The practice of architecture, in the recent past, as a business has laid much emphasis on the design and technical issues. Many of today’s firms are constantly involving themselves in project management training, seminars to align their business vision and objectives with the increasingly competitive market.
Though, these architectural firms are aware of the significance of this subject, some have not been able to recognize the different modes of management.
Modes of management:
- Order – Otherwise known as narrow box. The manager gets workers to head down a path and keeps them to go faster and be more productive.
- Legal Orders – This is an extension of the narrow box. The order becomes boxes within which people can be placed. The firm directs the workers based on company directives. Employees buy to the firm’s mission statement and not the manager’s.
- Negotiated order – The firm management articulate objectives then leave the implementation to employee. Each employee then manages to achieve the objectives as he or she deemed fit. Negotiated order model, may be the most appropriate to current challenges facing management.
- Virtual Management – This is a form of management of non-rational phenomena. It helps in reducing layers of management in an organization. The essence of this type is that he or she is not there physically thus, those being managed must assume responsibility for their own management.
Project management within the team:
Continuous management education within the project team is as important as within the firm. To enhance the development of this education and retaining it, the following should be introduced:
- Project handbook, where all project management information are recorded by every member of the project team so that new team members have adequate information and also to enable reference for future projects.
- Identify who knows what in terms of expertise and experience. This can be classified as specialist knowledge, technical knowledge and process knowledge.
Challenges facing project management:
Furthermore, management education helps to identify the following problems facing project management and in this case, within the architectural industry:
- Top management that belongs to older generation feeling reluctant to acquire new management skills.
- Unwillingness to share knowledge between architects.
- Lack of adequate management training of employees.
- Limitation of long term use of project management skills of individuals leaving the firm.
- Employees tend to fall in the habit of re-inventing the wheel when there is weak or no proper management.
Importance of project management:
It is worthwhile to mention the importance of project management as follows:
- It helps to re-cycle project information as in post project reviews, assigning people with required expertise to projects.
- Essential to the success of the project through expertise and experience gained in the process.
- It encourages critical thinking, efficient planning to deliver quality projects.
- It promotes the achievement of better results.