Without question, virtually every design practice cares deeply about its projects and getting them "right". It's PSMJ's observation, from studying many hundreds of design firms around the world, however, that very few of them really know how to do all of the things that make that magical difference between a brilliant outcome and a "good" outcome. The best firms DO know, and they can turn out star performances on project after project. In the seven headings below, we look at some of the key aspects of how these firms do it – and how they recover when something goes wrong.
PIM Consulting focuses on "hands-on" assistance in delivering the four objectives of PIM described under PIM Learning, tailored as needed to support the specific needs of the practice and the projects involved.
Some of our clients find they need help to update their proposal writing strategies, especially when they are seeking to enter new niche markets or make other changes in the way their market their services. These assignments are always unique, and the conditions reflect the values of the firm's leadership. PSMJ reviews current strategies and assumptions, compares those to what we know about current markets, and provides advice on how to better "tap into" current market expectations.
From time to time, some of our clients see their "strike rates" heading downward: Spending more time and money to win fewer projects. Often, this is the catalyst for firms to re-examine their Proposal Strategies.
Of all the errors design professionals can make, avoiding risk at all costs is probably the most damaging to a practice. Not all 4-letter words are bad! Exactly because so many competitors try to shield their firms from ALL risk creates an extraordinary competitive opportunity for those few firms that learn how to use risk to their advantage. PSMJ's deep experience and research in practice risk helps its clients to turn what appears to be a liability into a competitive advantage – and, paradoxically – actually lowering real risk by "buying into" manageable risk.
There are many causes for construction cost and/or schedule growth. Most – not all – can be anticipated and controlled (or eliminated) where Client, Consultants and Contractors work together to manage them. Limiting changes during construction generally results in greater value for all participants. PSMJ's global experience in managing construction provides an accurate perspective on the complex challenges and effective methods for minimising cost/schedule growth once construction starts. Clue: It starts before design starts.
For many reasons, including time and cost pressure on projects, the design role has become more and more fragmented. Construction methods have evolved more rapidly. Few design professionals have a good understanding of construction techniques. Consequently, valid concepts of "constructability" are not embedded in the design.
Sometimes projects "go south", "belly up", or otherwise become mired in catastrophe. Often, those closest to it do not see the train wreck approaching, and just hope it will be all right in the end. The causes are always complex and are usually founded in bad decisions made early in the project. The outcomes: Broken budgets, blown schedules, and unusable projects and/or lawsuits. Nobody's fault, and everybody's fault.
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