Architectural projects are different from other business projects. They are design-based and need creative solutions that are unique to each project; unlike business projects where generic solutions can be deployed and re-used. Due to high degree of complexity and greater magnitude of uncertainty in construction projects, architectural firms need very efficient project management.
Project Management may be defined as the coordination necessary “during the complex process of transforming a program into a building” (Pressman, p. 133). 
Earlier, architects were merely engaged in the design process. But nowadays, architects are equipped with real-estate market scenario and new construction technologies. They are closely involved in post-construction demands planning, and co-ordination and control of various stakeholders. These certainly highlights the need for strong Architecture Project Management skills.
Architectural firms, regardless of the size, may use different project management approaches. However, they all focus on achieving 3 broad goals:
- Timely completion of the project
- Good Financial Management and Budgetary Control
- Achievement of pre-determined goals, desired results, and quality requirements
Role of Architecture Project Managers
The Project Manager in small architectural firms is usually the Principal or sole Architect of the company. In large Architecture firms, the Project Manager may be someone with an architectural background, not compulsorily an Architect, who reports to a company Director or Principal. In large A/E firms, the Project Manager has control over decision-making and is held accountable for those decisions.
Typical tasks and roles performed by Project Managers are:
- lead the project team
- administer construction contracts
- organize, communicate and participate in progress meetings and take notes
- market, negotiate contracts with clients
- direct and coordinate the work of staff and consultants
- manage any conflicts between staff members
- review project accounting
- prepare and monitor the project schedule and budget
- monitor the process, quality of work and overall staff performance
Use of CPM in Architecture
Larger architectural and A/E firms use the Critical Path Method (CPM) which is a very useful tool for “spot scheduling crises well ahead of time”. Architecture Project Management in larger firms involves use of this method, due to the size, scale and complexity of the projects. All of these require sufficient planning and scheduling in advance.
Architectural Project Management – a specialty
For a construction project to be successful, the architecture project manager must deploy specific techniques of controlling time, costs, risks, communication, and integration. It is widely accepted that a good Project Manager is a support for architects to produce better buildings, which is actually what architects want to and are trained to do. So, should architects become project managers?
By engaging Zero/Six’s professional architecture project management services, your architects can focus on what they are best at – design and architecture. Our expert project managers and designers approach every project with dedication and commitment that maintains a constant focus towards delivering the project in accordance with our clients’ needs, wants, and, expectations. Our systematic approach, combined with our strategic scheduling and building envelope experience, give us the ability to effectively and efficiently uncover potential gaps that hinder the building performance.
Click here to learn more about our Architecture Project Management Services. Call us on: 409.740.0090 or visit our website www.z6consulting.com for more details.