In this dynamic profession where changes are frequent, here are the 6 management challenges for architects:

  1. Management of hourly profitability

  2. Visibility on all projects and the availability of teams

  3. Deadlines and changes

  4. Documentation management

  5. The difficulty of estimating your cash flow

  6. Quality First


Hourly profitability management

Managing the hourly profitability or even the financial vision is a big challenge for service companies such as architectural firms. First of all the fees are calculated on a percentage, if you work more hours than the estimated budget, the project loses its profitability. It is very difficult to estimate the time spent on a phase, especially when you are on a creative task. As a result, there can be a very big difference between the time budgeted and the time worked. It is therefore necessary to equip oneself with tools capable of monitoring these deviations in real time and giving a vision of the profitability of projects and the company as a whole. Over time, these solutions will give you enough data to help you improve your estimates and understand the causes of budget variances.


Visibility on all projects and team availability

It is not easy to know who is available to be assigned to a project and who will be in a few months. It requires a lot of coordination and organization in order to have this vision in real time. It is often easier to manage a project in detail than to be able to manage an agency schedule as a whole. Information about resources, projects and schedules is often not all in one place. You have to know how to deal with the projects as a whole because they will influence the workload and the time of the teams. This will avoid going into emergency mode as key dates approach.


Deadlines and changes

Dates that shift because a permit is missing or a client is slow to give their approval: there is no shortage of unforeseen events and they disrupt the performance of activities. To solve this problem, it is therefore necessary to organize team coordination meetings, in order to adjust the situation. It is important to remain flexible because things do not necessarily go as planned. To follow these changes, it is necessary to set up a planning and budget monitoring system that can be updated quickly, while keeping track of what was initially planned. This will allow you once again to take stock at the end of each project in order to adjust for the next one.


Documentation management

It is sometimes laborious to find certain documents or deliverables. Although most companies may have a common server or shared folders knowing where to find information can be a challenge, especially if the agency has several geographically dispersed entities. You have to be able to find the right deliverables associated with the right phases and especially in the latest version. Today there are many management tools that allow employees to attach files and documents to certain specific tasks. An architect will be able to find all the versions there and above all keep track of them as the projects progress.


Difficulty estimating cash

For many creatives, the financial aspect can be a problem from time to time, although most have no difficulty in tracking budgets by project and associated income. However, to increase its profitability and ensure its growth, it is necessary to measure in coordination with your costs, the margin, by project and overall. For this, all the data must be taken into account for both fixed and variable costs. Namely, to incorporate the influence of the costs of the resources assigned on the projects and their repercussions on the margin. To go even further, the implementation of automatic financial projections makes it possible to understand future cash flows.


Quality First

If hourly budgets are made, these are generally not imposed on the teams, who must rather submit to delivery dates, even if it means putting in all the work necessary for a quality rendering. This is to the credit of the managers of architectural firms, for whom the lure of profit never comes to compromise the quality of the projects carried out. And it's an attitude that we think definitely pays off in the long run. A word of advice, you still have to stay on the lookout for new technologies that will allow you to do both and be more efficient.