Our potential clients have saved their money and prepared a budget. They have considered how long a project takes and has a clear expectation for completion (even if it is most likely unrealistic). They’ve been dreaming of their finished project for months, with a specific scope of work and hopes for unique custom features.
To reach this point, our clients have been through many different emotions and have focused their priority on this specific moment in time to proceed. They finally want to get started.
On the day that a potential client contacts you, the clock starts ticking. Their priorities are aligned with the project and if you are lucky enough to be selected as the architect for the project, their priorities will be aligned with yours.
But… that will change.
Every project includes an Inevitable Priority Shift, or as we call it at Fivecat Studio, the IPS. It is the moment in time when our clients change their minds in a big way, shifting their priority from completing their project to something else that has become more important.
The IPS may be triggered by an endless list of causes. It could be an unexpected event, such as a sick family member or the loss of employment, or it could simply be a change of mind on where to spend their life’s savings.
At Fivecat Studio, we’ve had the IPS occur from major household equipment failures, job transfers, new babies and major property damage caused by hurricanes. Back in 2001, one of our first new house projects was derailed by the events of September 11th, an event that caused so many of us to shift our priorities.
Since the IPS is by definition inevitable, your job as the architect is to beat the IPS. You need to make enough progress and proceed through enough phases to keep the project moving along toward completion. If you can complete the project before the IPS occurs, three major things happen for your business; 1. You end up with some great photos for your portfolio, 2. You get paid in full, and 3. You have a happy client with a finished project.
How do we beat the IPS?
A few months back, I posted My 10 Rules for Better Project Management as part of the Entrepreneur Architect Academy Series. Efficient and consistent project management is the key to success and the way we beat the IPS.
Every project includes an Inevitable Priority Shift. Your job is to beat the IPS.