Handbook for the Architectural Manager - Stephen Emmitt - ebook

Handbook for the Architectural Manager ebook

Stephen Emmitt

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The essential resource for becoming more effective in the highly competitive architectural marketplace Handbook for the Architectural Manager offers architects a comprehensive resource that brings together critical information on four interlinked areas: managing the architectural office, projects, stakeholders, and learning. Unlike other books on the topic that only stress management of the business or the management of projects, this book offers a guiding framework that encompasses the architectural manager's role in developing the practice's competitive strategies and overseeing the project portfolio. Written by noted experts in the field, Handbook for the Architectural Manager is grounded in current research in which, for the first time, the components of architectural management have been analyzed systematically, tested, and developed for practical application. Designed to explore typical architectural management issues, the book provides clear and concise direction with practical step-by-step guidance as well as helpful checklists, templates and scenarios, and case studies to illustrate best practice. This essential resource: * Offers a groundbreaking handbook that contains a comprehensive management framework for architectural practice * Contains new insights and guidance based on solid research on managing the architectural practice * Brings together in one book the best management techniques of the office, projects, stakeholders, and learning * Includes a well-grounded critical review of the existing literature on the topic * Designed for professionals in the field but written in accessible language suitable for students Handbook for the Architectural Manager offers a practical guide for overseeing the development of architectural designs and associated activities and ensuring all work is consistent (i.e. adheres to current standards, legislation, client specifications, and office protocols) and completed on time as well as information on staff development and learning.

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 An Argument for a Management Framework

1.2 Agenda

1.3 Structure

1.4 Value

Chapter 2: Architecture and Management

2.1 Setting the Scene

2.2 Architecture and Management

2.3 Design

2.4 The Management of Design

2.5 The Business of Architecture

Chapter 3: Architectural Management

3.1 Setting the Scene

3.2 Architectural Management: What it is

3.3 Benefits of Adopting Architectural Management

3.4 Levels of Application

3.5 The Architectural Manager

3.6 Ensuring Consistency

3.7 Self‐reflection

3.8 Managing Expectations

3.9 Taking on the Architectural Manager Role

Chapter 4: Architectural Management Framework

4.1 Setting the Scene

4.2 The Essentials

4.3 Strategic Concerns: People and Processes

4.4 Practical Concerns: Managing Resources

4.5 A Practical Framework

4.6 How to use the Framework

Chapter 5: Managing the Business

5.1 Business Model

5.2 Organisation Design

5.3 Marketing

5.4 Human Resource Management

5.5 Information Technology Utilisation

5.6 Workplace Design and Management

5.7 Ethics and Legal Issues

5.8 Knowledge Management

5.9 Growth Planning

5.10 Financial Management

Chapter 6: Managing Projects

6.1 Design Excellence

6.2 Design Management

6.3 Project Management

6.4 Construction Management

6.5 Facilities Management

6.6 Property ‘Real Estate’ Development

6.7 Interior Design

6.8 Architectural Support Services

6.9 Investments and other Business Ventures

6.10 Quality Management

Chapter 7: Managing Stakeholders

7.1 Stakeholder Identification

7.2 Stakeholder Analysis

7.3 Stakeholder Communication

7.4 Stakeholder Engagement

7.5 Conflict Management

7.6 Value Management

7.7 Managing the Firm's Social Responsibility

7.8 Managing Sustainability

7.9 Client Education

7.10 Managing Client Requirements

Chapter 8: Managing Learning

8.1 The Learning Firm

8.2 Managing Individual Learning

8.3 Managing Group Learning

8.4 Managing Organisational Learning

8.5 Managing Inter‐Organisational Learning

8.6 Managing Continuing Professional Development

8.7 Measuring Effectiveness

8.8 Measuring the Architectural Manager's Leadership Skills

8.9 Analogical Comparison with Others

8.10 Collaborating with Professional Bodies

Chapter 9: Practical Application

9.1 The Sole Practitioner

9.2 The Small Office

9.3 The Medium‐sized Office

9.4 The Large Office

9.5 And Finally…it is Your Turn

Further Reading

Architectural Management

Design Management for AEC

Generic Design Management



End User License Agreement

List of Tables

Chapter 02

Table 2.1 Career path progression for ‘design managers’ in architecture and construction.

Chapter 03

Table 3.1 The architectural manager's responsibilities and tasks.

Table 3.2 The architectural manager's knowledge and skill requirements.

List of Illustrations

Chapter 1

Figure 1.1 The components of architectural management. Adapted from Brunton

et al.

(1964) and Emmitt (1999a).

