Development Management

Development Management

Our Development Management Service helps facilitate the development process from initial strategy and concept through to delivery.

As specialists in Educational Development Management , our team has an intimate knowledge of all facets of all the needs of curriculums and stakeholders, along with local regulations and statutory requirements covering that effect educational development projects.

Once you’ve briefed us on a project, our Development team will work with your Boards, Committees and stakeholders throughout the project and guide you and your development to a successful completion.

What Does The Development Manager Do?

SMG as your Development Manager, does a lot. SMG is there to help you turn your project vision into reality and relieve you of the burden of managing a project. Working both with you, and for you, SMG manages the complete process of bringing a school development project to fruition, on time and on budget.

The Role of the Development Manager

The role of the Development Manager can vary depending on the nature of the project and your requirements. The services we can provide include:

  • Project direction and advice
  • Site investigation and selection
  • Development strategy
  • Planning proposals
  • Build brief preparation
  • Engage specialists
  • Reporting and Risk Mitigation

Project Direction and Advice

By far and away the most important aspect of the Development Manager’s role is to understand your vision and requirements. Once we have a clear picture of what you want to achieve, we can then provide advice on the best options available to you, and how to best go about it in the most cost and time-effective way.

Development Strategy

Development of land is a complex process and it requires strategies to maximise the development opportunity while reducing risk. SMG can help you select a strategy that best suits your goals, and by drawing on the expertise and experience of our team, we can put together a strategy with the greatest reward versus risk potential.


Developing a Project Brief

The Project Brief is a summary of the project, including the objectives, time frame and budget.

In developing the brief, you should consult with Stakeholders who will use the buildings and facilities, such as staff, students and parents.

If you prefer, SMG as the Development Manager can guide or develop and manage the brief from the start, with your input.

During the project, the Development Manager develops the brief into a more detailed document, which is later provided to the Architects, Engineers and Project Managers.

Development Plan

Your school may have a development plan that:

  • takes a long-term view of your school property as a whole
  • plans how the property can best help your school to work towards its vision, goals and desired educational outcomes.

If your school has a development plan, it will contain some of the information you need for the project brief, and if you do not have a development plan, this is a great time to start putting one together.

Signing Off the Project Brief

SMG will send you the project brief, as it is updated, to check that the project objectives are still being met and for approval from the board. The full board will need to sign it off as a final approved document and approve it’s release to third parties for the next stage.

Setting Up a Project File

SMG will need to establish a project file to store information about your project. This file will include the project brief and all other information on the project such as:

  • correspondence
  • emails
  • contracts
  • variations
  • schedules
  • approvals
  • budgets
  • architectural and engineering drawings
  • a schedule of documents sent to others, such as consultants
  • relevant school information
  • reports
  • the local authority and consents
  • invoices and payment records
  • warranties and guarantees
  • correspondence including emails and discussions records
  • the board minutes including project stages
  • conflict of interest records.
  • etc

SMG will add to the project file as documentation is developed and will ensure all relevant documentation is included. This file will be held in the cloud and will be accessible to authorised persons only. At the completion of the project, the entire contents will be transferred to media and given to the school as part of the handover.

The Project Control Group (PCG)

The school will need to appoint a project control group to oversee your building project. The project control group is likely to include the:

  • school principal
  • development manager
  • board chair or board representative
  • school representative (who can be the same person as the board representative).

The development manager will include others as they are engaged, such as the designer, engineer, quantity surveyor, project manager and contractors.

Role of the project control group

The development manager chairs the group. The group meets at regular, pre-arranged times to:

  • discuss project progress
  • give you financial updates
  • monitor whether the project objectives are being met
  • discuss and resolve problems
  • make recommendations to you for approval.

For small or less complex projects, the process is likely to be less formal, but it is still worthwhile to have a project control group in this supervising role to ensure the school is always fully appraised.

Communication lines for the project

The project control group decides on the communication lines for your building project. The following diagram shows the typical communication lines.

The School, Development Manager, project management and consultants contribute to project management and relate to each other as members of the project control group. Stakeholders and contractors each have lines of communication through members of the project control group.


