All of our work is governed by a few principles that have been refined over the years. The following concepts describe our philosophy and general approach to responding to our clients’ needs:
- Cast a Wide Net
- Know Who Does What
- Put the Horse Before the Cart
- Communication is a Two Way Street
- Stay Focused
- Seek Customized Solutions
- The Only Certainty is Uncertainty
Cast a Wide Net
It is not good enough to do a good job – we must do the right job. We don’t just jump in and start solving problems. We conduct an initial quick but comprehensive review of the project scope. Our objective is to assist our client to clearly define the core and the boundaries of our assignment before we tackle it.
Know Who Does What
Early in the project it is important to obtain a clear understanding of the key participants and their roles in the project. Since our work focuses on helping our clients to make informed and confident decisions, we need to know who will make the decisions and who will influence those decisions. We recognize the importance of carefully differentiating between decision making and consultation.
Put the Horse Before the Cart
We are careful to proceed in a logical progression from needs to options to solutions. The conclusions from each step are reviewed with our client before proceeding to the next step. In this way, the final result is the logical outcome of the process.
Communication is a Two Way Street
Communication is a two way street, and we have a responsibility to both listen and inform. We emphasize the timely distribution of interim documentation such as discussion papers and draft reports. We stay in touch with key participants after we have achieved our primary objectives. Informed, committed stakeholders are one legacy of our projects.
We strive to focus on primary facility issues and objectives. We constantly review these objectives to keep us on track. Simplicity is often the key. We explore each issue to the appropriate level. Sometimes a cursory review may be adequate for an issue that has minimal impact on building solutions. On the other hand, we don’t shy away from thorny issues that are critical to key decisions. We find that the central issues are often idenfied early in the project.
Seek Customized Solutions
We recognize that each project takes place in a specific time and place, and solutions must respond to local needs and priorities. We listen carefully to our client and all stakeholders. We have no preconceived solutions, and strive for a balance between learning from previous experience and the specifics of local conditions and client preferences.
The Only Certainty is Uncertainty
Because buildings are long-term investments, our job as planners is to consider realistic future scenarios focused on appropriate planning horizons. Our objective is not to predict the future, but to narrow the range of uncertainty. One hedge against an uncertain future is to make facilities robust, versatile, and flexible. Another approach focuses on risk management by avoiding solutions that depend on specific future conditions to be successful.