I just finished reading the article, "Building reliability in your firm" (AEC Coach, page 24) in the November 2012 issue of CE News, and must say that I enjoyed it very much, and agreed with everything Mark Goodale said. I looked at his five points and thought to myself, "Of course." Then I stopped and remembered how I've spoken with many senior architects and engineers, many of whom are firm owners, who didn't have all five points in place and wondered why they were not succeeding.
My favorite element is actually number three: ["There must be clear conditions of satifaction.] I tell A/E firms all the time that if their client cannot visualize and articulate what success looks like, they are better off not signing the contract because that client can never be satisfied. If he or she doesn't know what comprises a successful project, how will he or she recognize when you've achieved it? Most senior A/E firm staff understand this, but I don't think many of them put it into practice. They are too focused on getting the job, signing the contract, to realize that a client who can't be satisfied will never be a good reference.
At any rate, thanks for a wonderful article. I hope a lot of A/E principals pay attention to it.
Bernie Siben, CPSM
The Siben Consult, LLC
Walk the talk
In all the years I have read CE News, the article titled "Walk the talk" (by Samuel I. Schwartz, P.E., F.ITE; page 30) in the December 2012 issue is the best I have ever read. Thank you for publishing it.
Tony LaMorticella, P.E., S.E.
OBEC Consulting Engineers
Thank you for the article about counter-offers that appeared in the December 2012 issue of CE News (Search Savvy, by Jeremy Clarke; page 26). I've always had a bad feeling about counter-offers, but struggled to identify why in my own mind. Your article finally helped me identify my reasons in a concise and clear manner. It is excellent advice for anyone considering a change in employment.
I'm a land surveyor, but I read CE News for the great business management advice it contains. Your article is a sterling example of that.
Landon Blake, P.L.S.
Kjeldsen, Sinnock, and Neudeck, Inc.