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 Project Management skills.
Architectural firms, regardless of the size, may use different project management approaches. However, they all focus on achieving 3 broad goals:
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:
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”. Architectural 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.
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 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 with Zero/Six’s Consulting LLC, 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.
Call us on: 409.740.0090 for more details.
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