Becoming a B Corp: Using business for the power of good
Lee Hillam outlines the process of becoming a B Corp and the benefits that flow from it.
Managing for Happiness
Nurturing a company culture of opportunity and challenge, support and appreciation is not just about giving you a warm fuzzy feeling – it can increase your bottom line. Rena Klein makes the case.
Practice Administrators Group
The ACA – SA Practice Administrators Group meets informally to discuss matters of common interest.
What is productivity and how should we measure it? Robert Peake reports on recent survey findings and suggests strategies for architectural practices.
Architects' Time/Cost Calculator
The ACA Architects’ Time/Cost Calculator Version 3 helps practices assess the time and costs involved in providing an appropriate level of service for a broad range of building types.
How to Improve Productivity with Design Thinking
Your staff are the best people to work out how to improve the productivity of your practice. Rena Klein explains the benefits of an Operational Improvement Charette, and provides a guide to running one.
Want to be More Profitable? Here's How.
How can small architectural practices be more profitable? Rena Klein outlines the issues to consider, and some strategies for getting started.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Is the limit on your professional indemnity insurance policy enough? Planned Cover’s Kerrie McLeish explores the issues.
ACA Resource Sharing System
The ACA Resource Sharing System (RSS) is a very timely employment initiative designed to assist members in retaining valuable staff by entering into short-term secondment agreements.
ACA Pulse Check No. 2
A lot has changed over the last two weeks. Tracking the impacts of COVID-19 over time is essential to developing the most effective support. The second ACA Pulse Check Survey will help build a clear understanding of the experiences of Australian architectural practices so far, and identify the assistance needed.
Avoiding Cyber Attacks
What are the crown jewels of your practice? Where are they stored and how secure are they? Sherren Hepburn from Planned Cover takes a look at the issues around cybersecurity and offers tips on protecting your precious assets.
The Business of Design
Kerstin Thompson’s recent presentation for the ACA – SA was a thoughtful reflection on the business of design, busting some stubborn myths about architectural practice, and emphasising the need to balance design quality with business practice excellence, financial strength, thriving people and workplace health.
Stopping Harassment in its Tracks
How does your practice address sexual harassment at work? Merilyn Speiser from Catalina Consultants offers a 10-step approach to keep your business harassment-free.
A Matter of Privacy
Are you doing enough to protect your employees’ personal information? ACA partner Cbus explores the issues, identifying resources to assist in the protection of your employees and your practice.
Coronavirus: Implications for Employers
With COVID-19 threatening to have significant impacts on businesses and workplaces around Australia in the coming weeks and months, Tom Earls and David Putland from Fair Work Lawyers provide insights into the complex and often competing legal concepts relating to employment.
Survey Results Available!
The second independent survey of business and practice management systems has uncovered some interesting findings.
How to Lead a Remote Workforce
Robert Peake, principal of Management for Design, offers his top tips for effective leadership with remote teams, including setting clear expectations and following through, giving trust freely, and managing achievement, not time.
Successful Leadership Succession
How do you develop a clear, effective process for succession in your practice? Robert Peake outlines the key issues and strategies, and warns of problems you may encounter.
ACIF Forecasts in Practice
John Held reflects on how the ACIF Forecasts are used at Russell and Yelland.
Clear Communication and Patience
Justine Ebzery outlines the steps Fulton Trotter has taken in response to COVID-19 so far, including clear, regular communication to clients and employees, transitioning to more work from home arrangements, and a focus on patience and kindness.
Trialling Remote Working
Taylor Robinson Chaney Broderick (TRCB) has been trialling staff working from home for a number of weeks. Leigh Robinson generously shares details about how this is working, lessons learned, and the guidelines the practice has developed.
Remote Working Advice
Working remotely can be challenging and disruptive, and requires realistic expectations and a flexible approach, says Charmaine Kai of Brisbane-based practice 8i Architects.
How are You Responding to COVID-19?
Online support is more important than ever. The ACA invites architectural practices across Australia to share practice experiences, knowledge and strategies.
Implementing a New HR Policy
How do you build a strong HR policy without impacting on the culture of your practice? Merilyn Speiser provides a brief guide on implementing change as seamlessly as possible.
Should You Merge Your Firm? Probably!
Merging your firm can make good business sense. Robert Peake outlines the many benefits that a company merge can have for small practice owners.
I've Looked at Clouds From Both Sides Now ...
John Held considers the opportunities and costs of cloud computing in small practice.
Building on Existing Flex Systems
For BVN, the transition to all staff working from home has been ‘seamless’. The ease of the move is an outcome of already having robust flex systems in place, a commitment to open honest communication, and a focus on health and wellbeing.