Figure 1.2 Components of architectural management (


: Alharbi 2013).

Figure 1.3 The structure of the book contents.

Chapter 2

Figure 2.1 The thinking paradigms of architects and managers – typical and ideal scenarios.

Figure 2.2 Different angles from which to thinking critically and comprehensively of ‘design’.

Figure 2.3 Constructors' perspective of the role of ‘design managers’.

Chapter 3

Figure 3.1 The development of architectural management.

Figure 3.2 Graphical Interpretation of Brunton

et al.

's (1964) definition.

Figure 3.3 The architectural management pyramid.

Figure 3.4 Management of expectations by the architectural manager.

Chapter 4

Figure 4.1 The architectural manager's role in managing ‘good and bad habits’ of the firm's staff.

Figure 4.2 The architectural management competitive framework.

Chapter 5

Figure 5.1 Managing the AM business components.

Figure 5.2 The major questions considered during the design of the business model.

Figure 5.3 The impact of the business model on the different stages of the practice lifecycle.

Figure 5.4 The basic concept of marketing.

Figure 5.5 The marketing mix tool.

Figure 5.6 The main purposes of HRM.

Figure 5.7 An example of a basic HRM plan.

Figure 5.8 A balanced approach to staff recruitment.

Figure 5.9 A framework to guide the decision in investing IT systems.

Figure 5.10 The two types of workplace environment.

Figure 5.11 The constituencies affected by ethical practices in architecture.

Figure 5.12 A conceptual model to evaluate the morality of available alternatives.

Figure 5.13 A basic conceptual system for knowledge management.

Figure 5.14 The 5As of financial management.

Figure 5.15 The major financial statements to be considered by the architectural manager.

Figure 5.16 The major financial indicators to be considered by the architectural manager.

Chapter 6

Figure 6.1 Managing the AM project components.

Figure 6.2 The common perception of the design process among different types of designer.

Figure 6.3 A balanced approach to think about the process of architectural design.

Figure 6.4 The purpose of architectural design management.

Figure 6.5 The two popular models of architectural design management.

Figure 6.6 The purpose of project management.

Figure 6.7 Two modes of the architect–client relationship.

Figure 6.8 The diminishing role of architects with the emergence of the CM layer.

Figure 6.9 The typical elements of CM.

Figure 6.10 The typical elements of FM.

Figure 6.11 The impacts of architects' early decisions on offering of FM services.

Figure 6.12 Architectural adoption of PD.

Figure 6.13 Two possible models for adoption of PD by architectural firms.

Figure 6.14 The relationship between architectural‐design decisions and ID.

Figure 6.15 The benefits of offering architectural support‐services.

Figure 6.16 The difference between QA and QC.

Chapter 7

Figure 7.1 Managing AM stakeholders.

Figure 7.2 The meaning of ‘stakeholders’.

Figure 7.3 The relationship between internal and external stakeholders.

Figure 7.4 Categorising stakeholders into groups for analysis.

Figure 7.5 The parameters of effective communication processes.

Figure 7.6 The different levels of human communication.

Figure 7.7 The formality of communication tools.

Figure 7.8 Stakeholder engagement and the firm's triple bottom line.

Figure 7.9 The alternative dispute resolution process.

Figure 7.10 The major components of a value management system.

Figure 7.11 Sustainability: meaning and components.

Figure 7.12 Sustainability implementation.

Chapter 8

Figure 8.1 Managing the AM learning components.

Figure 8.2 The purpose of the learning organisation.

Figure 8.3 The shared responsibility for employees' individual learning.

Figure 8.4 Basic procedure for planning an employee's individual learning.

Figure 8.5 Two popular modes of group learning within firms.

Figure 8.6 A basic procedure for planning employees' group learning.

Figure 8.7 The purpose of the architectural firm's organisational learning.

Figure 8.8 Two models of the architectural firm's organisational learning.

Figure 8.9 The different levels of the learning process within organisations.

Figure 8.10 A model for inter‐organisational learning for the architectural firm.

Figure 8.11 The purpose of architectural CPD.

Figure 8.12 Examples of cost‐efficient CPD tools.

Figure 8.13 Measuring the effectiveness of the learning programmes.

Figure 8.14 A combined Kirkpatrick–Philip model for evaluation of the effectiveness of learning.

Figure 8.15 The role and required skills of the architectural manager in managing the transformation into a learning firm.

Figure 8.16 Examples of popular tests of leadership and other skills and traits assessments.

Figure 8.17 The meaning of analogical comparisons and learning from others.

Figure 8.18 A model for pragmatic analogical comparison.

