Part of the firm’s knowledge is how to work with specific clients and consultants. We normally store project work in Dropbox, where we all have access to it. The folder structure looks like this:
This gives us a place to store all the projects for each client in close proximity, which is handy for finding details that can be re-used, or other things that are specific to that client.
One of those things is a “Lessons Learned” checklist that we file in the CLIENT folder. Pausing at the completion of each phase of work just long enough to collect a list of how this client works is really helpful for the next design team who works for them.
Here is a recent example we assembled while working with a first-time client.
Example Client - Lessons Learned (date)
Lessons learned about working for Example Client:
1] The "Owner" will be called something else.
2] They will submit for permits.
3] They may or may not require cost estimating.
4] The contract has very little to do with how they actually work - more informal.
5] Count on a rushed design period.
6] They treat rental units differently than units for sale. They are much more concerned about doors, windows, hardware, cabinets, if it is a rental unit.
7] They do not write the General Requirements, but everything else in the Front End documents they prepare.
8] Make sure they have an accurate list of allowances for their bid form. They usually have testing done by the Contractor under an allowance ($5,000?).
9] They will issue addenda, but we put it together in our format.
10] Project will probably have to go to City for a Historic Preservation review that we must take care of. Do as soon as a concept drawing is available.
You can do something very similar with your consultants for the benefit of new hires or just to collect info about what it is like working with them (time to try out an alternative?).
Both of these lists could also be stored in your IntraNet if you have one. We prefer this type of info to be right where you will see it in the normal course of things.
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