Managing conflicts of interest on your project

A conflict of interest is when someone involved in a project has a financial or other interest in the project from which they can benefit or which will prevent them from acting impartially. For example, there is a conflict of interest if:

  • an architect on the board of trustees wants to tender for the design work
  • a board member has a brother-in-law who is tendering for the construction work
  • people involved in the project have a financial interest in a company or related company that is tendering for the work.

A conflict of interest can arise during procurement or at any time in the project.

SMG arranges for all parties to involved in the project to sign conflict of interest forms and a confidentiality agreement.

Board members with financial interests in the project

A board member may have a financial interest in a contract you are entering into. If the value of this interest is over $25,000 a year (this is however subject to each schools policy), that member must apply for Board consent before:

  • submitting a tender for the contract directly
  • another party that member is associated with tenders for the contract.

Before giving consent, the Board needs to be satisfied there is no risk of that member receiving preferential treatment.

Appointing a School Representative

The School needs to appoint a school representative to represent the school’s interests. They will also become a member of the project control group with an oversight of the project. They will make sure that, as the project progresses, it continues to meet your school’s expectations for learning and achievement.

Your school representative must have a role or relationship with the school so that they can effectively represent the school’s interests. It is recommended that they are:

  • a member of the board,
  • the principal
  • or a duly nominated school community member who is actively involved in the school.

You should select a candidate who has:

  • an affinity with or knowledge of the school and the project
  • excellent relationship management skills
  • effective leadership skills
  • excellent communication and networking skills
  • good problem-solving skills
  • sound judgement
  • the ability to provide continuity and effective handover and delegation.

SMG as the Development Manager will work in tandem with the school representative to ensure that they have the experience and backup from the SMG team.


To keep the project moving, you can delegate some of your board’s functions and powers for the project so that approvals can be done quickly, without having to wait for a full board meeting.

You can delegate board functions to:

  • one or more trustees on the board
  • the principal or any other employee(s) or board office holder(s) at the school
  • the Development Manager

To delegate powers, you will need to make a formal board resolution agreeing to the:

  • decision-making level to be delegated
  • delegation level and scope.

You will need to give each delegate written notice of their delegation(s).

Points to remember when delegating powers and functions:

  • Delegations must be recorded in the project file.
  • You cannot delegate your board’s general power of delegation. This means you can’t ask anyone other than the board to make the delegations.
  • As a board, you remain responsible for the actions and decisions of the delegate(s) acting under the delegation.
  • You can revoke the delegation at any time.
  • A person with a financial interest in the project cannot be a delegate.

Financial delegation

You can only delegate financial functions to the school representative. Project managers:

  • must not have any financial delegation for using school funds
  • must have all project costs and expenses signed off by the school representative with financial delegation or the full board.

You can only give financial delegations through a board resolution. You must:

  • set out the nature and conditions of the delegation in writing
  • provide the delegation by notice to the delegated person(s)

During Development

Managing the Project Design

The design phase of a school property project involves developing the plans for the project.

Managing the Design Stage of the Project

The Boards provides the vision for the project and are involved at each stage of plan development. In developing plans, designers are instructed by SMG.

SMG will :

  • engage the design team
  • negotiate consultants’ contracts
  • liaise with everyone with an interest in the project
  • manage the budget
  • coordinate the plan development
  • fulfil any local council requirements
  • get the board’s sign-off for the plans.



Role of the Development Manager

SMG’s role in the design phase is to:

  • engage the design team
  • manage and negotiate the consultants’ contracts
  • liaise with stakeholders of the project
  • develop and manage the budget
  • coordinate the development plan
  • fulfil any local council requirements
  • finalise with the board and obtain sign-off for the plans.

Role of the Board of trustees

The board is our client and has the main interest in the project. It:

  • is a party to the design contract
  • provides the design team with its vision for the building
  • is involved at each stage of plan development to make sure the design meets its educational goals.

Design consultants

The number and type of design consultants needed for the project will depend on the size and complexity of the project. It could include:

  • an architect, who can design and coordinate all building elements, services and site works
  • an architectural designer, who specialises in building design and construction
  • an architectural draftsperson, who can draw plans and form basic ideas — this could be a good option for small projects
  • an engineer, who must be used if the project requires any technical engineering design solutions or specialist engineering services
  • an interior designer, if your main designer doesn’t do this work
  • a landscape designer to design the outdoor spaces
  • a quantity surveyor trained in construction methods and costs — they use the design drawings to estimate how much labour and material is needed and to estimate costs.

