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

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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 two of the entire series.
To puchase the entire series,kindly click on the below link:
http://www.zweigwhite.com/p-792-ae-project-management-optimization-series.aspx

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  • 1. Presented by ZweigWhite Project Management Part II
  • 2. 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 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
  • 5. What We Need to Do, When, Why, and How
  • 6. Project Lifecycle
  • 7. Project Initiation
  • 8. Project Initiation
    • Team Formation
    • Schedules
    • Procedures
    • Expectations
    • Project Charter
    • Kick-off Meeting
    • Delegation
    • Leading Teams
  • 9.
    • Project Teams:
      • Project Manager
      • Clients, consultants, and subconsultants
      • Project Leader
      • Project Designer
      • Other detailers, technical professionals
    Team Formation
  • 10.
    • Elements to Consider:
      • Project goals and objectives
      • Roles and responsibilities
      • Education, training, and certification
      • Years of experience and qualifications
      • Personalities
    Team Formation
  • 11. Sub-Consultants
    • They play a role in the project too:
      • When and what
        • Great drawings
        • They understand our process and expectations of them
      • Why
        • Their role and actions impact construction – time and costs
      • How
        • Choosing consultants committed to superior outcomes
        • Submittals: “Note as corrected” vs “Rejected”; turnaround times, impact of substitutions
        • RFIs: Communication channels, timeliness, great drawings
  • 12.
    • The Work Breakdown Structure:
      • All the work necessary to do this project
      • All the deliverables required
      • Only work defined within the scope negotiated
    • Rolling it Up:
      • Start with client deliverables
      • Define all tasks to complete each deliverable
      • Assign tasks to team members
    Work Breakdown Structure
  • 13.
    • The Work Breakdown Structure:
      • Deliverables are the milestones
      • Establish date deliverables must be completed
      • Break deliverables into manageable tasks
      • Identify team members for tasks
      • Estimate hours required
      • Understand dependencies; what can be done in parallel
      • Use tools at your disposal
    Sequencing and Scheduling
  • 14. Kick-Off Meeting
    • Getting started on the right foot:
      • When and what
        • Project kick-off meeting with expectations and procedures
      • Why
        • Sets the tone for the entire project
        • Expectations drive consistency and clarity
      • How
        • Establish frequency of meetings, paperwork deadlines, RFI and submittal process
        • Be positive – this is an exciting project
        • Do not make assumptions or bring in prejudices
        • Overlay schedules, discuss impact, reach agreement
  • 15. Kick-Off Meeting
    • Getting started on the right foot:
      • How
        • Talk NOW about anything that might impact the schedule and discuss alternatives
        • Listen; ask when not sure
        • Verify long lead items and indicate these critical dates on the schedule
        • Everyone attends: Architect, client, sub-consultants, contractor
        • Create meeting minutes and distribute to all attendees
  • 16.
    • Full awareness of this project
    Project Charter Firm Goals Client Issue Project Delivery & Solution Client Goals Project Goals
  • 17.
    • Always Includes:
      • Client goals
      • Project description, scope, design criteria, approach and deliverables
      • Project budget
      • Project schedule
      • QA/QC plan
      • Project administration and filing procedures
      • Contact list
      • Communications plan
      • Contract document
    Project Charter
  • 18. Key Concept: Delegation
    • Best Practices:
      • When and what
        • Appointing someone to act on our behalf
        • Delegation is a two way process:
          • You delegate responsibility – authority flows from you to team member
          • Accountability flows from team member to you
      • Why
        • Delegation is good for us– it’s good for the team
        • We don’t have time to do it all
      • How
        • There is a pathway to successful delegation
  • 19. Key Concept: Delegation
    • Best Practices:
      • How
        • Communicate desired results
        • Set clear goals and deadlines
        • Give all information/ideas
        • Define authority/responsibility
        • Resist making decisions for others
        • Give appropriate credit
  • 20. Key Concept: Delegation
    • Considerations During Task Assignments:
      • What input will this task receive?
      • What output do you expect from this task?
      • What process do you expect will be followed in completing this task?
      • What schedule do you expect for completion of this task?
      • Within what budget should this task be completed?
      • Determine, Identify, Assign, Monitor, Evaluate
  • 21.
