6 Strategies of a Successful Aluminium Architectural Project
Project management is vital to achieving success and on-time results when undertaking architectural projects with many outcomes and resources, like that of aluminium, such as a major building project or renovation.
However, due to the number of variables involved, some controllable and others unpredictable, it is all too easy for a project to get derailed or spiral into chaos.
1: Understand the purpose of the project
Before starting the project, the project manager and then the rest of the team, need to know exactly what they are working towards and what is expected of them in the process.
Knowing the entire vision of the project will keep the team more informed and motivated; working towards the same objectives and goals, without each member pulling in opposite directions and slowing things down or causing friction within the team.
It is not just a case of understanding what you are working towards, but also why you are working towards a specific outcome.
For example: is this a new client that could provide valuable repeat business, a client who can provide excellent feedback that enhances the reputation of the company or a large contract that will provide future stability and valuable cash flow for the near future?
Once the entire team understands why something is important, and more importantly, why it is important to their specific role, it is much easier to stay on track when inevitable issues occur.
2: Begin at the end
Working backwards, from the end goal, go through all the necessary milestones and down to the individual tasks that need to be completed.
This is the best way of knowing what to do, knowing if you are on track and is an essential way of staying focused.
Using SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-oriented) as a way of prioritising what is important and setting milestones, may prove useful and keep the team on track.
3: Keep it clear and calm
The worst thing you can do in a tight situation while solving complex procedures or managing an unforeseen crisis is to lose your cool and panic, setting off everyone into a tailspin.
In these situations, the team will look for leadership guidance and reassurance, so you need to be able to provide that. Even the best architects, designers and builders in the world face daily challenges or other unplanned incidents, but it is imperative that those in charge of the project calmly, yet swiftly, work out how to rectify any unforeseeable situations.
The blame-game can wait until a solution has been found and implemented.
4: Create achievable deadlines and expectations
Are your deadlines realistic and achievable, or are you asking for the impossible?
Pushing your team to test their limits is one thing, but nobody wants to be continually nagged or belittled because they are constantly being told that they are late. Now, meeting deadlines is crucial to keep things flowing smoothly and to keep costs down, but the trick is to be realistic about what can be achieved without corners being cut that will affect quality control, while still staying within the desired timeframes set out.
5: Build an efficient team
It goes without saying that a team needs clarity if it wants to operate successfully as a unit. Therefore roles need to be defined, responsibilities assigned and everybody needs to be kept in the loop.
Collaboration or project management software is essential; don’t rely on email as this is likely to cause chaos.
You may want to develop an automated system to eliminate as many bottlenecks as possible.
In addition, every team member should feel valued and that their efforts are necessary and appreciated in the overall scheme of the project.
Nobody wants to feel taken for granted or that duties and workloads are biased or unfair, otherwise quality control will eventually become an issue due to apathy or resentment.
6: Respond to changes efficiently
Change happens and problems and snags will occur – this is part and parcel of project management.
How leadership deal with these unforeseen variables is key. This is why contingency plans must be made and systems put in place that will deal with undesirable situations.
Successful project management does not have to be overly complicated.
In fact, the acronym KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) has a lot of value; common sense and thinking about how other people in your team will react to certain practices will go a long way towards maintaining a workforce that is highly effective in what they do.
Many unknown variables can develop in architectural design and delivering aluminium solutions, but a project management team that is humble enough to expect the unknown and has contingency plans in place that “plan for the worst, but expect the best” will be the sort of aluminium solution providers that you would want to take charge of your new architectural design project.
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