Feature Three | The Quintessential Network with Gavin Prendergast from Gallagher Jeffs
Our series ‘The Quintessential Network’ celebrates the work of our Ecosystem partners and demonstrates the excellent outcomes that can be achieved through meaningful and lasting relationships
For the third instalment of The Quintessential Network, we sat down with Gavin Prendergast, project director at Gallagher Jeffs, to discuss the value of collaboration in delivering successful client outcomes.
Gallagher Jeffs is an independent property advisory and project management practice. Specialising in aged care, commercial, industrial, education and residential projects, the practice prides itself on its ability to establish strong working relationships with diverse stakeholder groups.
Since 2015, Gallagher Jeffs has worked with Quintessential Equity on some of their key commercial developments in Geelong including 1 Malop Street, the new GMHBA headquarters at 60 Moorabool Street which will be completed in July 2021, and the new City of Greater Geelong’s Civic Precinct which is currently under construction.
What is project management?
Project management in its simplest form is people management. Our core role is managing the relevant project stakeholders on behalf of a client to help achieve their project vision. The role of a project manager can vary depending on the scope of engagement and when they are introduced to the project. At Gallagher Jeffs, we provide full project lifecycle management from feasibility studies through to construction phase delivery.
As project director, what are your responsibilities?
It depends on the project but essentially my role is to oversee and manage internal and external teams. I am heavily involved in the management of the projects themselves, be that throughout the design or construction delivery phase. One of the enjoyable aspects of working in this industry is the tangible outcomes that come with seeing a vision develop and transform our city skylines.
What are you most motivated by in your role?
Working with like-minded clients, consultants and stakeholders on exciting projects. I really enjoy the personal aspect of what we do, managing and working with different people and learning from all the different experts in their chosen field. At Gallagher Jeffs, we pride ourselves on our business values of ambition, authenticity, commitment and collaboration. We always treat people with respect, and act with honesty and integrity. There are challenges on every project, but when you’re working in a collaborative team, they’re much easier to overcome.
How important is collaboration in project management?
Collaboration is a fundamental element of project management. To efficiently manage stakeholders and keep projects running to schedule, we need to be able to manage different personalities. We understand that everyone isn’t wired the same way and some stakeholders have drivers they may want to push that doesn’t always align with the overall project vision or deliverables. Collaboration plays a significant role in managing this as we want to ensure everyone feels heard but is working together to deliver the best outcome for the client. We aim to exceed client expectations, not meet them. This can sometimes involve challenging them.
Working with QE over the past five years, Gallagher Jeffs has really valued the team’s reception to feedback and ideas from project partners to ensure they deliver the best outcome possible. It is exciting for Gallagher Jeffs to be part of QE’s Ecosystem and we don’t take it for granted.
You have worked with QE on several of their Geelong developments. What kind of opportunities are you seeing in the region?
Geelong is going through a real growth phase; the skyline is changing. The commute from Melbourne to Geelong is getting a lot easier which is attracting businesses and people to the region. We have been working in Geelong since 2015 and it has drastically changed over that time. There is an appetite for development, which is really positive for the local economy and local jobs. QE has really driven this for all the projects we have collaborated on including the new GMHBA headquarters where over half of the jobs created to deliver the development have come from within Geelong. We really admire QE’s commitment to ensure local builders, contractors and suppliers are used much as possible to enhance the benefit to the region.
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