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2020 Vision: Eyeing the Project Timeline

12/01/2019 9:02 AM | CAI Rocky Mountain Chapter (Administrator)

By Cylinda Walker, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, GRI, Westwind Management

If you are like me, you are happy to have the calendar budgets completed and a new year ready for great things with your Associations! Working through your budget for 2020 and using the reserve study to aid in factoring the projects needed and available to do for the upcoming year for the Association can make you feel accomplished.  But how do you begin to determine which projects happen at what time and how they will be implemented? 

In Colorado, we are certainly at the mercy of the seasons.  However, we can’t simply just turn over the project plan to our business partner and say run with it, there should be a level of strategic planning for each project you choose to implement.  Start by creating objectives for each project and keep them SMART. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based. 

We all want to believe that we tackle each project in a SMART way…but do we? Let’s take an example of asphalt work for an Association.  How would we implement the SMART goal theory with this type of project? Let’s list the goals below:

  1. Specific – complete an asphalt overlay project in a particular section of the community and finish on time and within budget.
  2. Measurable – create an actual timeline for the project identifying the start date, the responsibilities of all stakeholders, important stakeholder meetings before, during, and post project.
  3. Attainable – can this project be completed in the time frame allotted? Will Colorado weather be a factor?
  4. Relevant (or Results Oriented) – put placeholders in your timeline for assessment of the progress of the project.
  5. Time-Based – set a hard completion date and hold the stakeholders to that date. 

Now that we know what our SMART goals should be for the project, let’s determine what our timeline for this project will look like:


Although I have chosen to use an asphalt project for this example, these tools can be used for any projects you have for your Association.  The key is to get in front of each project by using SMART goals and project timelines to ensure success for all stakeholders.  

Cylinda Walker CMCA, AMS, PCAM, GRI is an Association Business Manager with Westwind Management.  She has been serving Associations since 2004 and has a Master’s degree in Strategic Organizational Management.

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