Hill International’s Three Tips for Approaching a Construction Endeavor the Right Way with Henry Corken

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Hill International is proud to offer its services to Native American tribes and other clients around the world. No matter how ambitious a project, your vision is our priority. A critical part of our success in delivering projects successfully is getting to know our clients. With extensive project management experience, Hill’s Program Director Harry Corken discusses what he’s learned from his engagement with clients over the years. “There are a few things that clients ought to be thinking about from the beginning of their construction endeavors to make the process easier for themselves” Harry observes.

First: let your vision take shape organically—but then define it well.” Thus, you will have an ambitious but clearly defined vision for your project. And since it will be easier to communicate something very clearly defined to the project managers, contractors, and stakeholders you work with, you will have a better chance of making rapid and efficient progress at the outset.

Second: it’s important to have a communication strategy,” Harry adds. “This is obviously quite related to the first tip. Ask yourself, how frequently will we update major stakeholders? How many meetings do we want to have with the construction team? What kind of messaging will we put out to the communities our project will impact?”

“More than news outlets or media,” Harry says, “clients shape the message of their building project. If your project involves a dramatic new wing to your casino that won’t impact business as usual, then maybe you don’t even want to broadcast it for a time, so that you can later surprise your clients. Or maybe the construction will add features to your hotel facilities that you just can’t wait to share with your clients, so that you decide to report on it loudly and often.” So in addition to defining the vision for their projects, leaders must step up and define the messaging for their projects. In that same vein, channels of communication are important. Clients should find the most appropriate ways to transmit their messaging to the general public, potential clients, and stakeholders.

Third:” Harry goes on, “clients should conceptualize their owner’s representative correctly.” Hill professionals often serve as owners’ representatives. The person in this position, ultimately, is responsible for making sure that the project gets done as the owner would have it done. The owner’s representative is not on the job to conflict with the contractors. “We’re there to help everyone and help ensure the job gets done right,” Harry says. And success is more easily attainable when there is a clearly defined center line against which all work is measured. Owner’s representatives are able to draw that line with the owner’s best interests in mind and without conflicts of interest with contracted workers.

Some challenges posed by projects are inevitable. There is always some risk. But the client’s frame of mind going into projects need not contribute to the difficulties found in construction. With a clearly defined and ambitious vision, good strategies for communication, and an understanding of the people who can help you, you’ll help to minimize difficulties in preparing for your next construction endeavor.

To speak with Harry Corken about your vision for a world class construction project in the hospitality and entertainment sector, reach out via email to HenryCorken@hillintl.com or give him a call at (715) 896-6324. For more information about the ways in which Hill has supported the goals of its hospitality & entertainment clients, please call Hill’s office in Phoenix at (602) 778-9888 or visit www.hillintl.com.


Hill International is a Forum Partner at the Seventh Native American Leadership Forum – West on the beautiful island of Oahu Hawaii at the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, December 9-10, 2019.

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