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A/E Project Management Optimization-Part One
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A/E Project Management Optimization-Part One


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Creating the environment for a profitable organization begins with those that lead and deliver your projects. At the core of what firms do, strategically and intelligently executing projects from …

Creating the environment for a profitable organization begins with those that lead and deliver your projects. At the core of what firms do, strategically and intelligently executing projects from proposal to solution fuels growth, creates opportunities, and sustains a strong commitment to your team and your clients. Project Managers are the caretakers of your professional service. Through training based on best practices, they can lead their team to superior outcomes.

A/E Project Management Optimization is a three-part webinar series that will help you understand the conditions in your firm that may be hindering the process, and will present strategies to facilitate excellence at all levels using practical, real-world examples and best practices used by the top firms in the industry.
This Presentation is part one of the entire series.
To puchase the entire series,kindly click on the below link:

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  • 1. Presented by ZweigWhite Visit us at Project Management Part 1
  • 2. Visit us at ZweigWhite is a Registered Provider with The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Systems. Credit earned on completion of this program will be reported to CES Records for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for non-AIA members are available on request. This program is registered with the AIA/CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using distributing, or dealing in any material or product. Questions related to specific materials, methods, and services will be addressed at the conclusion of this presentation.
  • 3. Copyright Materials Visit us at This presentation is protected by US and International copyright laws. Reproduction, distribution, display and use of the presentation without written permission of the speaker is prohibited. © ZweigWhite, 2010
  • 4. Seminar Overview
    • Introduction and Logistics
    • Headaches and Learning Objectives
    • Facts, Figures, and Things to Consider
    • Skills and Abilities of Today’s Project Manager
    • What we need to do, when, why and how
    • Project Phases
    • Key Concepts
    • Excellence in Project Leadership
    • Objectives in Motion
    Visit us at
  • 5. Headaches and Learning Objectives Visit us at
  • 6.
    • Identify one or two challenge areas you experience with project management:
      • _____________________________________
      • _____________________________________
    Project Management Headaches Visit us at
  • 7.
    • Identify one or two areas or topics you want to learn more about or become more informed on:
      • _____________________________________
      • _____________________________________
    Learning Objectives Visit us at
  • 8. Elements to Consider Visit us at
  • 9. Project Management Visit us at Project Management is Applying knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet all requirements. Good Project Management is Delivering the project so that it meets everyone’s criteria for success– ours and the client’s.
  • 10. Critical Role of Projects Visit us at Fuel Firm Growth Build Expertise Marketing Tool Repeat Clients New Clients Attract New Talent Provides Opportunities Investment & Reinvestment Experts in Industry Attract New Talent Realize Vision Increase Value of Firm Strong Teams Training Build Expertise Strong Teams Business Development PROJECTS
  • 11. Project Management Worst Practices Visit us at
    • Stemming From One of Three Areas
    • No strategic plan tie-in
    • Little to no investment in training
    • Not allowing PMs to fully lead projects
    • Poor communication flow
    • Infrequent feedback to PM and team
    • Little information sharing
    • Unrealistic budgets and schedules
    • Leadership does not support PM best practices – no one held accountable
    Leadership Process Training
  • 12. Project Management Worst Practices Visit us at
    • Stemming From One of Three Areas
    • Too many “ways” of managing projects
    • Everything is rushed
    • Utilization: challenges matching staff to needs of the project
    • Unrealistic budgets and schedules
    • Little understanding of the system, components, and players
    • No tracking of project profitability
    • Scope creep / not paid for changes
    Leadership Process Training
  • 13. Project Management Worst Practices Visit us at
    • Stemming From One of Three Areas
    • Little to no investment in training – learning as we go
    • Project manager is a role – not a title
    • Unclear roles and responsibilities
    • Support staff does not understand the project, client or goals of the project
    • No mentoring on special skills – scoping, scheduling, time management, leadership of team
    Leadership Process Training
  • 14. Causes of Claims Visit us at
    • Top Four Non-technical Risk Drivers
    Source: XL Insurance
  • 15. Causes of Claims Visit us at
    • Project Team Capabilities Issues
    Inexperienced project manager 34% Unqualified design staff assigned to project 45% Other - 9% Unqualified on-site staff assigned to project - 4% Insufficient number of staff - 4% Project outside firm’s normal territory - 4% Source: XL Insurance
  • 16. Causes of Claims Visit us at
    • Communication Issues
    Source: XL Insurance Project issues & disputes not handled correctly - 8% Lack of documentation regarding changes in scope - 10% Other - 4% Lack of procedures to identify and/or address conflicts, omissions, or errors 64% Project staff not aware of their responsibilities - 10% Scope of services not clearly explained to client - 4%
  • 17. Things to Consider
    • This is our client’s investment
    • We play a big role in how that investment pays off ( or not )
    • Our client wants everyone to win
    • Whether we like it or not, we have to work with others
    • Success is all about leadership and attitude
    • As project managers, we’ll always be learning
    Visit us at
  • 18. Project Teams Visit us at
  • 19.