Figure 8.19 The responsibility of advocating the concept of architectural management.

Figure 8.20 The result of effective collaboration between architects, educators, and professional bodies.

Chapter 9

Figure 9.1 Case Study 1: applying the framework by a single‐architect practice.

Figure 9.2 Case Study 2: applying the framework in a small architectural practice.

Figure 9.3 Case Study 3: applying the framework by a medium sized architectural practice

Figure 9.4 Case Study 4: applying the framework by a large architectural practice.



Table of Contents

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Handbook for the Architectural Manager

Stephen Emmitt

University of Bath, Bath, UK

Mohammed Alharbi

Taibah University, Medina, Saudi Arabia


This edition first published 2018

© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Emmitt, Stephen, author. | Alharbi, Mohammed, author.

Title: Handbook for the architectural manager / by Stephen Emmitt, University

of Bath, UK; Dr Mohammed A Alharbi, Taibah University, Medina.

Description: Hoboken : Wiley, 2018. | Includes bibliographical references and

index. |

Identifiers: LCCN 2018005471 (print) | LCCN 2018005909 (ebook) | ISBN

9781119225560 (pdf) | ISBN 9781119225508 (pbk.)

Subjects: LCSH: Architectural practice–Management.

Classification: LCC NA1996 (ebook) | LCC NA1996 .E49 2018 (print) | DDC


LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018005471

Cover Design: Wiley

Cover Image: © Efrain Padro/Alamy Stock Photo


This is a book for architects. Our aim is to provide a useable framework to stimulate and guide improvements in every aspect of architectural practice. The handbook is designed to sit alongside and complement Design Management for Architects (Emmitt, 2014) and Architectural Management: international research and practice (Emmitt et al., 2009). Therefore, the arguments for why architects need to improve their managerial competences and why we need more research into the field are not repeated. Instead we have provided an accessible and simple‐to‐use guide to help practitioners in their daily pursuit of excellence.

The work has evolved out of a long‐standing working partnership, in which we challenge one another to develop the theoretical and practical aspects of architectural management. Although the primary content of this book is grounded in applied research, we have deliberately played this down and emphasised the practical aspects of architectural management. Additional reading and sources are provided for those interested in further exploring the field.

The underlying driver behind our work is a shared passion for improving the managerial aspects of the architectural profession. It is through better management, not more management, that we are better able to realise design value. We are driven to help practitioners to deliver better architecture through better management of precious resources. Our intention is that this handbook goes some way in helping architects to apply architectural management and improve the performance of every aspect of their businesses.

Stephen Emmitt and Mohammed Alharbi


Architectural practices are constantly juggling resources to balance many complementary, yet competing, demands. These include the demands of stakeholders and individual projects, the need to continually learn and apply knowledge, and the fundamental requirement to run a profitable business. The business provides the opportunity to create and deliver great architecture. Architectural practices that are able to manage the demands placed on them will make a profit and stay in business. Those that fail to effectively manage all of these aspects will struggle and are likely to fail. In this chapter we introduce the background to the book and set out the rationale for the chapters that follow. Our argument, supported by research, is that architectural practices require a guiding management framework in order to stay in business and return a profit on the resources invested.

1.1 An Argument for a Management Framework

Why do we need a (management) framework in which to practise architecture? Surely architecture is a highly creative, intuitive and often spontaneous response to a particular site and client; something that flourishes outside the world of management? It may be an image promulgated in the rarefied world of architectural education, but as practising architects would readily attest, the effective engagement with others in the co‐creation of architecture requires protocols to guide the design team to a successful solution. But somewhat contrary to this, we also know that restrictive managerial tools and onerous management procedures are not conducive to supporting our creative endeavours. Architects and fellow designers require an appropriate framework in which to pursue creative solutions to complex challenges; management that supports rather than hinders the creative process. We need simple, straightforward and pragmatic guidance to help us deliver wonderful buildings and return a profit for our efforts. What we need is better management, not more management.

