Creating a Culture for Quality Architecture
How we never become complacent about providing excellent design and outstanding service
Quality is something we can easily become complacent about. With busy schedules, deadlines, meetings, emails, and family commitments it can be challenging to remain focused on quality.
Curtis Miner Architecture (CMA) believes one key to quality is by creating a culture that prioritizes it. One way we create a culture of quality is through our internal communication. Effective internal communication serves to foster a stronger, more connected network as we all work towards common goals. Members of our Quality Committee meet once a month to shape messaging around CMA’s internal values and messages to achieve these overall goals:
- Meet client needs
- Provide accurate and complete drawings and specifications
- Foster outstanding service
- Reduce rework and project frustration
- Create proactive practices as opposed to reactive practices
- Reduce liability to the firm
Committee member Curtis Livingston has found CMA internal values like mentoring and accountability translate to better service and project delivery. “As we mentor each other, we make ourselves accountable to our ourselves, our clients, and our profession,” he shares.
Internal messaging coupled with accountability helps us to verify improvements in quality. For example, defined processes make each team responsible for reviewing:
- Number and size of addenda
- Number of RFIs, ASIs, PO’s and construction drawing set redlines
- Dollar amount of money claims and other money losses against projects
- Increased project profitability
We’ve learned that our focus on client excellence has only become stronger during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many of us working from home, committee members have made extra efforts to ensure our firm values stay front of mind. Regular emails and reminders as well as training sessions and discussions in monthly staff meetings enhance camaraderie and reinforce our shared commitment to serving the needs of our clients.
Internal communication is just one of the ways CMA fosters a firm culture centered around quality. Active listening and sharing ensure we never become complacent in providing excellent design and outstanding service.