Project Management for Design Professionals Quick Thoughts

My first thoughts after reading “Project Management for Design Professionals” by William G. Ramroth would be “Is project planning this complex and are all the frameworks and steps highlighted relevant to my FYP?”

Although it is undeniably intimidating to start planning for our FYPs and eventually executing it, taking the first steps and really understanding the organisation of the project really helps in ensuring that we stay on the right track and ensures that time is well managed, among many other aspects. I found the six project management goals to be a good stepping stone to familiarize ourselves with when beginning a project.

1. To reach the end of the project
2. To reach the end on budget
3. To reach the end on time
4. To reach the end safely
5. To reach the end error-free
6. To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations

Reaching the end of the project in the chapter shares how the objectives and goals of the project should be met despite it being subjective. I do believe that to have a successful project, the objectives of the deliverables need to be met and it can be quantified by the response of the audience or the clients.

Budgeting is something that we may not have been exposed to in the first three years in ADM as our projects were not big enough to require proper planning for the budget. As such, it is then a really important aspect to take note of this time when embarking on our FYPs as the budget is in our own hands and the deliverables required would need special requirements such as a particular material, varnishing or even the need to rent or engage a service.

Timing is also crucial when embarking on our FYP as we are only given a specific number of weeks to complete the different milestones assigned. In between these weeks, there are different things that I feel would affect the time management such as the conceptualisation, research and reaching out to organisations or academias, sketching and prototyping, actually designing the deliverables, sourcing for vendors or services, revisiting and redesigning, among many others,

Although my FYP does not foresee any dangerous steps, I think it is important to always keep safety in check even if the task doesn’t seem dangerous. This could also come in the form of organisation where I would have to keep my things, design, prototypes, etc in a safe and orderly manner so that I don’t risk having to redo anything if it gets missing.

Ensuring that my project is error-free would be a difficult task to do but from the reading I understand how before reaching the end, it is important to identify all or possible errors and making sure that it is rectified before reaching the end.

Lastly, ending the project while meeting everyone’s expectations would be difficult but important to achieve as it would only mean that the FYP has reached its objectives. I do believe that this is only possible if a good communication system has been established with everyone that is involved in the FYP especially with our supervisors and if any, clients.

Design professionals are planners by profession. They spend every day planning and designing projects for their clients. They try out various alternatives, making sketches over and over until the design is just right. They try out different structural systems, framing plans, foundation alternatives.

I’d like to conclude this brief reflection with this quote. As designers, we are natural planners and it is so important to hone this planning nature early and to continue being insightful and meticulous when approaching our creation process. Aside from planning itself, sketches and troubleshooting is the next most important component of a project as it is important to start sketching to spark potential ideas and troubleshooting is to revisit and identify problems that would improve the current design at hand. 

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