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Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

  • 1.  Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-25-2023 11:09 AM
    Edited by Jordan Albrecht AIA 08-25-2023 11:13 AM

    Hello all, 

    I've been with my small firm for almost 3 years and am recently transitioning into a new role - Operations Manager - to improve our inner-office organization, client communication, and achieving deadlines.

    Our firm comprises 7 designers and 2 support staff; we have one all-office staff meeting on Tuesdays, and one "priorities" meeting with Our Principal, Project Manager, Ops Manager, and Financial Manager on Fridays. I often feel like we're not communicating enough.

    I am curious how other small firms coordinate their project management. I am NOT a fan of useless meetings (no one is), but could we be having different meetings? Are 2 meetings with the focus on project deadlines + critical tasks not enough? 

    Before working at this small firm I was at a firm of about 120, where organization was critical to succeed. I don't know how to translate the "large firm" organization knowledge into this smaller scale.

    Any feedback on organizational management is VERY welcome!!



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    Jordan Albrecht AIA
    Urban Design Associates Ltd.
    Scottsdale AZ
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 2.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-28-2023 05:26 PM

    We are a small firm of 5. We meet Monday morning to kick off the week, Friday afternoon to see how far we got with projects. When I had partners, I tried to meet with them on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. we discussed accounting, legal and marketing objectives. 



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    Sean Williams AIA
    Carbon Design & Architecture
    St. Petersburg FL
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 3.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-28-2023 05:32 PM
    I have been through a coaching group with Enoch Sears that helped me tremendously. You could reach out to Enoch and see if he would be helpful at: 
    Scott Wilson
    Chief Manager
    Scott Wilson Architect, LLC

    5005 Meridian Blvd., Ste 100, Franklin, TN  37067
    O: 615-377-9131  C: 615-973-3810

    Inspiring clients to achieve their vision using our God given gifts and timeless principles of design.

        







    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 4.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-29-2023 08:14 AM

    I own a 10 person firm and we have one Monday morning meeting with the entire staff to go over all projects and staffing needs.  We have a monthly Principal management strategy meeting once a month.  But we mandate that all staff use TEAMS and communicate with each other especially in a hybrid work environment.  



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    Jason Hagopian AIA
    Neuvio Architects
    Fort Lauderdale FL
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 5.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-30-2023 05:42 PM

    I own a practice of 3 senior architects, 4 associates and one support member.  We have bi-weekly meetings with the entire group to discuss all projects.  Important are the deadlines, schedule, budget, and potential invoicing of each and to resolve an questions or concerns of every member.  We also include a topic of learning or interest that range from code, accessibility, sustainability to how to handle different type of situations regarding document development, clients or construction administration.

    Weekly, I, as the owner,  sit with the business manager and senior architects to discuss associate scheduling, priorities for the office and forecasting for the following week.

    Monthly, the business manager and I review business financial health, office culture, staffing needs and other needs the firm might have.

     

    Laurie A. Gunzelman, AIA

    GUNZELMAN architecture + interiors

    333 Stewart Ave

    Columbus, OH 43206

    o l 614.674.6696

    c l 614.203.5252

     

     




    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 6.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-29-2023 08:21 AM

    I'm a sole proprietor of a 40+ year old firm.  For most of that time (pre-Covid) I had 4-6 full time employees.  I broke my staff down into design/production groups of 2 or 3 depending upon the workload. I always had one, most experienced employee as an office lead while I was out who managed the work.  For us, one meeting a week was more than adequate with rare exception.  That one key employee is the most critical component.



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    George Sincox AIA
    Sincox Associates Architects
    Westfield NJ
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 7.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-30-2023 05:33 PM

    We are a 3 person architectural firm in Upstste NY.  Over the years our increased work load forced me to develop having Monday morning meetings.  It''s a good opportunity to review the progress of the current work and to prioritize what is going be addressed next for the upcoming projects during the week. This is a great organizational tool.



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    Peter Morse AIA
    Peter L. Morse & Associates Architects
    Rochester NY
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 8.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-31-2023 05:30 PM

    My office consists of myself and three associates and one support staff member.  We have office meetings to review and discuss all projects every two weeks.  We set priorities and designate tasks.

     

    Best Regards, 

    Chris 

     

    Christopher DiSunno 

    DiSunno Architecture, P.C. 

    P.O. Box 1567  -or- 

    36 W. Water Street, Ste. 201 

    Sag Harbor, NY 11963

     

    631-324-6676 office

    631-804-4601 mobile

     




    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 9.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-31-2023 08:40 PM

    As the owner of a Small Architecture firm, I do look forward to these insightful comments from our Architectural Small Firms community. Thank you.



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    Ato Apiafi AIA
    Ato Apiafi Architects, PLLC
    Bellevue WA
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 10.  RE: Small Firms - How Many Meetings Do You Have Per Week?

    Posted 08-31-2023 11:48 AM

    Meetings are a necessary evil sometimes but should be limited.  Before my architecture career I was an Engineering office in the military and I have been to and conducted more than my share of meetings - well run, and not so well run.  I think two meetings is plenty.  My advice is look for quality in your meetings.  Have a set agenda with the information you need to cover and stick to it.  Make sure everyone knows who is running the meeting (it's not always the senior staff, and they should respect the person who is), no sidebars, and rein folks in the moment you get off track.  I'm a firm believer that any meeting can be done in under an hour.

    As Ops Manager, I assume you have firm-wide SOPs that everyone follows (with some minor exceptions)?  Well-written SOPs, principals' buy-in, and firm-wide adherence and can you a lot of time in meetings.  Good luck and congratulations.



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    Eric Kom AIA
    Method and Theme Architecture LLC
    Baraboo WI
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!