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5 Ideas to Drive Positive Asymmetric Reward for Architecture Projects

LMARM (Linear moving average risk mitigation)

LMARM (Linear moving average risk mitigation)

  1. Establish clear project goals
  • A strong baseline can be established by setting clear project goals. The benefit of establishing project goals is so people working on the project know exactly what ideas to follow when developing a design. This streamlines the whole project delivery process for developing drawings all the way through construction. If everyone knows the goals, then there usually are fewer questions and less confusion about what needs to happen for a successful project.

2. Organize your previous experience to apply to future problems

  • Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? Keeping good records of previous projects and lessons learned can greatly improve the efficiency of your projects. Every project is different, but it helps to know how things were achieved on other projects to establish baselines work from. Building from success in the past limits downward risk substantially in the future.

3. Promote shared rewards on projects

  • If your project is set up in a traditional delivery model, some methods for shared rewards can start with “horse trading”. Horse trading is when multiple parties can’t have everything they want, but they are willing to negotiate a win-win solution for the project. We rarely ever use this direct term in practice, but it essentially explains the basic form of negotiation on projects. So, take for example something on the drawings is challenging to construct, but it is very important to the owner. In order to set up a win-win-win or shared rewards, an approach may require the architect and contractor collaborating to make slight modifications to the design or considering another alternative way to construct the design. This may allow for a breakthrough on the issue while still achieving the design intent important to the owner.
  • Shared profits on a project can be established at the earlier stages of a project when the contracts between parties are being hashed out. The intent of the article isn’t to explain how to write contracts (leave that up to the lawyers and principles), but I have seen shared rewards in the form of KPIs (key performance indicators) in action on our projects at @SmithGroup. When the designers, builders, and owners all receive a financial reward for key items on a project the collaboration and potential is extraordinary. An example would be using virtual reality to demonstrate to end users how operating rooms function etc. The upward reward potential for KPIs is almost limitless.

4. Embrace collaborative technology

  • Let’s face it – everything is going to the cloud. Almost all our software has transitioned to data centers and any of the software that isn’t will probably die out in the next couple of years. Although there are downsides to the cloud, there are many upward reward potentials related to our workflows. When we host project models on the cloud anyone on the project team can access the data with ease at any location with an internet connection. Accessible models from everywhere increase collaboration between different entities working on a project. The data can be visible to designers, builders and the owner all at the same time. This increased transparency on project development helps increase communication and set expectations on the overall progress and development.

5. Communicate, communicate, communicate

  • Maybe the most important aspect of project delivery is communication. Without effective communication, projects can quickly turn to turmoil. Everyone’s communication can always improve, and the rewards are substantial. Here are a couple of strategies for project teams.
  1. Clear concise agendas associated with meetings.
  2. Have a “no one gets thrown under the bus” rule.
  3. Utilize Onenote or other software for a central location for project notes and data. Onenote notes can be shared with separate company entities.
  4. Utilize cloud modeling for projects so everyone can see development progress.
  5. Limit e-mail to concise directions and leave emotions for face-to-face meetings.
  6. Don’t be scared to pick up the phone and have a conversation in lieu of written communication.

First posted on Linkedin

LMARM (Linear moving average risk mitigation)

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