Sara Collins

Presentation: Off Script: Managing Crises on Construction Projects

Abstract: Our training as construction project managers prepares us to plan and execute projects in an organized, logical manner, according to a carefully thought-out schedule of activities. But what happens when a catastrophic event threatens the delivery of the project? Participants in this session will learn strategies for managing unexpected events on a project, from responding to the initial circumstances to recovering and finishing strong.

Key takeaways include:
• Establishing order in chaotic moments
• Marshalling resources – when how and whom to call
• Communicating with the stakeholders when the news is bad
• Establishing contingency plans for recovering
• Following through and following up

Whether the initial crisis involves a natural disaster, failed systems or equipment, personnel matters, regulatory factors, environmental issues, other circumstances, or a combination of these, it is likely a defining moment in a project during which its manager must act swiftly.

Optimism is an asset in the very difficult business of managing construction projects. We embark on new projects with this sense of optimism and our can-do attitudes, the project well-planned, organized and the team set to perform. The ability to take effective action when things don’t go as planned, however, is just as critical to a successful project delivery–and to a successful career in construction project management.

PMI Talent Triangle: Leadership

Biography: Over her 23 years in the construction industry, Sara Collins has led teams in the areas of operations, preconstruction, and business development. She has served on the facilities staff at a world-renowned academic medical center, has helped develop several $100+ million design-build and P3 projects, and has led the construction of healthcare projects of all sizes.

Sara joined HITT in 2015 as a vice president in the Healthcare sector and in 2017 was promoted to senior vice president and leader of the sector. As a sector leader, Sara is responsible for the safe, skillful execution of new construction and renovation of healthcare facilities, laboratories, and other clinical environments. As a passionate supporter of our clients’ missions, Sara builds teams who understand partnership and keep the mission at the forefront of what we build.

Sara holds a BS in Civil Enigneering from Lehigh University and an MBA from West Virginia University.