These are not new concerns. In the 1960s, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) published The Architect and his Office (RIBA, 1962). The report criticised architects for the way in which they managed their business affairs and in doing so formed the stimulus for early work on architectural management. The first book to use the term ‘architectural management’ was written by three architects in direct response to the RIBA report (Brunton et al., 1964). In addition to defining architectural management as the interrelationship between the management of projects and the architectural business (see Chapter 3) they also claimed that we knew enough about the management of individual projects, and therefore concentrated on the management of the office. Since this time there has been an explosion in the literature relating to the management of construction projects (project management, construction management and more recently design management), somewhat contradicting Brunton et al.'s claim that we knew how to do it. In contrast to the project management literature, there is still a comparatively small body of literature on the management of the architect's office. This is known as practice (or office) management and tends to be concerned with the effective administration of the business, which one could argue is not really about ‘managing’ the business. In many respects, Brunton et al.'s call for better management of the architect's business has largely gone unheeded in the literature. Although both streams offer a valuable knowledge source, by concentrating on only one aspect (project or office) we fail to acknowledge the inter‐relationship between the two; and hence fail to address the unique environment in which architects work (see Figure 1.1). It is the dynamic interaction between the creative office and the temporal, creative and pragmatic projects that makes the creation and realisation of architecture so exciting.

Figure 1.1 The components of architectural management. Adapted from Brunton et al. (1964) and Emmitt (1999a).

Early interest in management by architects tended to wane with the dawn of the 1970s, and it was not until the 1990s that interest once more turned to the need for better management by architects, an idea once again promoted by the RIBA. By this time Brunton et al.'s (1964) work on architectural management was largely forgotten. Their work was, however, rediscovered and further developed by Emmitt, some 35 years after the publication of their book. Building directly on the seminal work of Brunton et al., Emmitt's (1999a) work was instrumental in expanding and further developing our understanding of architectural management as the inter‐relationship between business management and project management. Underlying Emmitt's work is the argument that significant value can be derived from the strategic management of the office and the project portfolio (see Emmitt 1999a,b, 2014, 2017).

These two fundamental components of architectural management (management of office and projects) remained unchallenged until relatively recently. Extensive research by Alharbi (2013) resulted in the extension and development of the ‘basic’ understanding of architectural management. This included a new definition of architectural management and publication of a new architectural management framework (Alharbi 2013; Alharbi et al. 2015a,b) on which this book is based. Alharbi's definition is more inclusive than the original, and better reflects the need to deliver value to all stakeholders. This is particularly pertinent to a collaborative and integrated approach to the delivery of projects within a highly competitive marketplace for services. The definition is (Alharbi, 2013):

Architectural management (AM) is the strategic management of the architectural firm that assures the effective integration between managing the business aspects of the office with its individual projects in order to design and deliver the best value to all stakeholders.

Alharbi's architectural management framework introduced two new, additional components: ‘managing stakeholders’ and ‘managing learning’ (see Figure 1.2). Although one could argue that the management of stakeholders and the management of learning are implicit in the earlier work, this has now become explicit. And in making the management of stakeholders and the management of learning explicit, it has further emphasised the value of people. Managing stakeholders reflects the collaborative and co‐dependent nature of design in the digital age. It also reflects the need for architects to satisfy the needs of many stakeholders, ranging from, for example, the client and investors, through the design and delivery teams to the building users and building managers, through to society in general. To manage these complex and constantly evolving relationships requires an understanding and application of stakeholder management (see Chapter 7). Managing learning relates to the need for professionals such as architects to continually update their knowledge and skills, which can be challenging when dealing with a diverse project portfolio and constantly changing technologies. It includes the development and application of knowledge to office and projects, as well as the need to better ‘educate’ clients and stakeholders of the value of good design (see Chapter 8). Neither of these additional components had been addressed in an integrated manner in previous work on architectural management.

Figure 1.2 Components of architectural management (source: Alharbi 2013).

The four components of the architectural management framework are explained further in this book, providing a comprehensive and unique framework that supports architects in our daily pursuit of excellence.

The need for a guiding framework is also evidenced in typical job descriptions, where the architectural manager's role includes the management and supervision of the office staff (for example architects, architectural engineers and technologists, and BIM technicians), overseeing the entire project portfolio and interfacing with clients to attract and retain business. The role also includes responsibility for staff development and learning, recruitment and retention. The role of the architectural manager is explained more fully in Chapter 3.

1.2 Agenda

The aim of the book is to help readers to better manage their architectural businesses, and hence be better positioned to influence the quality of the built environment. The book is grounded in research in which, for the first time, the components of architectural management have been analysed systematically, tested, and developed into a framework for practical application. The result is the first publication to offer a comprehensive evidence‐based framework for architectural practice. By following a number of simple steps, it is possible to evaluate the current status of one's practice and take measures to improve specific areas to suit one's own context. Our main objectives in writing the book are to:

Provide the tools to help enhance performance and thus enable architectural practices to be more competitive in a challenging marketplace for services.

Encourage evidence‐based practice. The practical, simple‐to‐follow framework can be applied to practitioners' own context (regardless of physical location, office size and extent of managerial knowledge).