Tight Financial Management and Open Communication
TheFulcrum.Agency partner Emma Williamson explains how the consultancy is responding to COVID-19 and offers advice about how to proactively manage through a crisis while maintaining the cultural integrity of your practice.
Communication, Autonomy and Initiative
Brown Falconer is in the process of transitioning all staff to remote working. Mario Dreosti emphasises the importance of open communication and sharing both the knowns and the unknowns as essential to building trust, autonomy and initiative.
We Need to Talk about Money
Peter Raisbeck provides a snappy outline of the ten profit drivers of small architectural practice.
Mental Health for Small Business Owners
Self-care is often not a top priority in the life of the small business owner, but it is the most fundamental – not only to your personal health and wellbeing but the success of your business.
ACA Pulse Check no. 1 - Preliminary Findings
The ACA has released the preliminary results of the ACA Pulse Check no. 1. We are now analysing these further.
10 Principles for Building an Architectural Business
How do you build an architectural business? Charles Justin offers 10 principles to guide a practice.
COVID-19 & Industrial Manslaughter
By 1 July 2020, Victoria will introduce industrial manslaughter laws for the first time. At the same time, Australia continues its efforts to contain COVID-19, including significant restrictions on work and workplaces. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers explores the issues.
How COVID-19 Will Change the Traditional Workplace
What will be the impact of COVID-19 on the traditional workplace and what can we learn from this giant workplace experiment, writes Hames Sharley Principal and Workplace Portfolio Leader Stephen Moorcroft.
How to Achieve Pay Equity
Compare and contrast pay rates and don’t misread confidence for competence, advises Cassandra Keller.
ACA + AusSearch
‘AusSearch for ACA Members’ is an online service that enables fast and efficient searching for the documents you need for site analysis and property services.
Ten Challenges / Ten Actions
Leone Lorrimer outlines ten challenges facing architecture and ten actions we can take to turn these challenges into opportunities.
Building Skills in Practice
Informal learning, partnered with formal training and development, are of enormous benefit to practices as well as individuals. ACA partner Cbus identifies some of the ways you can amplify learning in your practice.
An Insurance Perspective on the Assumed Liability Exclusion in AS 4122-2010
Damian Harrison comments on recent concerns about the ‘assumed liability’ exclusion in AS 4122–2010.
A Report into IT Pricing
Why are IT products more expensive in Australia and what is being done about it?
Common Claims and How to Avoid Them
Experienced Claims Manager Kerrie McLeish discusses the most common claims she sees and gives valuable advice on how to avoid them.
New Challenges & Modes of Working
Hayball has explored varied modes of working and learning over many years, but the rapid shift to remote, distributed workplaces in the era of COVID-19 is a new challenge.
Cyber Attacks and Insurance
What are the exposures of hacking and other cyber criminal activity to your business? Alex Conlon of BJS Insurance Brokers considers the issues in this emerging risk area.
Planning for Health, Wellbeing & Financial Sustainability
As Queensland prepared for lockdown, Cairns-based practice People Oriented Design worked on strategies with health, wellbeing and the long-term financial sustainability of the practice firmly in mind.
ACA Pulse Check no. 1 - COVID-19
The ACA’s quick ‘pulse check’ survey will help us better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Australian architectural practices. The Survey is now closed. We are analysing the results now.
What do Architects do in a Financial Crisis?
The Autumn 2013 issue of Architect Victoria canvases the question.Link
How to Retain Staff During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The response to COVID-19 is unprecedented and evolving daily. As government decisions directly and indirectly impact on businesses, employers are looking at ways to continue operating in the face of enormous challenges. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers briefly describes the options available to architecture practices.
Making Strategy Happen
Does your practice have an effective strategic plan? Robert Peake, of Management for Design, outlines the importance of strategy, and suggests some ways to get started.
Advice for Workplace Safety
As restrictions ease around the country and more people return to work, employers are now facing the challenge of ensuring their workplaces are safe and healthy for all. Safe Work Australia (SWA) has developed extensive resources, fact sheets and checklists to assist with health and safety in the workplace and we provide a summary here.
Professional Indemnity Insurance, Risk and AS 4122
Jack Birrell on the things to consider when choosing your insurance provider.
Keeping on Top of Tech
Delegating your technology needs to your IT team is a mistake, argues Robert Peake. As a leader you need to understand and drive the IT strategy within your business.
BIM and Insurance
What are the insurance implications of BIM for architects? Alex Conlon of BJS Insurance Brokers considers the issues in this emerging field.
Running a Practice in Lockdown
Warwick Mihaly shares the challenges of trying to run a small practice in lockdown while supervising remote learning with small children and keeping his business afloat.
Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice
The Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice aim to help Australian architecture move towards a more equitable profession; one that offers opportunity for all and is better positioned to meet contemporary challenges.
