Working with multiple stakeholders can seem like a daunting obstacle for lead architects, but it doesn’t have to.
THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION PLAN
Over the years of leading large multi-disciplinary teams, Patano Studio has formed successful communication tactics with projects involving multiple stakeholders. The key to a successful communication plan is simple: to identify, hear and understand the priorities and concerns of all project stakeholders; finding the right balance for your project team; and maintaining a clear project vision. It is important to note that it is extremely vital to hold true to the architectural ethics of your company while implementing your plan – this communicates integrity and honesty to all involved stakeholders.
Now, how to implement the plan!
IDENTIFY THE PROJECT STAKEHOLDERS
– and classify them!
To know how to work effectively with the project stakeholders, first one must identify who each of them are and determine how frequently and at what stage these stakeholders should be involved. A good suggestion is to make a list of the names with titles, and group them into the stages in the architectural and construction process. Form a plan – who is a top priority? Who needs to be included in what stage, how should they be involved (emails, weekly meetings, phone calls), and how frequently should they be involved? Putting the pen to paper and setting up an organizational chart with reminders will be extremely effective.
Recognize their vision, hear their concerns, and find the right balance to push the project forward with a clear understanding of the schedule to meet the project milestones.
FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE
– and stick to the schedule!
Finding the right balance will be absolutely essential to maintaining a happy client and stakeholder relationship. By using the right tools and developing management techniques that work for your firm, you will help your team master the rapidly-evolving delivery methods and formatting in the architectural and construction world today. Your process/programs should allow your team to track all client and user comments on a shared platform. The platform will be optimal if all files are able to be posted, commented on, and tracked online in real-time. The ability to keep a log of the original comments or questions, the responses, and follow-ups confirming the resolution of any problems will be a huge asset. A great platform we suggest is Basecamp, though there are several on the market that will work for your team.
Real-time tracking communication will save you headaches and keep your stakeholders’ vision visable.
Not only should your team maintain a detailed schedule with project milestones important to the client, it is highly recommended to hold weekly project meetings at the job site where meeting minutes, schedule updates, RFI submittals and changelogs will help hold the project stakeholders’ vision true and will ensure them that they are being heard and understood. This approach keeps parties up to speed on the progress from week to week, as well as allowing for a real-time review in the field of the design and construction progress.
KEEP PROJECT VISION VISIBLE
As architects, we have an unwavering commitment to making good work. Everything we do is thoughtfully considered to ensure that we deliver impactful solutions that go far beyond the standard. Speaking openly and honestly, favoring simplicity over unnecessary embellishment and jargon helps the architect stay true to their ethics and keep the project’s stakeholders’ vision visible.
Communication without jargon and embellishments will be key!