It’s important to have good reporting practices always in place, but the risks associated with expansions demand unique reporting considerations. Finding the right balance for providing information during an expansion is a common challenge for general managers and their boards. Provide too much information and people are overwhelmed, not enough and they are under informed.
Kari Bradley, general manager at Hunger Mountain in Montpelier, Vt., found the field guide GM Reporting During an Expansion written by Michael Healy and Nina Johnson (available in the CBLDLibrary) to be a helpful tool for creating reports that provided the appropriate information. Their $3 million addition to their existing store generated a lot of board discussion about fiscal jeopardy, contingency budgets and developing specific benchmarks that would ensure the project would be finished on time and on budget.
“The field guide provided a useful structure that made the whole process of monitoring easier,” Bradley said. He said that it gave a framework to accountability for the expansion project that gave board members information they could pass on to members and kept Bradley from spending time on things he didn’t need to. “When you have a major project you have a lot on the line. It’s important to share the right info at the right time.”