A client-centered approach

Apr 22, 2015

SucceSPM-4-14ssful Project Management for A/E/P and Environmental Firms, 2nd edition covers projects from inception to completion and beyond.

By Andrea Bennett Managing Editor On April 30, Zweig Group will release the second edition of its 2011 publication Successful Project Management for A/E/P and Environmental Consulting Firms. Revised by the original publication’s author, Ernest Burden, Assoc. AIA and principal at AEC Advisors, the book presents an overview of the entire marketing and project-delivery process – covering topics related to how to win jobs to how to make sure they are successfully completed to how to obtain references and future work from clients, once the project is over – from a project manager’s perspective. “Successful Project Management begins with the project manager’s involvement in the proposal process, becoming the star of the client interview, and having the client’s ear throughout the project and beyond,” Burden says. “It outlines all of the tools and techniques necessary to carry out a project assignment, while keeping a finger on the pulse of the client and project through continuous feedback. Finally, it is the project manager’s job to secure future work and/or referrals from the client. This book covers it all.” The first edition of Successful Project Management relied heavily on the 2011 Zweig Group Survey of Project Managers in A/E/P and Environmental Firms. Data from the study was referenced throughout the book and was used to substantiate claims made in the text about common aspects of project management. The revised second edition also includes Zweig Group data from project management surveys, but it has been completely updated, and a chapter outlining building information modeling (BIM) and integrated project delivery (IPD) technology has been added. “The second edition of Successful Project Management has a completely revised look and format from cover-to-cover, making for more educational reading,” Burden says. “Case studies have been made more prominent, and they include new photographs. Several new useful diagrams have been added, and photographs were added to the chapter openers to enhance the publication’s visual appeal.” Among the features that set the second edition of Successful Project Management apart from the plethora of publications available on the topic is its case studies, which few technical publications have, and its emphasis on clients’ perspectives, Burden says. Additionally, Successful Project Management is designed to cover a project from cradle to cradle, to use a BIM metaphor; therefore, this single book covers many topics that are normally dispersed among several publications. “My past experience with project management – which includes a career in architecture, for which I attended numerous seminars, workshops, and training sessions with leading project management instructors – was altered severely when I became a consultant tasked with implementing image, satisfaction, and feedback surveys on behalf of AEC firms nationwide,” Burden says. “I discovered that clients had a totally different viewpoint on firms’ performance on a project than what the firms typically believed that their clients thought. I developed a client’s attitude in my approach, and many of their comments appear in the book verbatim from audio and videotape recordings.” Zweig Group’s 2014 Study of Project Managers identifies managing client expectations (43 percent), the project manager’s time management (32 percent), the management of project team members (30 percent), and staying within the project budget (23 percent) as the four main challenges facing project managers. “The first three items are covered in extensive detail in this book,” Burden says. “The fourth item is conditional and will come about if the first three are met.” Though Successful Project Management covers the basics of project management, it is neither tailored nor only applicable to new and aspiring PMs. Several members of a firm, including owners and marketers, can benefit from the book’s content. “First-time project managers will get a valuable overview of the entire integrated process in the book, not just a one-sided technical viewpoint,” Burden says. “They will see the benefits in getting involved early in the marketing process. They will benefit from an understanding of the client’s end-goal and will see that their job is to help them accomplish that with as few problems as possible. “Veteran project managers, who already know what they are doing but may not know – at least for certain – what the client is doing, will benefit from the chapters on negotiation and client feedback. And, finally, marketing folks may find some new revelations in the client quotes regarding proposals and presentations.” The second edition of Successful Project Management for A/E/P and Environmental Firms is available for purchase now at zweiggroup.net/sandbox/books.php. For more information, please email info@zweiggroup.com.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.