An Inside Look at the New IDP: Project Management

On June 29, the Intern Development Program (IDP) will be updated to reflect six broad areas of architectural practice. To help you prepare for this change, we launched a monthly blog series that breaks down the tasks associated with each area. Plus, we offer real-world examples of opportunities that count toward the IDP.

What is Project Management?

Project management is where you will gain competency in delivering quality projects per contractual requirements. This area deals with planning, coordinating, overseeing, and executing processes and strategies that result in a successful project. These tasks will help you broaden your understanding of quality control; contract and consultant management; budgeting and scheduling; development of projects teams; and overall project control.

Project Management Tasks (Required Hours: 360)

Upon finishing the IDP, you should be able to competently perform the following tasks:

  • Participate in pre-construction, pre-installation and regular progress meetings with design team
  • Determine design fee budget
  • Coordinate design work of consultants
  • Collaborate with stakeholders during design process to maintain design intent and comply with owner specifications
  • Determine project schedule
  • Coordinate design work of in-house team members
  • Understand implications of project delivery methods
  • Prepare Architect-Consultant Agreement
  • Prepare written communications related to design ideas, project documentation and contracts
  • Assist client in determining delivery method for construction of project
  • Monitor project schedule to maintain compliance with established milestones
  • Prepare Owner-Architect Agreement
  • Assist Owner in obtaining necessary permits and approvals
  • Perform constructability review to determine buildability, bidability, and construction sequencing of proposed project
  • Conduct periodic progress meetings with design and project team
  • Establish methods for Architect-Client communication based on project scope of work
  • Identify changes in project scope that require additional services
  • Manage modifications to the construction contract
  • Manage information exchange during construction
  • Perform constructability reviews throughout the design process
  • Perform quality control reviews throughout the documentation process
  • Define roles and responsibilities of team members
  • Determine scope of services
  • Manage project-specific bidding process
  • Monitor performance of design team consultants
  • Evaluate appropriateness of building information modeling (BIM) for proposed project
  • Present design concept to stakeholders
  • Submit schedule of Architect's services to Owner for each phase
  • Resolve conflicts that may arise during design and construction process
  • Prepare staffing plan to meet project goals
  • Manage implementation of sustainability criteria
  • Assist client in selecting contractors

Are you having trouble gaining project management experience? Reference the above tasks when meeting with your supervisor, and make a plan to complete the IDP.

Real-World Examples

When you are just starting your career, you probably won’t manage a project right away. So during my internship, I made sure to request tasks that would help me earn IDP hours. For instance, I would offer to type an owner-architect agreement or record minutes at a pre-installation meeting (which also involved a site visit—double win!). Most architects welcome assistance with everyday activities such as following up with a consultant’s proposals or calling manufacturers to inquire about pricing and availability of materials.

Some of these tasks may seem menial at the beginning, but they have the potential to evolve into larger responsibilities and project management opportunities as you demonstrate your competency. Just don’t be afraid to ask for them! Talk to your supervisor about your goals. You have to be creative and look for opportunities to get involved in project management experiences that will propel your career.

IDP Experience Calculator

Use the IDP Experience Calculator to see how your current hours will merge into the six new experience areas! Any hours that fall outside of the six new areas can be used to fulfill additional jurisdictional requirements.

About the Author

I joined NCARB late 2015 as a manager on the Experience + Education team to help develop the Architect Licensing Advisors Community. I also participate in outreach activities across the country geared toward guiding aspiring architects along the path to licensure. A bit of a nomad, I’ve lived and worked in Argentina (where I was born), Michigan, Kentucky, New York, and New Jersey before finally moving to Washington, DC. With over 10 years of experience in architecture, I’ve participated in a broad range of projects—from residential and multi-family, to commercial, religious, and mixed-use. I’m currently licensed to practice architecture in Argentina, Kentucky, and New Jersey.