Saturday 21 March 2020

Project Management Tools for Architecture

Running architectural projects and managing a practice often feels like a very fluid set of activities, requiring flexible thinking and the adaptability to meet quickly changing demands in the project environment.  Being able to adapt to these situations does not necessarily mean that we have to think on your feet and use our wits to progress.  The RIBA Plan of work 2019 and the RIBA Handbook of Practice Management provides a framework within which to work, but project management resources developed by the Association for Project Management (APM) and AXELOS (PRINCE2) offers a comprehensive set of tools to navigate through any situation, and add value to the working methods of the architect.  Road mapping projects and practice management procedures with these tools adds confidence that the project is stable and likely to proceed more efficiently, but also that these techniques can be introduced to improve the creativity and performance of the project team. 

Examining the differences between the APMP and PRINCE2 methodologies,
how they might compliment each other,
and what it offers for Architectural projects and practices

The PRINCE2 methodology is a clearly defined structure for managing projects effectively.  It is unambiguous with all its processes and procedures set out in the PRINCE2 handbook.  It gives the comprehensive set of tools for managing any project.  The APM system is not limited to project management, including a holistic range of operational management procedures too.  Unlike PRINCE2, it is not prescriptive and offers options on methods, techniques, soft skills and alternatives for the implementation of the architectural project manager.  The combination of systems makes a robust set of tools with flexibility on how to use them.

Mapping the subject areas of Project Management
which offer a very useful set of tools and resources for
improving productivity in Architectural projects and practice management 

The combination of methods in the APM and PRINCE2 systems can add a lot of value to work as an architect.  It gives scope to manage innovation in a positively structured way, promote creative and cohesive working teams where team members can grow in to their roles, minimise team conflict, simplify communication with clear lines of communication across the team structure, ease risk management, create efficiencies with procurement supply chains, improve negotiation skills, structure cost control so it remains in control, streamline resourcing, make clear the management and coordination of all stakeholder parties in the project, promote robust leadership and enable a much greater control over the project and its environment.  Having a good set of robust road-maps is a great resource to have on any project.  The thumb-nail diagrams above are project management summary notes and prompts, used as references to help guide work in a managed, structured and creative fashion.


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