to coaching and support.”
Although interchangeable as the first step with Opportunity Creation/Evaluation, teaming was chosen first to emphasize its importance. ACG creates project specific teams choosing teammates who may either be internal or external (through partnerships, joint ventures, strategic alliances, etc.) to ACG. Important factors when building a team are expertise, proven track record, similar values, and complimentary objects.
2. Opportunity Evaluation
Opportunities are sourced by ACG either internally through ACG’s specialized teams or externally through ACG’s extensive network. Internally created opportunities are manifested usually through major shifts in markets or opportune economic indicators which team members recognize as value that can be monetized due to their expertise and experience.
Opportunities that are introduced through ACG’s external network are preliminarily analyzed and filtered by team leaders prior to ACG’s evaluation stage. During the evaluation process, team analysts read through Investor Prospectuses and recommend excellent opportunities to team leads which then present the selected opportunities to vice-presidents and Sr. vice-presidents.
The vice-president then further filters sourced opportunities and presents the premier opportunities to a final selection board comprised of other vice-presidents, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. A cooperative decision is made on the opportunities that will be pursued, and move on to the due diligence process.
3. Due Diligence / Organization
The due diligence process is a critical step in ACG’s methodology. Although the parts within a due diligence vary between industries, the concept of due diligence remains the same. In essence, due diligences encompass the following:
- – Information gathering / Fact Checking
- – Analyses / Studies (i.e., Engineering Studies, Market/Economic Studies, Financial Audits / Analyses – Proforma, etc.)
- – Deal Structure Analysis
- – Compliance & Risk Review
- – Independent Review
- – Decision Making
After due diligence, opportunities proceed to the organizational phase by converting opportunities into projects. In the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the Project Management Institute (PMI) is careful to distinguishing a “project” from “operations” in two important regards: time and end product. A project is inherently temporary, and the purpose of a project is to create a definable and unique product or service, in ACG’s case a successful investment.
In ACG’s organizational phase, ACG considers and plans for PMBOK’s ten elements of managing projects or knowledge areas:
- – Project Integration Management
- – Scope Management
- – Time Management
- – Cost Management
- – Quality Management
- – Human Resources Management
- – Communications Management
- – Risk Management
- – Procurement Management
- – Stakeholders Management
ACG plans for each of the applicable ten elements to be implemented in ACG’s Step (5) – Management.
Execution is an intermediary step where the project team gathers and team leaders sets the goals, objectives, and plan of the project. The execution step is pivotal to successful completion of a project. The art of execution is “beginning with the end in mind.”
Management is the implementation of the project plan created in Step (3) – Due Diligence / Organization process. Although general management skills such as leadership, communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and influence are necessary for a successful project, as discussed previously in Step (3), a deep knowledge of the following areas is also vital: integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communication, risk, and procurement.
Quick definitions of the listed knowledge areas follow: integration processes ensure that various elements of the project are properly coordinated; scope processes ensures that all the work and only the work required for the project is carried out; time management processes ensure the timely completion of a project; cost management processes ensure that the project is completed within the approved budget; quality management processes ensure that the project will satisfy needs (such as the client); human resource processes ensure effective utilization of all people involved; communications processes ensure proper handling of information generated and collected; risk management processes study and handle project risk; procurement processes acquire goods and services from outside sources that are necessary for the project. Each of these areas involves several sub-processes that generally follow similar patterns: first, preparing and planning; second, executing; and third, control/review. For example, time management sub-processes as enumerated by PMI include preparation: activity definition, sequencing, and duration estimating; execution: schedule development; and review: schedule control.
Whether it is real estate, oil and gas, or any other industry, ACG utilizes the PMBOK Guide to manage ACG projects. This guide provides the underlying concepts of project management, and understanding these concepts is crucial for completing successful projects that will benefit ACG, investors, and project stakeholders as a whole.
6. Successful Completion
Successful completion is an expectation and therefore, a step in ACG’s process. However, although successful completion is an occurrence, it is more of a philosophy that is instilled throughout the entire ACG process.
The successful completion of the project now fully realizes the philosophy began in Step (4) – Execution when the team “begins with the end in mind.”