    • “ I don’t motivate my players. You cannot motivate someone. All you can do is provide a motivating environment and the players will motivate themselves.”
    • Phil Jackson
    • Coach, 2000 LA Lakers
    Motivating Teams
  • 22.
    • Factors that enhance abilities:
      • Creative and challenging work
      • Participation in decision making
      • Job flexibility, autonomy, responsibility
      • Training and development activities
      • Praise and recognition from peers and supervisors
      • Promotion to higher job status
      • Social interaction with co-workers
      • Interaction with clients
    Enhancing Team Abilities
  • 23. Key Concept: Accountability Culture of Accountability & Responsibility Better Decisions, Problems Solved Faster Openness, Trust, Self-esteem More Information, Greater Initiative Recognition, Reward, Growth Project Delivery Expectations, Communication Expectations Met, Success
  • 24.
    • Within Project Teams:
      • Everyone in the firm understands the critical role of projects
      • Project Manager is the shepherd of this process
      • Role and authority of Project Manager is clear
      • Everyone grows – requirement of the firm
      • Set expectations and desired results
      • Reviews and feedback at project conclusion
      • Be prepared to take necessary action
      • Be prepared to congratulate and reward
    Key Concept: Accountability
  • 25. Project Progression
  • 26. Project Progression
    • Budget Monitoring
    • Schedule Monitoring
    • Billing / Collections
    • QA / QC
    • Meetings
    • Paperwork of all kinds
    • Communication
    • Scope Change
    • Leadership
  • 27. Budget Monitoring
    • Keeping our eyes on the money:
      • When and what
        • Frequency will depend on project size
      • Why
        • Because this tracks our profit or loss
      • How
        • Use internal systems for timesheets, invoices, expenses, accounts payable, receivables, and work in progress
        • Monitor costs against budget on a frequent basis, watch red flags and take corrective action when needed
        • Use resource projections, cost to complete estimates
        • Provide periodic summary to team and PIC
  • 28. Budget Monitoring
      • How
        • Team understands and commits to budget (see Project Charter)
        • Team records accurate time
        • Deal with out of scope requests immediately
        • Close out projects promptly and properly
        • Communicate as much as possible
  • 29.
    • When a Project is Over Budget:
      • Perhaps: The original budget was too low, wrong staff assigned, scope increased without compensation, internal delays
      • - What risks did we identify at the beginning?
      • Take action: Compress or extend the schedule, change staff if necessary, use additional staff, as a last resort ask client to renegotiate the contract
    Budget Monitoring
  • 30. Schedule Monitoring
    • Keeping our eyes on the time:
      • When and what
        • Periodically review the project work plan against dates
      • Why
        • We don’t want to get jammed into trouble
      • How
        • Start with a realistic schedule
        • Team is committed to tasks and milestones
        • Provide early/late start and stop dates
        • Use tools at our disposal: scheduling software, records, data
        • Compare time sheets against progress reports
        • Periodically review team members’ performance
  • 31. Schedule Monitoring
      • How
        • Frequently publish or talk about the schedule with the team
        • Look for ways to save time, beat schedule
        • Do not use contingencies as a crutch
        • Hire schedule driven sub-consultants
        • Document all issues that can affect schedule
        • Communicate with entire team – especially client
        • Delegate schedule updates to team member
  • 32. Keep the Work Rolling
    • Every day is important:
      • When and what
        • Making sure we contribute to maintaining the schedule
      • Why
        • Every day lost is revenue lost for the client
        • Someone ( likely many people ) is waiting for our response
        • Leaders do this
      • How
        • As responsive to other parties as we are to the client
        • Good turnaround times for RFIs, submittals, shop drawings, pay applications
        • Availability or delegation
        • Be open to alternatives, substitutions, suggestions
  • 33. Project Monitoring
    • Leaders find solutions and make decisions:
      • When and what
        • You cannot solve a problem unless you can make a decision
      • Why
        • Projects are dynamic and will always require solutions
        • The project has to keep moving
      • How
        • Plan, Do, Check, Act
        • Define the “real” problem
        • Generate alternate solutions
  • 34. Project Monitoring
    • Leaders find solutions and make decisions:
      • How
        • Evaluate and select solution right for the project
        • Implement and follow up
        • Designate responsibility
        • Document decisions and lessons learned
        • Did what we decide to do work?