Make sure any designers engaged for the project understand the Ministry’s design standards.

Consulting on Design Development

SMG will must consult the board at all stages of the design development. These consultations are imperative to ensure that the development is meeting the school’s needs and all stakeholders have buy in.

There are 3 main stages of design development.

  1. Concept Plans

The designer prepares rough sketches of the school’s ideas for the project. These concept plans include:

  • a floor plan
  • details of site condition
  • a budget
  • any specific school or legal requirements as noted by the project plan.

These concept plans are used to consult with anyone who may be affected by the outcome of the project, such as:

  • the school principal
  • other consultants as they are engaged, such as the engineer and quantity surveyor
  • students — as the most frequent users of school property, they may have some views on what they’d like to see in the school
  • school staff, drawing on their experience in the existing environment
  • the school community, such as parents, local council and affected community groups like sports groups.

Concept plans can also be used to check if you need to submit outline plans to, or get resource consent from, your local council.

The quantity surveyor uses these to develop a rough estimate of costs.

This is a good time to commence discussions about:

  • materials, such as exterior cladding
  • interior fittings and fixtures, such as joinery and the location of power points.
  1. Preliminary Design

The designer prepares a preliminary design which articulates the ideas promoted at the concept stage. These preliminary plans include:

  • a floor plan, elevations, diagrammatic sections and site layout
  • details of site and compliance conditions affecting design
  • confirmation of budget
  • any School or legal requirements.

Preliminary Design drawings are used to consult with anyone who may be affected by the outcome of the project, such as:

  • the school principal
  • other consultants as they’re engaged, such as the engineer and quantity surveyor
  • students — as the most frequent users of school property, they may have some views on what they’d like to see in the school
  • school staff, drawing on their experience in the existing environment
  • the school community, such as parents, local council and affected community groups like sports groups.

Preliminary Design are also used to check or get resource consent from the local council. The quantity surveyor uses them to develop a rough estimate of costs.

  1. Construction Drawings and cost estimates

The designer then draws up the more Construction Drawings with detailed specifications, including types of products. These plans are used to support the statement of requirements for the procurement of construction works for the project and to apply to the local council for building consent.

Project Management General

Developing the Project Brief

With SMG’s assistance, the board will prepare the first draft of the brief, and then SMG will continue to develop it into a more detailed document (however the board may ask SMG to develop and manage the brief from the start).

In developing the brief, it is important that all Stakeholders have a voice and buy-in to the process. SMG and the consultants will need to consult with Stakeholders who use the buildings and facilities. These Stakeholders may include staff, students, parents, and community organisations that use the building.

By the end of the project, the brief will include:

  • a statement of the project’s purpose, objectives and audience
  • the project’s scope – the physical dimensions of the proposed building work, and initial designs and materials
  • a site and site works
  • a budget and budget controls, including prime cost and provisional sums, and the process for spending these sums
  • a project time frame on a Gantt chart that displays the project’s status, assignment of tasks and completion times
  • the people involved in the project and their roles
  • input from interested parties
  • any board delegations for the project
  • reporting lines and functional relationships
  • risks and issues to manage during the project
  • design and construction documentation
  • a process for how to manage changes in the project

The project brief will inform the procurement plans for the design and build, and will include:

Managing the project control group

Working with the School Representative

The board will appoint a representative to represent the school’s interests and make sure the project meets the school’s expectations for learning and achievement. The school representative will be a member of the project control group with an oversight of the project. They will be SMG’s main point of contact with the school.

Working with the project control group

The board will advise SMG who has been appointed to the project control group, such as the:

  • school principal
  • board chair or board representative
  • school representative (who may be the same person as the board representative).

SMG will include others as they are engaged, such as the designer, engineer, quantity surveyor and contractors.

SMG will chair the group meetings to discuss progress and issues with the project.

SMG will distribute meeting minutes and monthly progress reports on all aspects of the project to the attendees and appropriate copies.

Contractor Vetting

Aside from the normal capacity, experience and financial vetting, all contractor staff who are likely to have unsupervised access to students at a school during normal school hours must be police vetted.

