Published here September 2011

Introduction | The Business Case | The Preferred Solution
Risks and Issues | Detailed Planning | PART 2

The Preferred Solution

Central to the whole exercise was finding the right senior's community with available space. As noted earlier, there are a number in the Vancouver area that we visited and assessed. In the event and as the primary candidate, we selected a place about 20 minutes across town by car. It is a "senior's independent living community" residence that, for convenience, we will refer to as the SILC. This retirement home is run on a non-profit basis by a charitable society.[2] To qualify as a "senior" you have to be over 55. "Independent" means that it is not a "care" facility, but strictly for those capable of living safely and independently in their apartments.[3] A specific criterion is being able to move from apartment to the dining room and back for meals, even if that does mean using a "walker".[4]

Given the parameters of our proposed solution, the Key Success Indicators[5] for this project would be, in reverse order of importance:


A successfully completed project, that is, a timely completed move with no adverse impacts


A budget compliant project, i.e. costs and revenue cash flows generally as expected or better


A successful product, i.e. a comfortable and satisfying living for the Partners extending into the future


SILC is run by a team of managers who live on the premises and who look after all aspects of the running of the home. They take it in turns, of course, and because they live in, there is 24-hour on-call supervision.

To test our project concept we visited the facility and had a long chat with the management. We explained our ideas of an ideal solution and were duly shown round the building to see a couple of suites and what else the place has to offer. Everyone we met, especially some of the residents, were quite forward in expressing how much they liked the place, how much freedom they had, the various activity rooms, and the personal effort of the managers to make the home a fun place to live.

But there were two major constraints: The place was currently completely full, and the largest accommodations were two bedroom suites at approximately 740 square feet. This we felt was definitely on the small side for us. However, the manager we first met told us that a recent applicant had proposed to take on two adjacent one-bedroom suites and essentially knock them into one. This would give them around 1000 square feet. In the event, it seems that this tenant couple found that the alterations they had in mind would be too expensive and consequently backed off.

Apparently, the owners of SILC were still willing to consider this possibility. Obviously, this idea had great appeal for us provided the alterations, to our account, would not be too expensive. We said we were very interested. But the question remained, would we really like "downsizing to a seniors' community"? To address this concern, we were invited to stay for several days in the home's guest suite,[6] to sample the "environment", the activities, the meals and so on.

The Business Case  The Business Case

2. As an example of what we have in mind, see description here:
3. A doctor's medical certificate of fitness is a requirement.
4. Walker for seniors - a small wheeled chair to assist those with walking disability but still able to get around. Typically has a removable seat and folds up for storage. May also have a basket.
5. Key Success Indicators (KSIs) are defined here as: indicators that:
      •  are determined at the beginning of the project and listed in order of priority
      •  reflect directly on the key objectives of the project, and
      •  provide the basis for project management trade-off decisions during the course of the project
   And, after completion of the project:
      •  are most likely to result in acceptance of the project and its product by the project's stakeholders as being
         "successful" in terms of "customer" satisfaction, and
      •  can be measured in some way, at some time, on some scale. [D00886]
6. The guest suite is normally reserved for visiting relatives of residents.
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