  • 35.
    • Action Plan when things aren’t going so well….
    Turning Things Around Problem Internal Cause External Cause Expected Impact Short Term Response Long Term Response Permit Holdup NA Possible Code Issues Two Week Delay ? ? Fee Burn Rate Too High Wrong team? NA Profitability in danger ? ?
  • 36.
    • Invoicing:
      • Getting paid for our work is critical today
      • Cash flow
      • Shorter duration projects
      • Establish billing dates / frequency / terms at the beginning of the project
      • PM and team understand importance of timely billing cycles and accurate recording
      • Use a well-designed A/R report
      • Design an effective invoice or use owner supplied forms correctly
    Billing and Collections
  • 37. QA / QC
    • Providing a high quality product:
      • When and what
        • QA: Everything that drives consistent quality levels vs. QC: Processes that verify quality at the end of project stages
      • Why
        • A good set of drawings is different than a bad set of drawings
        • This is the claim we make on our website
      • How
        • Excellent work expected at every level, on every deliverable
        • Verification on work packages, tasks, deliverables
        • Part of performance evaluations and team review
        • Build QC processes into budget and schedule
        • Outsource
  • 38. Key Concept: Communication
    • Best Practices:
      • When and what
        • Exchanging information in all directions
        • 90% of our time will be spent communicating
      • Why
        • Lack of communication will ruin any project
        • We owe it to everyone we work with
        • Leaders do this
      • Remember
        • “ The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • 39. Key Concept: Communication
    • Best practices:
      • How
        • Establish a communication plan for the project
        • Determine RACI roles ( responsible, accountable, consult, inform )
        • Decide what is critical and what is not
        • Good communication does not include email – after three exchanges, pick up the phone or meet in person
        • Document discussions, decisions, actions taken, outcomes
  • 40.
    • Best Practices for Meetings:
      • Budget the time and understand the commitment
      • Set ground rules at initiation
      • Distribute and work from an agenda
      • Prioritize meeting items
      • Allocate time for each
      • List attendees
      • Limit length of meetings
      • Consistency
    Key Concept: Communication
  • 41.
    • Periodic Project Updates:
      • Weekly, brief email:
      • Progress to date
      • Upcoming tasks
      • Issues to be aware of
        • Client reviews and input
        • Out of scope work
        • Schedule and/or budget issues
        • Report trouble or issues early
    • Send consistently to every team member involved in the project – client, technical staff, subconsultants
    Weekly Updates
  • 42. Key Concept: Remote Management
    • More and more projects out of state:
      • When and what
        • Keeping our eyes on the project from a distance
      • Why
        • More risk involved at a distance
      • How
        • Roles and responsibilities super clear from the start
        • Use web-based meetings
        • Hold them more frequently
        • Thorough and efficient site visits
        • Extra client care when needed
        • Take lots of photographs
  • 43. Key Concept: Managing Scope Change
    • Best practices:
      • When and what
        • Hardly a project out there that does not have at least one
      • Why
        • That’s the nature of the design and construction industry
      • How
        • Get it going: discuss changes immediately and thoroughly
        • Decide whether to charge client for your services or not
        • Get approvals first and invoice it immediately
        • Disputes put off until the end will likely appear at the end
        • Consider contract terms that define breadth of scope:
          • Number of meetings or permit reviews
  • 44.
    • Know thy client:
      • Why is the project being done
      • Who are the stakeholders
      • Who does the client report to
      • Who makes the final decisions
      • What are the client’s issues / concerns
      • What are the client’s expectations
      • Get the Principal involved when necessary
    Key Concept: Managing the Client
  • 45. Key Concept: Project Leadership
    • Best practices:
      • When and what
        • This ( project, owner, contractor ) is driving me nuts. Why should I be the bigger person here or do this extra work??
      • Why
        • We are committed to the client’s goals
        • Or at least we said we were
        • Project leadership is increasingly important today
      • How
        • Argue in the positive
        • Assess wins and losses – pick your battles
        • Know where your alliances are and use them
        • Get assistance from the principal or colleagues
  • 46.  
  • 47. Thank You! Christine Brack, PMP Principal 239-280-2300 x2902 [email_address] Click here to purchase the entire series: http://www.zweigwhite.com/p-792-ae-project-management-optimization-series.aspx

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