Now let's oil the machine and rev up the engine.
We all know how to tackle this part of the work already, so how can additional value be developed? Great question. Like other categories of what I call keystone practice areas the lines are blurred between each. Young practitioners may have their focus split into so many directions that it becomes difficult to see how to fine tune and develop this aspect of their firm. As an example, beyond actual Project Managment services to the client, this service area has distinct implications on hiring, training, cross-training, software acquisition and expertise, both project and firm profitability and professional staff growth.
Hiring and training - based on current staffing do you hire more senior staff or bring on younger interns and invest in training? So much of this decision matrix is based on practice growth and direction determined in Design, Practice Management and Marketing segments.
Cross Training and Software Expertise - can your existing staff back up one another to cover absences like vacation and sick leave, or is the firm dependent on one person for various software programs like BIM, 3D, Creative Suite, etc.? Is there a cross training process in place? ON the other hand why bring services in house that can be simply purchased outside and invoiced to the client as a reimbursable expense.
Project and Firm Profitability - error elimination, limiting duplication of effort, use of Master Set as a management approach, office standards not only push dollars to the bottom line and allow more competitive fees, but these dollars can accumulate into firm profit to pay for expansion, better tools, salary increases, bonuses and growth.
Professional Growth Ladder for Staff - skills and expertise in the office and in the field should be part of the process. In Small to Medium firms there should be no "closet" employees that sit and draw all day. Everyone has the potential to contribute in his or her way to the firm and training through exposure to clients and project meetings is an important tool.