Monday’s are a busy day of coordinating with clients and with members of my team. I am responsible for my team’s operations, which means that it is my responsibility to develop the weekly work plan for everyone and coordinate with various project managers to make sure that everything is on track for the week. Monday morning always begins with our team meeting and a discussion of the week ahead.
We work on a range of projects at any given time. Some of our work is directly tied to design. In these projects, we work in the pre-design phase by engaging with clients to determine broader goals and objectives. By synthesizing what we learn, we develop guiding principles that the designers use. For example, a client may want to create a space that helps their company be more innovative. This goal can mean many things to different organizations. For one client, the challenge may be to create a space that breaks down silos by opening up the environment and creating opportunities for more cross-team interactions. It could also mean creating spaces where groups can brainstorm and work together on joint problem solving. Our designers can create some remarkable spaces where this happens, but they look to our team to synthesize and clarify what the client is looking for. In essence, we are the voice of the client within the project team, helping to ensure that the client’s priorities are being properly addressed throughout the design process.
So on this day, I am involved in several internal project meetings to discuss the week’s workload. Once the weekly meeting has concluded, our team will usually hold a weekly call with our clients to discuss progress to-date and coordinate other meetings and activities. But we also hold internal project meetings to check in and ensure that deliverables are being met.
Some of our projects are not directly tied to design. We work with some clients on projects of a purely strategic nature. This week I am working with a client that has teams spread across multiple buildings in the region, and they are exploring long-term consolidation options as well as possible renovations to certain spaces. So today, I am coordinating with my team on planning a series of focus group sessions with a mix of employees from this company. The aim of the focus groups is to explore their work patterns and to get an understanding of how teams interact with one another across the organization. From this we are looking to identify team “adjacencies,” which is a variable that we will eventually use in developing our strategic recommendations to the client.
By the time Monday is coming to an end. Everything is on track for the remainder week.