Charles Smith and Jim Jankowski recently spoke with The Chronicle of Higher Education to provide insights and best practices on planning, project management and how to ensure big ideas turn into strategic initiatives. Two pieces by senior reporter Lee Gardner referenced work on Malcolm X College, and include quotes from interim president David A. Sanders and Jankowski.

Gardner’s first piece, titled “Tips for Turning a Big Idea into a Successful Strategic Initiative,” laid out a step-by-step process of how to manage the design and construction of new projects. The following is a snippet featuring Jankowski:

Manage your schedule.

Big projects can take time, and often that time can be shortened only so much. “If a bricklayer’s going to lay up a wall, and it takes a thousand hours, a thousand bricklayers can’t do it in an hour,” says James C. Jankowski, a principal of CannonDesign, an architecture-and-design firm that works with colleges. Construction of a new building can be sped up to a degree, but only if college leaders can make themselves available for frequent meetings with architects and builders. “The shorter the schedule, the more important it is that the decision makers are at the table,” Mr. Jankowski says.

The second piece, “How to Make Strategic Big Bets,” examined how planning and analyzing all available data and possibilities going into a project is crucial to ensuring it will help raise vs. wreck an institution. Sanders explained how the individuals working on Malcolm X sourced feedback from neighboring universities to help with the design process, and how data analyzation helped determine which programs the school should focus on.

Both pieces are available for Chronicle subscribers here and here for reference.