Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Design managers working in the AEC: specify what ‘type’ are you!
Are you a ‘People based DM’ or an ‘Information based DM’?
Are you primarily concerned with managing the people on the project or managing the project information?
You might say, ‘both’ – though I think, it’s unlikely that you truly are.
My observation is that 90% of design managers are ‘people based DMs’ – or if I want to be especially unkind – ‘paper based DMs’.
Within the rest, there are a few ‘holistic ones’ (less than 1%) and about 5% ‘information based’ ones.
In theory the three different types may be equally effective, practice shows, those that ignore the information in favour of ‘just pushing the people’ (or groups of people like consultants, contractors or anyone in the AEC food-chain) end up with the ‘vocal cord’ as their only tool available.
(refer to one of my previous posts on ‘shouting’).
This may work, when real end-results are not that relevant, i.e. prices, rates, timeframes aren’t set according to ‘normal laws of economics’.
Definitely not something I’d like to be left to survive with in the ‘post-gamble AEC’ era we are ‘enjoying’ now.
I must acknowledge a colleague for getting my thinking on this subject going.
She’s been defending the practice of ‘non-information based DM’ with such conviction that I could not help but get intrigued by her stance.
She may be absolutely right, yet – time will tell.