Arturo Bañuelos
Executive Vice President of Project and Development Services

Bridging the Project Management Gap

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 14:58

Project management is an old concept in the US and in European countries, but in Mexico it is a relatively young segment, having started here a mere 15 years ago. Companies can gain a number of benefits by employing the services of a project manager, says Arturo Bañuelos, Executive Vice President of Project and Development Services at JLL, but many are unaware of the value of this service. “In Mexico, project management is relatively new, making it extremely difficult for companies to understand what we do and what added value we can bring to projects,” says Bañuelos.

Companies are always looking to avoid cost overruns and save time, especially when there is uncertainty in the market, precisely where project management can help. Project managers evaluate all scenarios and options to ensure the least number of mistakes. The tide may be shifting, however. “We noticed that in 4Q16 and 1Q17, our clients were a lot more cautious and allocated more time to planning and decision-making processes,” says Bañuelos. An adequate and thorough planning stage for a project is critical in order for it to be successful. “Planning is essential and it allows us to carry out the proper value engineering practices and find ways to save resources.” Value engineering allows project managers to optimize and improve various aspects of an infrastructure project and to find the solution that is most appropriate according to the time and budget available. Bañuelos says that there are many opportunities to save money, but insists the main aim is to create value, not make projects cheaper.

The current economic environment has encouraged JLL to target new types of projects and to diversify its activities. JLL’s project and development services division has worked in the construction of various airport terminal buildings in Mexico, including two terminals at Cancun International Airport. Developing the airport’s Terminal 3 from scratch was a challenge that required a deep understanding of the regulatory framework. JLL had to create synergies between ASUR, SCT, construction companies and other players to enhance communication and ensure the quality of the project. It completed the construction of the terminal building in Cancun three weeks before the deadline and under budget. “These projects are no longer just waiting rooms for people to take their flights,” says Bañuelos. “These spaces now contain places for travelers to dine, shop and entertain themselves. They are shopping centers complementing the airport.” Travel demand for Cancun International Airport is growing at 10 percent annual rate, requiring construction of a fourth terminal that is expected to be completed this year.