Flashcards in Module 1 - AE Prep Deck (60)
What are some benefits (staffing wise) of a firm working on similar project types?
The Staffing Plans are easier, as the staff is familiar with the work type
Determining fees are easy as a review of the accounting system and actual hours spent will be similar to what is needed for the project type
Tracking how much time was spent or is needed will be easier
How should a staffing plan be approached for a new project type?
Hire new staff experienced in that type of building design
Consult with colleagues or peers for assistance
Set an hourly fee instead of a fixed fee
When is an hourly fee more beneficial than a fixed fee?
When the project is of an unfamiliar type
When there are challenges to the project the staff may not have worked on before
What characteristics should a project team have?
Excellent communication skills
Ability to stay focused and on track
Talent for overcoming challenges and obstacles as they arise
Experience in the project type
How is a project manager different from a staff member on a given project?
A staff member might not have every skill necessary to get the job done
A great project manager is not just bossing the team around,k they will mentor and inspire the team to do their best work
Why wouldn't a project manager have every staff member working on the same project all at once?
The project fee might not be able to afford all of the staff working on that project at once
Might sacrifice profit, although this would increase the quality of the project
This is an unnecessary burden to the Project Manager when they should be focused on providing quality service
What is billing back to the client?
Hours billed directly to the client. This billing rate is usually three times higher than an employee‘s hourly rate.
What is the typical multiplier used when determining the billing rate of a staff person?
hourly rate x 3 (small firms)
hourly rate x 5 (large firms)
Why is a staff person's hourly rate different from a billable rate?
The billable rate accounts for office overhead expenses including equipment and insurance as well as covering the billable rate of the employee
Employee’s Utilization rate
It’s an employee‘s billable hours divided by the total hours they’ve worked, then multiplied by 100 to get the percentage
Who would have the highest utilization rate in an office?
Junior staff, as higher level staff are expected to spend on billable time handling firm operations
What are some factors to consider when comparing a projects design budget to the staff’s salaries?
The cost of consultants needed for the project
The multiplier for the billing rate
How much time the principal will spend on this project as a rate is usually the highest
With the staffs utilization ratio for this project would be
What role does HR play in a small architecture firm?
Typically the role of HR will be performed by the managing principal or outside recruiter
What is Onboarding?
The process of integrating a new employee into the firm, sometimes using an employee manual
A small firm, the managing principal will take this on or office manager
And a medium size firm and individual manager would take responsibility of on boarding through a formal process
At a large firm, is the HR or department managers responsibility to handle this
Other than salary, firms might offer what to attract talented employees?
Culture: a fun atmosphere and group activities
Flexibility, employees can set their own hours or work from home at times
Design, the firms reputation and quality design through recognition or awards
Responsibility, firms may offer the opportunity to take on more responsibility or manage staff
Benefits, other than paying, like vacation or other tangible benefits
Title such as senior associate
Ownership track. Offers to join with ownership stake either upon joining or after a certain amount of time
What are some options for companies when work slows down with economic cycles?
Take on work at a different location, sometimes out of the country for larger firms.
Diversify their project tape.
Loan out staff.
Rent out some of their office space.
Partner with the architect of record on a project in another city.
What are some Compensation types that firms offer to employees?
Amount of pay.
Paid time off. Retirement.
Membership and dues.
Intangible benefits affirm firm might have
Firms philosophy and focus.
Office with flexible hours.
The office itself is well designed.
Work-life balance. Recognition among peers. Office policies
Why would a firm offer a rate that is above market rate?
Small firm I do this if they don’t offer other benefits such as a nicer healthcare plan or fancy office like a larger firm would
What should firms maintain to keep their staff motivated and productive?
Relationships with the people we work with.
What is the role of a project manager?
They are in charge of organizing the project team.
They must multitask while communicating and setting clear expectations with the owner.
Can convey good and bad news to the owner and the team and work to find solutions to problems that arise
Large firms are off and organized as a vertical, horizontal, or _____ system?
Matrix system: which is a combination of the vertical and horizontal systems
Large firm using a vertical organization system
Staff on a project for the project through all the design phases through to construction observation.
Staff must have a diverse array of skills to make sure they can complete the project. Is usually enjoyed by staff as they are exposed to several challenges
Large firm using a horizontal organization system
Imagine an assembly line for the project is pushed there are several departments through the design phases.
The advantage is for each department to work on their expertise on the project.
The disadvantage is the design direction may be lost while the project is moved along through production. Staff may feel burn out after repeating the same task over and over I may not feel they are given the opportunity to be challenged
Large firm using a matrix system
Uses a core team that works on the project through all design phases but also uses departments that will jump in when needed to help with certain tasks.
For example the use of a 3-D model or to start work during design development stage to create some renderings while the court team carries out their work
20 to 100 employees and less corporate feeling.
Dedicated HR and marketing staff.
Works on small and large projects.
Runs using the metric system has used in a large firm, where the project manager leisure quarantine through a project and pulls in expert staff when needed
Midsize office structure A
Senior principles and principles act as consultants among each other, together they manage the project managers who manage the project architects to oversee the designers.
Midsize office structure B
Senior principles manage the managing principal and the project managers, who manage the project architect to oversee the designers.
Midsize office structure C
The design principal works on 4 to 7 projects per day and the managing principle works one hour per project per day. The design principal works under the project manager