It is not necessary for every member of the architectural office to be passionate about management, but it is crucial to the smooth running of the business that every member of the office appreciates the commercial factors underpinning the majority of decisions made in a business and project environment. This includes an understanding of how people best work together and the ability to value and embrace a diverse workforce.

1.3 Structure

The book is designed to have a simple and easy to navigate structure (see Figure 1.3). In Chapters 2 and 3 we briefly introduce the underlying theoretical aspects in order to set the context for the framework. We appreciate that this may interest some readers more than others, but it is important to understand that the work is grounded in research and to provide the context for the framework. We explain what architectural management is and how this knowledge can help architects in our daily pursuit of great architecture. Emphasis turns to the practical and strategic issues in Chapter 4, where the framework for practice is introduced as a basis for the chapters that follow. Chapters 5–8 explore each of the four components of architectural management: managing the business, projects, stakeholders and learning. The intention is that readers use these four chapters as a source of inspiration, and also as a means of challenging what we are currently doing. These chapters also include some description of common tools. In Chapter 9 we provide examples of practical application of the framework via a number of scenarios that relate to office size. Examples are worked through based on ‘case studies’ to help illustrate what needs to be done, when and by whom. Combined, the chapters provide a valuable handbook that can be dipped into as the need arises. The ultimate aim is to continually improve performance, reduce risk and realise better value.

Figure 1.3 The structure of the book contents.

1.4 Value

Many of the complaints about projects, such as poor cost, time and quality control can be traced back to ineffective management. Similarly, many design and realisation problems can be traced back to poor team assembly, poor communication and poor leadership; again, a case of ineffective management. Despite considerable advances in digital technologies, many problems still beset construction and many professional service companies continue to find it challenging to make a profit. Although the application of architectural management will not necessarily solve all of one's problems, it will help to identify the root cause of such failings and hence practitioners will then be in a better position to address the challenges.

Architectural management will provide considerable value to both the owners of architectural businesses and those engaged with the business. The concepts and ideas presented in this book are designed to guide novice and more experienced architectural managers. When applied to one's specific context this will help to bring about more effective and efficient processes, which in turn will impact positively on the profitability of the business, the wellbeing of the staff and ultimately improve the quality of the service delivered to clients. These essential elements will help us to deliver great architecture.

2Architecture and Management

2.1 Setting the Scene

The focus of this book is on the application of management to all aspects of architectural practice. In this chapter we make the link between the worlds of design and management from an architect's perspective, thus providing important context for the chapters that follow. We start by explaining the similarities between architecture and management, before turning to design and the need to manage it. This is followed by an overview of how design is managed by constructors and architectural offices. The chapter concludes by exploring the business of architecture.

2.2 Architecture and Management

The unique value architects add to society is grounded in our ability to deliver something that our competitors cannot: design vision. Design expertise is not, unfortunately, the only differentiating factor, and on its own design expertise is not enough to survive and prosper in a highly competitive and crowded market. Clients seek suppliers who can provide a professionally managed service, effectively, and to agreed levels of performance. Design is one of several important considerations, alongside an ability to deliver value within set parameters. This means that we need to manage the creation and delivery of design services in harmony with the management of the business in which architecture is practised. This implies that we need to have the ability to manage the business of design and the skills to design the business. We need knowledge of the commercial, economic and social drivers underlying the creation, delivery, use and eventual reshaping of our built environment.

For many architects and fellow designers this requires us to venture into the (unfamiliar) world of management and commerce. This is not something many architecture or engineering programmes prepare their graduates for, but nevertheless the skills involved are highly valued in the construction sector, a point long understood by those studying construction management. The reluctance to integrate management into the curriculum means that we need to develop managerial skills ‘on the job’, supported by continual professional development activities. While this may not be ideal, it is not as daunting as some may envisage. The act of design, the bringing together of many individual parts to make a whole, is not that different to the act of managing. Whereas designers are largely concerned with ideas and technologies, managers are concerned with people and processes (see Figure 2.1). The skills honed in architectural education are also fundamental to the art of management. The challenge for many designers is to make the connection between the two, and some of us are better at making the connection than others. This needs to be acknowledged in architectural practice because some of us will excel at design, some at technology, and others will be more suited to management. The challenge is to assemble a business with complementary skills among the staff and to allocate work accordingly. This means recruiting and retaining, and sometimes retraining staff to ensure the office has the best balance of skills to deliver services into the chosen market segment(s).

Figure 2.1 The thinking paradigms of architects and managers – typical and ideal scenarios.

2.2.1 Architectural Practice