It's that time again: We have come to the end of a whole year of blogging. In 2018, the PSMJ blog was packed with data-driven and action-oriented advice for architecture, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) firms from PSMJ consultants, researchers, and writers.
We also want to thank all of our guest bloggers, a representative group of industry thought leaders from A/E/C firms, as well as technology and business service providers. All provided keen insight into key trends, issues, and challenges facing our industry in 2018 and beyond.
With all of the A/E/C content published in 2018 you might have let some important articles slip through the cracks and be lost in the clutter. In an effort to keep you up-to-date on the hottest topics over the past 12 months, PSMJ has compiled a list of our top 10 most-viewed blog posts to recap 2018.
10. Can Scope Creep Be a Good Thing? – Scope creep is a good thing. That may sound counter intuitive, but it’s the truth—at least in some cases. The traditional view of project management, the way we teach it in colleges and universities around the world, tells us that scope creep is a risk at best. At worst it will cause your project to fail miserably.
9. How to Make the Best Valuation of Your Firm – Small architecture and engineering firms owners are likely to be fielding offers again. So if you've been thinking of cashing in, it may be a good time to get a valuation. Also, beware of lowball offers.
8. Managing Overhead: Utilization versus Chargeability – Utilization—hours or payroll dollars—which one tells the story when it comes to managing labor-based overhead (time spent on non-project related activities)? A primary approach used by managers to monitor chargeability is reviewing time sheets or time reports for time put to projects. But what if you don’t look at time sheets but you do review the income statements for the firm, the business unit or the team—can you monitor chargeability as well using information on the income statement?
7. Are Write Ups on Lumps Sum Projects Really Ethical?– If you follow PSMJ, you know that we’re passionate proponents of pricing services based on value delivered, and not on the cost of delivery, and we always advise A/E/C firm leaders to look more to fixed fee, lump sum pricing opportunities and less to selling hours. Inevitably this leads to a question of fairness concerning write-ups. The project is done, we’re below budget, and there’s a windfall of extra fee. Is this OK … is it ethical?
6. 20 Ways to Overcome Project Problems – No matter how carefully you plan your project and protect yourself against the possibilities of trouble, problems will arise. You will fall behind schedule, or you will run over budget.
5. 10 Ways Your Firm Can Benefit from a Strategic Alliance – Forming a strategic alliance isn’t a walk in the park, but when it’s planned correctly and the parties commit the right level of leadership and resources, you can win work that was previously out of reach.
4. Benchmark Both Billing Rates and Salaries For Firm Success – A key factor in an architecture or engineering firm’s ability to pay higher compensation and retain its staff is its ability to raise prices for its services. Changes to the firm’s billing rates are indicative of pricing sensitivity and the balance between supply and demand for design services.
3. Workforce Shortage: A Challenge for Rainmakers? – Most architecture/engineering firms are acutely aware that they are facing a long-term shortage of labor in the technical fields. Who will do the work rainmakers bring in, and where will the future leaders and rainmakers come from?
2. Ten Characteristics of A Good Schedule – Is it really critical that an architecture or engineering project manager have a project schedule? Most clients and design firms will probably answer the question with “You must be kidding! Of course, you need a schedule, and a good one at that.
1. Intellectual Property Rights: What Architects Need to Know – Architectural ideas are intellectual property just as much as a novel is the intellectual property of its author. In fact, one of Congress’s most important responsibilities is “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries,” as stated in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
Thank you attributing to the growth of the PSMJ blog in 2018! For an archived list our past blog posts, click HERE. We look forward to continue bringing you the top news in the A/E industry in 2019. Thank you for reading & Happy New Year!
Now it's your turn: Can you predict one thing that will transform the A/E/C industry in 2019?