Chris Hays heads up the recently launched planning team at the Bristol office of DTZ. He was previously an associate director at WYG Group, which he joined in 2000. Hays is a member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and has a degree in environmental planning and a diploma in town planning from the University of Central England, as well as a master’s degree in historic building conservation.
What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
My job is to build up the capabilities of the planning team and raise its profile while undertaking day-to-day planning work. DTZ has a strong mandate for growth and diversification across sectors, we have monthly meetings looking at fees generated and opportunities taken up. There is also a monthly review by planning directors, looking at project wins and strategy.
Q What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil these objectives?
Maintain knowledge across the planning system. Planning is in a constant state of flux: it's easy to focus on current work streams but you must keep abreast of all policy and practice issues.
Maintain strong working relationships. This includes established and potential clients and co-consultants in multidisciplinary teams. It makes the job so much easier and ensures success more likely.
Maintain focus on principal objectives and client needs. It's easy to get bogged down in the system and lose sight of the bigger picture but an essential part of the planner's role is to keep focus and keep projects on track.