A significant challenge for leaders in architecture today is the opposing pressures of staying competitive while offering employees a sustainable living wage. Influential leaders capture new opportunities to improve business development, streamline operations, and develop their teams.

Project team in a meeting

This post concerns one critical area architecture firms could improve: managing design changes. These happen for various reasons (some outside our control) and have a high potential to hurt project profitability by causing additional costs such as rework, delays, and increased labour costs.

Room to improve

It's common for design changes to balloon on complex projects, and architecture must catch up to other industries, like construction, that are better at capturing the total value from design changes.

Investigating, negotiating, and formalizing design changes requires rigour, involving the same steps as negotiating any project contract. It must result in signed contractual amendments (with each affected third party) that accurately capture the full extent of the design changes and the total cost to the team. Moreover, we must insert the design changes into our project workflows to execute them seamlessly.

Effective design change processes are

  1. championed by leaders
  2. transparent across roles and third parties, supporting accountability and collaboration
  3. robust and tooled to help staff accomplish best practice

As much as design changes introduce delays and consume extra resources, we can handle them to make the project no less profitable.

A solution in a box

StageProject's cloud solution makes creating, publishing, executing, and billing against design changes much more straightforward, both upstream (clients) and downstream to sub-consultants.

We help firms turn design change management into a core competence. Are you ready to lead your industry with cutting-edge processes and tools? Request a Demo or try StageProject™ on your next project.

/  Further Reading  /

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Essential Metrics for Architects
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Fundamental metrics that architects should use to measure the success of their firm and projects.

Design Change Management Done Right
Project team in a meeting

Boost project efficiency and profitability by handling design changes better.

Turn design change management into a core competence.

Why PMs Should Lead Project Billing
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Telltale signs of a suboptimal contract management workflow.

Rethinking Contract Management
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Does your firm's contract management and project billing workflow feel like crossing a minefield?

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Contract Intelligence™ Framework
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Reimagined in Edmonton
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How, Why and Where : the brainchild of an award-winning Edmonton architectural firm.

Not Another Document Workflow System
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Who thinks that the hard part of contract management is document storage, document sharing, and electronic signatures?

Introducing StageProject™
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StageProject® launched for public consumption in January 2021.

Supporting unlimited users and priced per active project, it's lean and will grow with you. Try it on your next project and see how it revolutionizes your contracts and billing workflows.

Contract Management Demystified
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Undertaking complex projects involving multiple stages, contractors, clients, or all of the above, contract management is the task of negotiating and managing the terms of each relationship favourably.

For success, agreements between parties require exceptional clarity about deliverables, deadlines, rewards, and penalties.

Invoice Inbox Zero
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In a medium-sized firm where I once worked, senior partners would meet with their bookkeeper to process the incoming pile of invoices that had arrived in the preceding month.

Staying on Top of Project Billing

Invoicing clients and approving invoices from subcontractors is essential but routine, detail- oriented, and time-consuming. Challenges include incoming invoices that do not align properly with contractual milestones. For client invoicing, issues include billing on time, including contractor bills, missed billing opportunities, and compiling good- looking progress reports.

StageProject™ Deep Dive
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StageProject streamlines contract management and billing for projects with multiple stages and sub-consultants. It's helps approve invoices, client billing and reporting, and managing design changes.