    • Applies when we work on projects
    • What constitutes the project team based on the type of project
    • Lines of authority based upon the roles each individual plays on the project
    • One individual may perform different roles on different projects
    Team Dynamics Visit us at Projects Principals Project Managers Project Team
  • 20.
    • Review all aspects of the project, including contract, scope, schedule, budget, and task breakdown
    • Facilitate resource allocation
    • Mentor Project Managers by providing support and information
    • Assure overall project management performance
    Principals Visit us at Projects Principals Project Managers Project Team
  • 21.
    • Scope, plan, lead, organize and control the project
    • Meet the scope, schedule and budget and achieve client satisfaction and quality standards of entire project
    • Choose the project team, including subconsultants, and delegate tasks to each member
    • Monitor overall project performance and make adjustments in scope, schedule and/or budget as necessary to meet client and company goals
    Project Manager Visit us at Projects Principals Project Managers Project Team
  • 22.
    • Accept assignments from Project Manager
    • Meet the scope, schedule, budget; achieve client satisfaction and quality standards of assigned tasks
    • Provide assistance to the Project Manager
    Project Team Visit us at Projects Principals Project Managers Project Team
  • 23. Project Management Knowledge Areas Visit us at
  • 24. Knowledge Areas
    • Every project manager should know:
      • Project integration management
      • Project scope management
      • Project time management
      • Project cost management
      • Project quality management
      • Project human resource management
      • Project communication management
      • Project risk management
      • Project procurement management
    Visit us at
  • 25. Skills and Abilities Visit us at Leadership Management Communication Required Skills and Abilities Make sure you have yours
  • 26.
    • Building relationships
    • Decision making
    • Professional judgment
    • Responsibility versus authority
    • Leading by example
    • Developing a professional and personal career plan
    • Mentoring
    Leadership Skills Visit us at
  • 27.
    • Scoping
    • Planning
    • Organizing
    • Delegating
    • Controlling
    • Supervising
    • Time management
    Management Skills Visit us at
  • 28.
    • Listening
    • Verbal
      • One-on-one
      • Conducting meetings
      • Telephone conversations
    • Writing
      • Email
      • Memos
      • Letters
    • Non-verbal
    Communication Skills Visit us at
  • 29. Roles and Responsibilities of a Project Manager Visit us at
  • 30. Roles and Responsibilities Visit us at Roles and Responsibilities Make sure these are clear Project Technical Business Marketing
  • 31.
    • Budget: Make the project profitable
    • Schedule: Complete the project on time
    • Coordination: Distribution and completion of tasks
    • Communication: Keep the entire project team up to date on all project information
    The Project Role Visit us at
  • 32.
    • Demonstrate experience and qualifications
    • Mentor team members
    • Perform and/or oversee QA/QC
    • Specialize on certain phases of projects
    • Work on deliverables when necessary
    • Oversee the work packages, tasks, and “to do” lists
    • Manage consultants and subconsultants
    The Technical Role Visit us at
  • 33.
    • Client relationships
    • Financial management
    • People management
    • General administration/communications
    The Business Role Visit us at
  • 34.
