Performance of Architectural CAD Drafting Firms
Architectural CAD drafting firms have, in the past decade of their emergence, made their place and number in the now diverse AEC Industry.
For the client regularly hiring architectural CAD drafting firms, it becomes importance to have a yardstick for their performance, over and above task completion and price. Many hidden and latent factors that get swept under the carpet of “All is Well” rear their ugly head at a time in the relationship when the client can ill afford a change of the Service Provider.
This Blog looks at yardsticks to measure performance of architectural CAD drafting firms. In this Blog we just discuss the possible yardsticks. No attempt has been made, at the moment, to quantify them.
“Garbage in = Garbage out” is one of the oldest dictums of Operations Management. Hence to be fair on the architectural CAD drafting firm, we must see what they received to begin with! The overlying principle is: who is the customer of the process?
Yes, at start-up stage, the architectural CAD drafting firm is. Hence they must receive the agreed inputs in the state and time frame requested.
As a counter argument, the architectural CAD drafting firm must ensure they do it First Time Right, and state clearly what and when they need at the kick-off.
In a graphic medium, written communication can be and, thus easily ignored. Unfortunately, since drawings now have a legal status and the legal system follows the written word, written documentation must happen for most communication, i.e.:
- Scope of Work
The most popular measure of performance of a service is Process adherence. Unfortunately, in an Intellectual or Creative change, this is easier said than done. In all fairness, this particular yardstick of performance should be used for the client too, since equal chances of deviation / non adherence lie there.
Ditto what was discussed on Process adherence: this particular yardstick of performance should be used for the client too. In fact, in this case, since the client defines the scope, it is the client who is more liable to cause deviation. In this case, the architectural CAD drafting firm must bear the onus of raising a red flag in case of scope deviation, and raise a change note, irrespective of whether the client need be charged more for the change or the schedules be revised.
Again, a popular yardstick. As an extension, one is tempted to say a particular ‘stick’ or ‘hook’ to be used in case of dispute (“you missed the deadline 3 times!”).
Once again, this needs to be applied equally to client deliverables at each stage of the project, including review turnaround times. When the client and the architectural CAD drafting firm are in different time zones, schedules need to specify times and time zones. Random use of the word ‘EOD’(end of day) is fatal. It’s as good as, at times, giving a 36 hour extension!
Quality – error minimization
Quality in the context of architectural CAD drafting firm is normally boiled down to:
- Scope adherence
- Error minimization
In our ensuing Blogs, we endeavor to look at possible quantification of these measures, drawing upon existing practices, personal experience and expert suggestions.