Participate in ZweigWhite's Project Management Survey
ZweigWhite’s 2007 Project Management Survey of A/E/P & Environmental Consulting Firms provides an inside look at how firms manage projects. When published in August, this comprehensive report will have the benchmarks firms need to manage projects and clients successfully.
In honor of Virginia Tech victims and survivors
What can be written about promising lives cut short? Perhaps recognition to the fallen, encouragement to the survivors, and hope for those who will continue to carry the academic torch.
This column is dedicated to the fallen, survivors, and future college students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
Effective managers tune in to weak signals
Becoming aware of emerging trends in the workplace before they become obvious is necessary in today’s rapidly changing business environment, says a Purdue University leadership expert. Beverly J. Davis, an associate professor of organizational leadership and supervision at the College of Technology locations in Lafayette and Kokomo, says the ability to identify "weak signals," which are defined as imprecise, early indicators of an impending important event or trend, is key to effective management.
"A weak signal may be lingering under any complex business environment, and today’s technology has accelerated this cycle," she says. "Often, big changes follow small events, and these changes can happen very quickly. That’s why an old world view of leaders, even those of six months ago, wont work anymore."
Are you charging enough for your firm's services?
ZweigWhite’s Fee & Billing Survey of A/E/P & Environmental Consulting Firms provides a guideline for A/E firms looking to strike the balance between competitive pricing, quality design, and firm profitability. The 2007 edition of this report includes the latest available data on fee structures for every major market type, billing rates and chargeability statistics for 29 levels of employee (from clerks to principals), ways firms usually charge for subconsultant fees and reimbursable expenses, and how firms collect payment.
Networking and communication
You have seen it many times: A scan through an agenda for a popular project management seminar reveals several critical steps in the typical project life cycle that should be well-known to an experienced project manager. A deeper look at several of the subjects indicates some commonality between the various aspects of a project, the management of the team, and the relationships with the clients. One of the common threads, and a discrete outcome of the upcoming ASCE Body of Knowledge, is communication.
Since no project exists in a vacuum, it is imperative that any manager, and hopefully the team, is adept at communicating ideas and needs within the firm and outside to the client and other consultants. Further, this communication must motivate the cooperation and coordinated effort of the entire team to fulfill the project’s goals.
Hourly rates on the rise
Architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms are charging more for their employees’ time than ever before, a new report shows. Across the 29 employee positions reviewed for the report, hourly billing rates increased an average of 6 percent during the past year and 26 percent since 2003.