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Applying project management skills to my community Motor City Dubai

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I’ve lived in Motor City Dubai for three years and like the amenities available for my family and self-relaxation away from the stress and traffic of the city. The Motor City Community includes more than 35 residential buildings with more than 5,000 residents living inside the community. It consists of various apartments and villas sizes with common area facilities such as gyms, pools and child-friendly play areas that are used by all residents; both owners and tenants. 

Last year I formed an owner association group and started connecting with all the owners to join the group to share ideas and support resolution of various queries and issues for all of the residents. I arranged regular meetings to get to know the owners and discuss common topics that matters to the community. It felt like managing a programme where we had projects to complete to improve and deliver change in our facilities, such as the cooling system, expenses and maintenance works.

So, here are the steps and actions I took using project management skills:

1. Form groups. I made groups with building owners and worked to expand it to capture all residents. As the group started to grow, I formed sub-groups so we could benefit from the diverse skills amongst ourselves. These groups were based on everyone’s own domain of expertise such as marketing, finance, technical knowledge, etc, to help identify and resolve main issues of our community in an organised manner. The interested owners were part of the sub-groups to discuss and resolve issues, which was greatly appreciated.

2. Identify problems. We discussed maintenance and in particular the issue of landscaping and chillers. The park areas were not being well looked after, and it was difficult to enjoy this part of the residence with the community and family. We set the requirements for green areas to be improved within the community with help of expert opinion and contacted various suppliers to find the right one to enhance the landscaping and maintain regular monitoring on a monthly basis, turning this landscape project into business-as-usual. 

The chillers had various options for maintenance and to optimise the electrical consumption as it was being wasted. I compiled the various issues and options to resolve these with help from the main owner group. We then distributed and shared it with the remaining stakeholders to show the benefit for this project in line with best practices: repairing valve leaks and replacing piping, valves and tubes to increase efficiency of the cooling systems.

3. Assess the risks. I reviewed the risk assessment of our community to help understand our obligations to maintain the quality of services offered. Risks were identified and assessed collectively in various forums. We reviewed the risk facing our community from the use of ageing tools for maintenance; security accessibility; safety; renovating the piping and cooling systems; and also assessing the impact on the value of the community and probability to occur.

4. Delegate work to deadlines and stakeholders. I helped assign priority timelines depending on severity (probability and impact) and assigned an action owner to follow and resolve. Through the various sub-groups, I assigned responsibilities for the owners that had volunteered to support and had kept rotating the roles to keep the motivation to resolve various challenges up. As owners have various expertise, I asked them to work on the various issues like landscaping, chillers, maintenance support and delivery action plan updates on a monthly basis during our meetings.

5. Keep this ongoing as business-as-usual until there are new updates or a new project. It is always a continuous effort that I manage in the group of owners working on various projects to help make our community better for our families and friends. We continue to discuss regularly to improve our community, the safety of our homes, and connect better as we get to know each other through meetings and forums. We keep dreaming of a better place and have a lot of projects in the pipeline for our community. 

Projects are all around us, and I used my experiences to keep the residents, or stakeholders, up to date with information about changes and improvements to Motor City Dubai. It helps me sleep comfortably in my house with my family knowing more about my neighbourhood and community and engaging with the owners who I see daily. And all of that was made easy with my project management skills at the forefront.

Image: Haider Y. Abdulla/


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