Staff Workgroup Formation
Click on each portion of the diagram for more information.
A common outcome of an assessment process, or a stand-alone firm retreat, is the identification of aspects of firm operations that are ripe for improvement or for further study leading to an improvement initiative. Forming workgroups comprised of professional and administrative staff is often an effective way of tackling these improvement opportunities.
For example, a work group comprised of CAD drafters, project managers, and IT personnel might address the need for CAD standards to improve productivity of construction documents. Another workgroup might be in charge of planning site visits of completed projects, or Friday afternoon pin-up sessions to stimulate in-house education in design. A third might take on improvement of marketing materials, such as display boards, portfolio and brochures.
These workgroups are an efficient way of involving staff at all levels in doing value-added work for the firm itself. It spreads the firm development work around, taking some burden off the principals and administrative staff, and helps make junior staff feel valued and involved. An intern fresh out of architecture school may be limited in terms of designing complex buildings, but may be very skilled at computer graphics, or organizing events.
In times of temporary work slow downs, staff workgroups gives people important and valuable work to do in improving the firm. This results in making the firm more productive and creative when the workload picks up again. Staff workgroups foster collegiality and learning, and can be integrated with staff learning plans.
The formation of these workgroups is a common outcome of the assessment process and can result in positive change in work processes and staff job satisfaction.