Have you ever thought that there’s a better way of doing things but can’t find the time to focus on closing the gaps?
The ADC Consult services provide an effective evaluation of your project delivery procedures and standard practice methods designed to assist your firm to find improvement opportunities aimed at reducing duplication, streamlining your processes and enhancing your ability to deliver your services more effectively and efficiently.
The Consult services of ADC
Project schedule development and task management.
What are the biggest the productivity killers in your projects?
As a business leader, you spend a great deal of time crafting a scope of work, responding to requests for proposal and you work diligently to structure your responses and services to ensure you have a winning formula for your client and your team. Your creative talent and the creative talent of your team is what sets you apart from your competition. Once you win the project your project execution ability is what continues to set you apart when delivering the services to your clients in the professional manner they expect.
How do you ensure your project plan and schedule is sound and managed well? Do you have the tools in place for your project team to understand the project scope of work, their deliverables and the value of the services you are delivering to your client? Do your sub-consultants understand their deliverables to the overall project, when and how the services integrate with the project schedule?
Simple questions deserving of a simple process.
Project plans do not need to be complex. Complexity is difficult to manage and the more complex systems get the less likely people will stick to them. A well-executed project plan is simple to read, simple to understand and includes all the relevant information necessary for the team to understand exactly where they are going.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you plans your projects. Pick one but make sure the process is flexible enough to deal with the variety of work you do and for the variety of management styles of your project leaders possess.
Keep it simple; plan your project, delegate tasks and manage the team, monitor your progress, update your plan at regular intervals and review the work the team produces.
Work plan preparation, task allocation and team management.
How do you decide how much effort the deliverables will take on your project and who is best suited to execute the work?
Integral to the project plan (schedule) is an equally simple but effective work plan. A well-developed work plan is easy to read, easy to understand and easy to keep updated. Without those three elements in place the work plan will become an arduous tool that causes more frustration than it’s worth.
Developing the project plan and the work plan might not be as glamourous as the development of the design you envision but without either is it not possible to effectively manage your team and ultimately your costs on your project. Tracking time spent at the end of the month is an important task but if that’s the only oversight you have on your project’s progress then you may be challenged to be as efficient and productive as you could be.
An earned value analysis is one of the most effective tools that any project team can use to monitor its progress. We encourage our clients to actively monitor their progress with this simple, easy to use tool. It saves valuable time and effort and allows the type of foresight to plan for the impacts of change and lagging progress that plague even the best panned projects.
Take a look at the following link for a comprehensive overview of effective work plan management. Its chock full of tips and tricks to help you be as effective and efficient as possible.
Project Quality Assurance review and process development.
How can you be assured that you’ve covered all the bases on your project documentation before it goes out the door?
We always say we can’t see the forest for the trees when we think about being deep into a project and we’ve missed something so essential that we can’t believe it.
Project documentation coordination is essential to a team’s success in delivering exceptional project work but conducting drawing quality reviews of the work is least effective from the project team executing the work. An external, 3rd eye (so to speak) review can yield results that can improve the quality of the work from three very key factors: the constructability of the design, the clarity of the information and the document’s organization and sequencing.
There are some key elements to an effective project quality assurance process that will allow your studio to benefit from the exercise. Those element include the opportunity to share lessons learned, build on continuous improvement opportunities and build on consistencies in documentation standards.
We have developed a comprehensive process that ties together the key factors for clear, concise and easy to understand documentation with the key elements for learning from the errors discovered in this essential process. Not only will you benefit from better documentation but it’s that documentation that will save you time and effort down the road in tangible savings to you and your clients.
Forms, templates and documentation enhancement.
When you are looking for a document and you can’t find it what do you typically do next?
Forms, forms, forms…..without standardized forms and templates you are adding work to your life that can, over time, limit your ability to remain effective, efficient and nimble.
We have seen many different methods for producing minutes, reports, transmittals and even email that has been nothing short of miraculous in its inconsistency.
Response time can certainly be reduced when you have templates for your standard documentation but the organization of your standard forms and templates is just as critical. The content is key and having a consistent method to delivering it will benefit you and your teams in reducing the time and effort required to find, complete and distribute your project documentation.
Having a clear series of templates is one thing but how and where they’re organized in your database is another thing altogether. If your project teams are left to organize their project directories in any way they feel is right you will certainly have a variety of effective solutions but we all know one person’s logic may not always be as obvious as another’s. A consistent, well-documented and easy to use electronic filing system seems like such a simple task. Based on the systems we have seen you would be surprised how difficult it actually becomes to set one up properly.
We can help you review your standard templates, hep you enhance those templates so they are easy to use and consistent across your organization. We also can help you structure an electronic file naming convention and electronic filing system that when employed across your studio will allow anyone to access data on any project with ease in an effective and efficient manner.
Design standards process enhancement.
How unique are each of your projects and do they require you to reinvent the wheel each time you execute your work?
As designers, we all recognize consistencies in our workflow and in the way we put together our documentation on a project by project basis but are we always looking for those consistencies that we can leverage on many more of our projects?
We all get busy and sometimes it’s easier to draw something again than it is to look for it in another project file or better yet remember where to look. We have found many standardized systems are as arduous as the task of looking in previous project files because they are not as well organized as they could be because too many players have had a hand in the process. If there are too many people developing and maintaining standard workflow templates it can lead to greater inefficiencies and eventual rework.
How many times have you thought or heard, “Just dump it there for now and I‘ll get to it later.”?
Having easy to find and clearly documented standard details for typical project components can save incredible amounts of valuable resource time and effort. A simple set of standards is better than not having them at all but nothing beats a system of continuous improvement that challenges the design studio to amass and keep improving the tools they need to be successful. And as you keep improving your templates you can be assured your template standards are the most up-to-date (and error free) versions.
While we are not CAD or REVIT guru’s ourselves we have worked with many teams to implement effective and efficient design management systems across a variety of platforms. We have amassed the knowledge it takes to organize systems that allow the design teams we work with to catalogue, manage and look for continuous improvement opportunities in their standard workflow practices which leads to more effective project delivery and reduced frustration because information is actually in the format you need it and is easy to find.
Post Occupancy Evaluations
How well did you deliver your services on your last project?
The truth is we are really only as good as our last project. If we don’t know how well we really performed then how will we ever improve? Sure, you have a great relationship with your client, your team and your contractor. The project was a success. Everyone’s happy.
What more do you need to know?
We believe in continuous improvement and in order to learn about how we really performed on a project we need to discuss our performance with the team. Having a post-mortem meeting on a project is a valuable asset however how honest do you think people will be when put on the spot?
Recording the performance criteria of a project is difficult if you don’t know what to ask and if you don’t ask questions at the major milestones of a large scale project you are relying on what you, your client and you team can remember. An on-line POE survey is an effective tool to measure performance across a variety of skills and when delivered in an objective, impartial, fair and transparent manner it can be an invaluable tool for your growth as a consultancy.
And you have a record of the results for future reference and learning. Over time, this asset becomes an invaluable database of learning which can be geared toward skills growth and development.
We can help your full team understand their performance on any project and help you understand where the learning can be applied to the next project you do.
…..or jump to The Advise Services of ADC