An architecture firm normally works on various different projects that have outcomes quite difficult to predict. Changes can always happen and disrupt activities. Teams have to be able to adjust. The work of the architects is already difficult but when management challenges also appear, things are even more complicated.
Many do not know this but architecture firms do have to deal with some unique management challenges. These are the really salient ones in most cases. Some of those that so often appear are presented below.
Managing The Billable Utilization
This is a huge challenge for absolutely all service firms, including architecture firms. Because of the fact that the job has a creative nature, it is hard to figure out how much time is going to be spent on some specific activities. Also, the actual and planned time will not always be compared as adequate tools to do just that tend to not be in place.
Getting such information is important when you want to run service businesses since it will define if projects would be profitable or if they would turn into disasters. There are many cases in which projects to over budget and this is often because of not properly managing billable utilization.
Resource Availability And Visibility Over Projects
Sometimes it is difficult to know who will be available to lend hands to project teams. Manual coordination is usually in place and is done by the project leads. While individual schedules tend to be managed, visibility over absolutely all business ongoing activities is usually not available.
Architecture firms do have the tools they need to manage the larger projects down to the smallest details but the ability to see the entire organization as a complete whole is usually lacking. Projects are not isolated from the organization. Input needs to come from those that work on all projects, especially when some sort of impact appears on specific projects.
Delays And Modifications
Project schedule can be impacted by numerous unexpected events. For instance, a construction permit might end up being delayed and arrive late or a client would push back an approval process. If you want to avoid this problem, weekly coordination meetings are necessary. This helps reassess assignments and schedules for all the pressing tasks. Remaining flexible and dealing with unexpected situations is highly necessary.
You always need to know where to find the exact information you need. Unfortunately, this can become a challenge. This is especially the case for architecture firms that are spread over various geographical locations. There are normally some standardized deliverables that are tracked and shared by team members. Due to this, knowing where the latest version of a document is can become tricky.
Estimating The Required Time
The job is creative, especially during a design phase. This makes estimates difficult. In many cases the estimates are actually impossible in such scenarios. Every single project will be unique. 2 teams will need different times to finish something. Improving estimate quality is something that is very important and you need to be sure that everything is properly handled. Build a system that will work.