Small Firm Workshop #3: Essential Tools: Scoping Your Residential Services
Friday, Octber 3, 2014, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
A+D Museum, 6032 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Workshop #3:  Essential Tools: Scoping Your Residential Services
Small Firm Series Program Organizer: Ric Abramson, Architect AIA

Date: Friday, October 3, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Credits: provides 4.0 CEU's
Location: A+D Museum, 6032 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Wine + cheese reception immediately following sponsored by "Marketing & PR bluePRint for Small Firms", from Taylor & Company and Studio J Marketing


An effective, fair and profitable relationship between client and architect relies on clear communication of a proposed scope of services and on equitable compensation. This workshop will explore ways to clarify Basic, Additional, and Excluded Services contractually, methods for avoiding “scope creep” and techniques for determining fees and achieving a profit.  Attendees will learn how various compensation structures and fee computation methods can be applied to reflect the value and risk associated with providing architectural services.

How do basic design firm business models impact decisions about scope and fee development? This highly interactive workshop will include exercises designed to help participants apply these concepts and methods to their firms, with ample opportunity for shared knowledge and exchange with colleagues.


Welcome & Introduction: The 2014 Small Firm Workshop Series (Abramson)
Consent Decree/ Anti-Trust Limitations

Part 1: Scoping Services (Abramson)
a. Why should we pay attention to Scoping & Compensation: Fundamentals of the Client-Architect Relationship
b. The Basics of Project Scoping: What to include?
c. Scope-based Strategies for Protecting Yourself (from Clients, Employees, and Third Parties)
d. Scope Creep: Avoiding the Pitfalls

EXERCISE: “Scoping Small Firm Services"
Q & A


Part 2: Compensation Methods and Determining Billing Rates (Klein)
a. Forms of Compensation: Pros and Cons
b. Direct expenses, Reimbursement and Compensation
c. Profit planning

EXERCISE: "Billing Rate Calculations"
Q & A


Part 3: Business Models and Fee Proposal Development (Klein)
a. The Business Model: How do you make money?
EXERCISE:  "Business Model and Dialogue"
b. How your business model impacts how your scoping compensation strategy and fee development
c. Fee Proposal Worksheet methods and example

EXERCISE: "Fee Proposal Worksheet"

Wrap-up (Abramson)
Best Practices: Sharing Tips from the Trade (Abramson & Klein w/ audience participation)
a. Best Practices for Communicating the Project Goals & Objectives
b. Q & A

* Photo: Harper West Hollywood, Workplays studio*architecture