Board Approval and Sign-off

SMG will seek board approval at various stages of the project. The board may have delegated some of its powers and functions for the project, in which case the delegate’s approval may be sufficient to sign off some project stages.

Managing the budget

SMG are responsible for budget management for the development.

The board will be responsible for the approval of the budget along with the provision of the funds as needed for the smooth payment and operation of the development.

Managing Risk

Risk Management

Good practice risk management must be followed during the design and construction phases of the project.

SMG will continually:

  • identify, manage and monitor potential risks (threats and opportunities)
  • react to issues when they occur
  • keep the board informed.

Risks and issues will be addressed at the regular project control group meetings and site meetings.

Depending on the level of risk/criticality of the issue, you may have to:

  • Adjust timelines to accommodate delays and work in with other project tasks
  • Look for ways to adjust the budget so that the project stays within budget, including making changes to specifications.

Before starting a large and complex project, it may be useful to hold a risk identification workshop with the project control group and relevant stakeholders.

SMG will maintain a risk register and an issues register in the project file.

The risk and issues registers should record, as a minimum:

  • Identification date
  • The person managing the risk/issue
  • A description of the risk/issue
  • Potential impact on the project (risk)
  • Actual impact on the project (issue)
  • Responses to the risk/issue
  • The date by which you need to resolve the risk/issue

SMG will hold a risk-identifying workshop with the Delivery Team and relevant stakeholders.

Construction Phase

Managing the construction phase of the project

Managing the construction phase of a school building project involves SMG, working with the board, the school representative, the suppliers, the main building contractor and other parties as needed.

SMG will chair weekly site meetings while throughout the construction period. SMG, along with the project manager and others, shall monitor the progress of the project during the construction phase to check that everything goes to the plan in the project brief.

Getting consents and meeting other local council requirements

Getting consents and meeting other local council requirements are requirement for these school projects. Consents might include building consent and resource consent. The council may also require a traffic impact, cultural impact and/or other assessments are done for the project.

Closing Out the Development

Closing the Project

Closing the project file

At the end of the project, SMG will close the project file. This includes:

  • include all the final paperwork in the project file
  • handing over a complete set of all documentations
  • all warrantees and guarantees
  • bond releases (if required)
  • final acceptance documentation by all parties.
  • final payment certifications

Discharging the project manager and disestablishing the project control group

SMG will discharge the project manager will close the project. This includes:

  • doing a final inspection and post-occupancy evaluation
  • sending all documentation to the school
  • getting local council sign-off.

SMG’s final task will be to discharge the project manager and disestablish the project control group.

At the completion of the works, it is typical to review the project manager’s performance and discuss any non-performance issues.

Maintenance and Defects

Meeting maintenance requirements for the building

Typically, a product manufacturer guarantees its product will perform in a certain way for a set time. For example, a roofing manufacturer may guarantee that the roofing will be leak-free for 10 years. A warranty is the same thing as a guarantee.

Many guarantees are only valid if you maintain the building product in a certain way. SMG will handover the maintenance care documents from the contractors and building suppliers to the designated persons at the school. You must include maintenance requirements for building products in the school maintenance programme.

Fixing defects found after the end of your project

If anyone finds defects after the project has been completed, check your maintenance programme.

If you believe the defects are caused by faulty products, workmanship or design, you must seek recovery from the designer and/or contractor.

Minor defects

For a relatively minor defect, such as a crack in the plaster coating on exterior cladding, you may simply ask the contractor to fix it. In this case:

  • check the contract to see who is responsible for the repairs
  • write to the contractor outlining the issue and requesting a meeting to discuss it.

Complex problems or issues that cannot be resolved directly

You may need to follow through with the dispute steps in the contract if:

  • the contractor doesn’t respond to your attempts at contact
  • the issue can’t be resolved
  • the problem is complex.

Final Handover

Closing the project

It is SMG’s responsibility to ensure the following tasks are completed to close the project:

  • Do a final inspection
  • Manage the defects liability period
  • Get council sign-off
  • Send the final documentation to the School
  • Finalise the accounts and ensure final payments are completed
  • Collect the building and product warranties and hand them to the board
  • Handover any bond documentation