So, a more sober blog posting today, this specifically to do with how to inform the client of the necessities and processes involved with any kind of architectural visualisation project.
Above and beyond managing expectation, whereby the client is told that in order to achieve the desired result a certain amount of time is required, clearly it is important to be as transparent as possible in terms of acquiring information, when needs to be submitted by and milestones. However, if the client fails to meet these, what do (or can) you do?
Looking at the options that immediately present themselves,there are two clear options, the first being producing a document that details the general processes and interactive necessities. This works to an end but may not contain enough detail in terms of how long it takes to move from one stage to another, plus each project will have a(t least one) nuance which skews what is otherwise a linear path and renders this broad-brush approach arguably redundant.
So, taking the above into account, it would seem that writing a project-specific document which details deliverables from both parties should set out the framework within which everyone works, but what if, in spite of your best efforts, the client doesn’t deliver either on time or provide sufficient information to enable you to work effectively? Or makes multiple and continued changes and modifications that require the re-working of models which had been considered as resolved? – Do you manage expectation and do the very best you can or make yourself ill by working excessive hours? Financially-speaking, do you charge more for a job like this, knowing that there will be issues beyond your control and you should not suffer for this or less on account of the final output not being (to your mind) optimal? Surely, this is a huge and somewhat prickly conundrum because you need to balance your professionalism with your client’s financial expectations.
In a worst-case scenario, what if your client exhibits ignorance to the processes involved and simply expects output at an optimal level, in spite of being told on more than one occasion what is and is not possible within a given timeframe? – Let’s refer back to a written timeline here – All the milestones you put in place you will have an allowance for ‘mission creep’ rather than being to-the-minute necessities, so if your client asks for something which it is not possible to produce in the time given how do you respond without immediately ending up at the classic six-and-two-threes stalemate? How is it possible to manage that? – A case study might work as a combination of the two musings above although it once again stumbles on account of being a generalised guide; Making it more specific to the project would require a large number of case studies to be produced and distributed which may not be possible if this is your first commission in a certain field.
Clearly, all of the above play some part in answering this query, yet the balance between each component – from costing to management, let alone the production aspect – is a key and delicate one. Suggestions and examples of personal experience are welcomed.