    • Good work wins more good work
    • Additional services
    • Ask clients for leads/new projects – cross selling
    • Check back with client three, six months later
    • Social/professional relationships
    • Client referrals
    • Business development
    The Marketing Role Visit us at
  • 35. What We Need to Do, When, Why, and How Visit us at
  • 36. Project Lifecycle Visit us at
  • 37. Project Conception Visit us at
  • 38. Project Conception
    • Scope
    • Schedule
    • Budget
    Visit us at
    • Price
    • Contracts
    • Risk Management
  • 39. Project Scope & Understanding
    • This is the project definition:
      • When and what
        • Outlines phases, deliverables, work packages, tasks involved in project solution
      • Why
        • Helps clients understand needs and desired outcomes
        • Insulates us from ambiguity
        • Sets expectations early
      • How
        • Create and use a scope checklist
        • Everyone understands, updates, and knows where to find it
    Visit us at
  • 40. Project Budget
    • What it will cost us internally to do this project:
      • Why
        • Make sure our projects are profitable
      • What it must include
        • Staff required and direct labor costs
        • Breakdown of tasks and labor hours for each
        • Sub-consultants
        • Contingencies
        • Reimbursable expenses
        • Profit as a percentage of total budget
        • Project management and technical coordination
        • Create budget template and update
    Visit us at
  • 41. Project Budget
    • Different ways to do it:
      • How
        • Bottom-up using WBS
        • Recent, similar projects (with validation)
        • Benchmarks (Hrs/sheet; $$/sqft)
        • Input from those doing the work
      • Tie to accounting / reporting system
      • Updated / reviewed at milestones
      • Established to view budgeted vs actual
    Visit us at
  • 42. Project Schedule
    • Course of time to follow:
      • When and what
        • Often set by client – the duration in which we have to work
      • Why
        • It’s a necessary measurement tool
      • How
        • Collect input from PM or team
        • Associates deliverables with milestones or deadlines
        • Allow for contingencies / consider any delays
        • Distribute and share with entire team
    Visit us at
  • 43. Project Schedule
    • Course of time to follow:
      • Common Mistakes in Scheduling
        • Too much detail
        • Using more sophisticated structure than the project requires
        • Not communicating or sharing the schedule
        • Not updating the schedule
        • Not assessing impact of certain delays
        • Too optimistic on durations or completion dates
    Visit us at
  • 44.
    • If Price > Cost, we accept the project
    • If Cost > Price, it will be a loss and we should walk away
    • In most cases, we cannot negotiate price… We have to negotiate (and renegotiate!) scope
    Key Concept: Price versus Cost Visit us at Price Cost Sticker price the client pays for our services (their budget) What it costs us to do the project / provide our services (our budget)
  • 45. Contracts
    • That thing we sign at the start:
      • When and what
        • Creates a business relationship
        • An agreement the law will enforce
      • Why
        • Decreases risk and magnitude of dispute
        • Good clients respect good contracts
        • Contracts protect our resources and efforts
        • Outlines tools and information to prevent scope creep
        • Lawsuits are expensive
    Visit us at
  • 46. Contracts
    • That thing we sign at the start:
      • How
        • Create a defined contract process
        • Address all basic issues
        • PMs are involved in contract preparation
        • Establish contract signing authority and limits
        • Reviewed by others
        • Don’t let the excitement of a new project get in the way of establishing a proper contract
    Visit us at
  • 47. Contracts
    • That thing we sign at the start:
      • The most profitable contracts include:
        • Scope of work (as detailed as possible)
        • Preliminary schedule, with a refined schedule of tasks to follow
        • Project price
        • Provision for extra / special services
        • Exclusions
        • Owner’s responsibilities
        • Invoicing and payment procedures
    Visit us at
  • 48. Key Concept: Risk Management
    • Decrease impact of events adverse to our project
    Visit us at Identify Risks Prioritize Likelihood of Occurrence Options & Actions to Reduce Risks Track All Risks Identify New Risks Execute Response Plans
  • 49. Key Concept: Risk Management
    • Strategies for handling risk:
      • Avoid
        • Decrease threat by clarifying requirements, increasing communication, gaining experience
      • Transfer
        • Utilizing tools such as insurance, performance bonds, warranties, specific contracts
      • Mitigate
        • Reduce risk by conducting more tests, designing prototypes, requiring mock-ups, carefully hiring sub-consultants, more QA/QC, share lessons learned
    Visit us at
  • 50. Key Concept: Risk Management
    • Best Practices:
      • Risks are best carried by those who can handle them and are appropriately rewarded for doing so
      • Don’t assume the risks if you cannot handle it
      • Establish a Risk Management Plan and use it
      • Think severity, probability, timeframe
      • Don’t treat risks as individual problems– rather integrated challenges
      • Focus on risks that lead to higher costs, failure to satisfy client requirements, time delays
      • Despite best efforts, problems arise
    Visit us at
  • 51. Key Concept: Negotiation Visit us at
    • Why the Project Manager should be involved in negotiations:
      • Client’s primary contact
      • Knows the client’s goals and objectives
      • Knows the firm’s approach to the project
      • Instills stronger project ownership
      • Better able to manage project changes
      • Shows depth of firm’s expertise
  • 52. Key Concept: Negotiation Visit us at
    • Best Practices:
      • Prepare for the discussion; prioritize issues
      • Understand everyone’s goals / objectives
      • Make a concession but receive something in return
      • Look for non-monetary value
      • Don’t undercut to win the contract
      • Don’t yield to pressure
      • Know when to walk away
      • Negotiate now to spare trouble later
  • 53. Visit us at
  • 54. Visit us at Thank You! Christine Brack, PMP Principal 239-280-2300 x2902 [email_address] Click here to purchase the entire series: