Page T1.1 . 23 April 2003                     
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
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Streamlining Project Collaboration

by Davis Marques

Like many firms that work on a wide variety of architectural projects, San Francisco-based McCall Design Group puts a substantial amount of effort into communicating with clients, consultants, and builders. Maintaining control of this dialog and shared information can be challenging, particularly when a project is undergoing rapid change.

McCall Design's large corporate retail clients build stores throughout North America. While most of our projects are based on standardized elements and layouts, each one is usually distinguished by variations from the standard.

Clients often ask for changes to prototypical elements late in the design process and request that those changes be implemented in all projects currently underway. Although the modifications may seem insignificant, careful coordination and version control is required to ensure that documentation is updated and coordinated with that of consultants. Miscommunication or delays in transmitting changes can result in serious problems during construction.

McCall Design has used electronic mail to facilitate this process for several years. E-mail provides many coordination benefits but comes with its own set of problems. Knowing and maintaining control over what has been published and who has received it is difficult at best, particularly when responsibilities are shared among a team. While e-mail may be an important medium for project communications these days, it is difficult to document systematically.   >>>



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The Login Manager for McCall Design Group's "Design Portal" provides a common, graphically customizable point of entry for one or more project extranet sites.
Image: McCall Design Group

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All administration and development of the Zope server can be done through the Web using the Zope Management Interface. The contents of the server are represented and organized as files and folders.
Image: McCall Design Group


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