Join the Association of Consulting Architects
ACA | The Business of Architecture
Starting your architecture practice
Mihaly Slocombe has written a series on what you need to know to set up practice. Topics include: Chutzpah, Clients, Identity, The Law, The Studio, Electronics, Cashflow, Support Team, Community, and The Future. Their engaging blog, Panfilocastaldi, includes a range of posts about the business of architecture, as seen through the eyes of a newish, youngish practice.Link
Tips for Time Management
Running a practice can be unrelenting, changeable and extremely demanding. How do you manage your time in such an unpredictable environment? Rena M. Klein offers some tips.
Elevation Architecture’s Digital Transformation
Rachel Tilleyshort of Elevation Architecture takes us through her firm’s digital transformation, with substantial profitability and productivity gains since implementing Deltek Project Information Management (PIM).
How to Hire, Fire & Manage Employees
Recruiting the right people and then managing them well is essential to the success of your practice. Merilyn Speiser offers a guide to getting the HR fundamentals right.
6 Business Tips for Architects
How do you increase the value of your business and put your clients front and centre? Lindy Johnson shares six helpful tips.
Research in Architectural Practice - 6 ways for architects to create upstream knowledge
How can your practice amplify its research capability? Peter Raisback suggests six strategies.
Coronavirus: Stand Down Considerations
Tom Earls and David Putland from Fair Work Lawyers provide an update on key considerations for employers when circumstances force them to stand down parts of their workforce.
Investment in Digital Design
Existing investment in new digital platforms has meant that dwp|design worldwide partnership was well placed to switch to working mode when the COVID-19 crisis arose.
Government Support and What Employers Can Do
As we face a crisis of unknown proportions, Rob Peake, Principal of Management for Design, outlines what is needed from the Federal Government, and what architectural practices can do to weather the storm.
Cyber Crime in the Age of COVID-19
As we all try to adapt to a changed world, cyber criminals are taking advantage of changes to our physical working conditions and day-to-day processes. Planned Cover takes a look at the issues around cybersecurity and offers tips on protecting your practice.
Head in the Cloud
Is it reassuring or not to be told there are many definitions for ‘the Cloud’? Dean Wood reports and reflects on a recent ACA – WA event.
The Ultimate Return to Work
Providing support and easing the transition for an employee returning to work makes good business sense, argues Jennekin Dicks.
Managing your way to profitability
Dynamic leadership, talented employees, exciting projects and appreciative clients mean little if a firm is stressed and struggling with its bottom line, says Jennekin Dicks. Managing profitability well can make all the difference.
Practice Management and COVID-19
Building on knowledge gleaned from the recent ACA Pulse Check Survey No.1, Fiona Martin outlines the key areas practices should be working on, and answers some FAQs about leave under various circumstances.
Managing Risk 101
Risk management is crucial to effective practice management. Robert Peake outlines the key issues, from business structures and insurances to fee agreements and negotiation.
Forget Design Quality, it’s all about Design Risk!
Thinking about design risk in strategic terms is imperative for the profession, but it is often sidelined in practice, and is barely mentioned in architecture schools. Peter Raisbeck explores the concept of design risk.
Innovation, Resilience & Relationship Building
COVID-19 disruption has been all-encompassing, but there are signs of innovation, community resilience and relationship building emerging all around us, observes Kate Fitzgerald of Fremantle-based Whispering Smith.
Policy, Process and Restricted Contact
Thomson Rossi’s approach to managing the practice in the context of the novel coronavirus is guided by a COVID-19 Policy Statement, which establishes clear boundaries and habits. Simon Thomson explains that the intent is to keep the office open as long as possible.
Join the SA Practice Admin Group!
The ACA – SA Practice Administrators Group meets regularly to share knowledge, views and experiences. New members welcome.
A Cautionary Note on Software Cost Structures
Software costs structures are changing; this could have significant impact on your business’s long-term profitability. ACA – WA outlines the issues.
Business Systems Survey Results
Do you know where to start when choosing a new business management system for your practice?
Insurance for Architectural Practices
Planned Cover Manager of Projects and Compliance Vanessa Collins gives a full rundown of the different types of insurance and the protections they provide.
Preparing for COVID-19
The situation in relation to COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We encourage all ACA members to show leadership within their practice, to understand their obligations as employers and business owners, and to plan ahead for potential disruption as much as possible.
How to Prevent Burnout in the Lead-up to Christmas
The lead-up to Christmas may be a magical time of year for some. But for many of us, it’s much more about increased workloads, stress and trying to stay on top of it all. Merilyn Speiser explores what you can do to avoid suffering burnout in the Christmas busy period.
Go Hard or Go Home!
Lee Hillam reflects on the long-hours culture in architecture.