Practice Management focuses on running an architecture firm.  All architects require at least some knowledge about running a business, and many architects require a lot of knowledge, especially as the architect takes on leadership roles of increasing responsibility, whether a large or small firm.

Operating an architectural firm requires knowledge of marketing, financial management, and human resources. Firm development, including continuing attention to strategic direction, knowledge management, and administrative effectiveness, must be an ongoing concern for firms of all sizes. Throughout a firm’s life cycle, from start-up through growth and development, ownership transition and potential expansion to global or multi-office practice, entrepreneurial architects benefit from increasing their understanding of management best practices.

“Running a successful architecture practice is a skill that can be learned and mastered. If you master the skill of running a practice and you also understand how to deliver great projects, you’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.” Enoch Sears, AIA, The Business of Architecture

This 11-session series has been designed to help practicing architects develop the knowledge and skills they need to effectively manage an architecture business:

  • Organizational Development (Jan 28) – options for legal entities, regulations that influence professional practice, creating a strategic plan, and partner contracts, including ownership transitions

  • Financial Management (Feb 25) – annual budgets and business plans, tax planning, navigating economic cycles, and managing a project without going over budget or schedule
  • Human Resources (Mar 31) – strategies and methodologies for recruiting and hiring, laws and regulations governing HR, compensation strategy and philosophy, needs of employees for professional development, mentoring and supervision, and the ethics of architectural practice
  • Risk Management (Apr 28) – standard of care for architects and need for quality control, levels of insurance coverage for business and professional liability, communication strategies, dispute management and resolution, importance of contracts and agreements with clients and collaborators in managing risk
  • Technology (May 26) – analyzing financial management systems, comparing potential technologies for various stages of project deliver, evaluating emerging technologies, and managing technologies, including information management and services.
  • Marketing and Business Development (Jun 30) – developing a marketing strategy, networking effectively, utilizing website, social media and other technologies, and determining if advertising is appropriate
  • Contract Negotiations (Jul 28) – identifying skills for successful contract negotiations, critical points to include, contract pricing, responsibilities of project team members and key components of a construction contract
  • To Propose or Not to Propose (Aug 25) – information needed for an informed decision, determine firm capacity, and assessing the advantages and disadvantages of winning the project
  • Creating a Winning Proposal (Sep 29) – components of a winning proposal, determining the decision-maker, building an effective relationship with decision-maker, and building a team of professionals if firm does not have capacity to effectively complete project
  • Making a Winning Pitch (Oct 20) – developing good presentation skills, utilizing appropriate technology tools, communicating unique capabilities and capacities of project team, and responding effectively to questions from the potential client
  • Finding Balance (Dec 1) – having time for life and family, creating a positive, respectful and collaborative culture, and turning mistakes into valuable business experiences

Attend as many sessions as you choose, or the whole series at a discounted price.

PRESENTERS for Organizational Development:

Rena M. Klein, FAIA is a nationally recognized expert in small firm practice and author of The Architect’s Guide to Small Firm Management. As the Vice President of Investment Partnerships at Charrette Venture Group, Rena works with architecture firms across the country to improve financial and operational results. With 20 years of experience as small firm owner, and 15 years as a consultant, Rena brings a special understanding of design firms managed by entrepreneurial architects. Rena served as executive editor of AIA’s The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition and is past-chair of the AIA Practice Management Knowledge Community. For more information, please see

Mitch Milby, JD

CASE STUDY: Nunzio DeSantis, FAIA and Marc DeSantis

How Do I Get to the AD EX?
For your convenience, please use our parking & commuting guide when planning your visit to AIA Dallas. For this event, we will NOT be validating parking. If you have any questions about alternative parking options, please feel free to call our reception desk at 214.742.3242