Architect's Guide to Small Firm Management Making Chaos Work for Your Small Firm

ISBN-10: 0470466480

ISBN-13: 9780470466483

Edition: 2010

Authors: Rena M. Klein
List price: $65.00
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Description: Based on AIA surveys, most design firms are small organizations of less than twenty people. The leaders of these small firms are likely to be very entrepreneurial, but unlikely to have any training in business or management. This is a guide addressing this important issue. The author's insight will help small firm's succeed in the milieu of unpredictability by demystifying the essentials of firm management. Topics include, small firm archetypes, operational effectiveness, self-aware leadership, people management, lifecycle of small firms, firm financial health, scenario planning, and future trends.

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Book details

List price: $65.00
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Limited
Publication date: 6/11/2010
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

RENA M. KLEIN, FAIA, is principal of RM Klein Consulting, a Seattle-based firm offering business planning services, meeting facilitation, and management education to leaders of small design firms. Building on her graduate degree in management and her twenty years of experience as the owner of a small architectural firm, Rena regularly presents seminars on small firm practice. Her innovative work in this area has appeared in print and Web publications, including AIA's online Architects' Knowledge Resource.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Managing in an Unpredictable Environment
Bringing Order out of Chaos
Profit and Satisfaction
Design Firm Business Models
Efficiency-Based Firms
Experience-Based Firms
Expertise-Based Firms
Any Project that Comes through the Door
Small Firm Archetypes
Everyone is Dissatisfied
Administrative Breakdown
Unintentional Enmity
Whole Firm System
Linear Thinking and Systems Thinking
Recognizing Patterns
Tracking Trends
Symptomatic and Fundamental Solutions
Summary
Core Incompetence
Whole Firm System Diagram
Time Management
Communication Effectiveness
Job Satisfaction
Routinize the Routine
Operational Effectiveness
The Typology of Work
Analyzability and Variety
Situational Leadership
Match Management Style, Staffing, and Work Types
How to Routinize
Project Management/Accounting Software
Project Startup Process
Capacity Utilization
Leadership Matters
Firm Culture
Field Theory
Self-Aware Leadership
Control Versus Trust
Career Contentment
Working with Creative People
Effective Firm Retreats
Plan Nonbillable Hours
Partnerships
Why Partner?
What Makes Partnerships Work
Rules of the Road
What makes Partnerships Fail
"Unintentional Enmity" Revisited
Success in Group Work
Best Laid Plans
Lifecycle of A Small Firm
Wealth or Control
The Principals' Dilemma
Getting to the Next Level
Be what you want to become
The Pyramid Problem
The Matrix Solution
Transforming Mental Models
Everyone is Dissatisfied Revisited
Transition Times
The 10-Year Itch
When Partners Grow Apart: J/H Architects
A Cautionary Tale
Approaching Retirement
10-Year Rule
Expanded Choices
Narrow Choices
Ownership Transition Options
Internal Sale at Retirement
Taking on a Minority Partner
Financial Management: Beyond Intuition
Macroeconomic Influences
Economic Indicators
The Construction Business Cycle
How Small Firms Survive an Economic Slowdown
Financial Terminology
Financial Performance Indicators and Benchmarks
Financial Management Tasks
Track Firm Profitability
Track Chargeable Ratio and Direct Labor Expense
Track Break-Even Multiplier and Multiplier Achieved
Track Overhead Expense and Budget Variance
Track Backlog and Outstanding Proposals
Year-End Financial Checkup
Additional Financial Checks
Scenario Planning
Influences on Profitability
Client Expectations
Overhead Expense
Strategies for Increasing Profitability
Realizable Revenue
Increase Hours?
Increase Billing Rates (Fees)?
Increase Billable Hours?
Add Intern to Staff?
Add Skilled Staff?
Scenario Planning Story Problem
Story Problem Challenge
Move to a Larger Office?
Planning Firm Growth
Looking Toward the Future
Strategic Thinking
Business Planning for Small Design Firms
Marketing Plans
Value of Participatory Process
Sample Business Plan Template
Learning is Job One
Learning by Design
Learning as Competitive Advantage
Small Design Firm Practice Models
Solo Practice
Economies of Small Scale
Challenges and Opportunities for Solo Practitioners
Firms Owned by Married Couples
Complementary Skills
Ease of Communication
Lessons Learned
Small Firms in International Practice
Firm Size is no Barrier
Another Calling
The Virtual Office Option
Twenty-First Century Opportunity
Consider the Possibilities
Technology and Integrated Practice in Small Firms
Adopting Building Information Modeling
Integrated Practice and Integrated Project Delivery
Architect-Led Design-Build
Architect Developer
Creating Pocket Neighborhoods: Ross Chapin, Aia
Green Development: Tony Case, Aia
Big-Picture Trends
Diversity in Practice
Generation Gaps
Boomers out, Millennials in
Technological Tethering
A Mixed Bag
How to Manage Millennials
Women in Design Firm Leadership
"Brain Drain" Revealed
Labyrinth to the Top
Twenty-First-Century Workplace
The Teleworking Option
Sustainable Economics
Triple Bottom Line
Sustainable Design Firm Practice
Greening the Workplace
Values-Based Practice
Another Point of View
Sustainable Economics Applied
Construction Industry Impact
Turn Red Business Blue
Final Words
Index
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