Founded in 1980, Interior Architects is the largest global architecture firm focused on interiors. The firm’s philosophy is in the integration of strategy, design, and technology. IA has 20 offices across the United States, Canada, and England.
Project Management Resources: Senior Project Manager Tracey Nordahl wanted to pursue options for her staff to be trained in project management.
Customization: Because of their specific needs, IA did not want to settle on a public training program, where the material wouldn’t address their challenges.
The biggest challenge and what inspired to IA Interior Architects to engage PSMJ was that the firm’s 21 global offices did not have a consistent approach to project management processes and to project manager training. “We wanted to unify our staff in training and ensure consistency across all offices that did not currently exist,” says Nordahl. “PSMJ gave us a base in which to build upon and enhance our current processes.”
Tracey enlisted the help of PSMJ consultant Chris Martersteck, because she knew PSMJ had project management offerings with instructors who have a personal knowledge of expertise in industry practices. Chris’s extensive experience in the A/E/C industry allows him to serve the needs of all training participants to maximize success for the entire staff.
Chris founded Perkins+Will Integrated Services for integrated design-build and program management services at the 1,000-person award winning firm. He also managed the Chicago A/E/C office of an ENR 200 firm and headed facility planning efforts for a Fortune 50 corporation and a national interior design firm.
A member of the American Institute of Architects and a LEED Accredited Professional, he chaired the AIA Chicago Design-Build Knowledge Community. He now leads national seminars on project management and integrated project delivery.
Since September 2014, Chris has held 11 sessions at IA.
Staff members remained in-office, where the material was directly related to them and they were comfortable in their own environment.
Chris has trained more than 250 of their employees, including upper levels, who, despite their experience, said they learned a lot and felt renewed in the course material.
Principals and Directors have been trained to provide the best support to Project Managers.
Chris is financially monitoring a number of concepts that IA implemented from his training.
IA is proud to tell potential employees in the hiring process that they offer this training to their employees.
Tracking Projects: IA has implemented a customized report so project managers are able to gauge the progress of a project and if there’s a need for corrective action. This development has made a difference financially for IA.
Strategic Communication: Since the training, the team has developed firm-wide project management guidelines for the firm from Chris’s ideas, and adopted a monthly project management call to share successful solutions among colleagues.
New Staff: IA recently began hiring Project Administrators to assist Project Managers in their large offices.
Faster Payment: IA synced bill cycles to reduce outstanding invoices.
Ongoing Guidance: Chris, who is now quite familiar with IA, continues to train their staff. Chris and IA have had an ongoing conversation, so he’s constantly customizing their sessions to meet their needs and include their recent developments and ideas.
“Our experience with this program has been exceptional, mainly due to the instructor, Chris Martersteck, we have used for all of our sessions,” says Nordhal. “He is very engaging and keeps the interest level high among all level of attendees throughout the two-day session. The capability to work with Chris and customize the program to include IA’s standards and protocols is what initially enticed us to hire PSMJ. Chris’s passion, experience and enthusiasm for Project Management is always apparent, and his manner of teaching makes what some might consider “dry” material much more palatable and interesting. We have found that Chris’s level of experience as a Project Manager himself, along with the real-life scenarios he presents, are a very valuable teaching tool for our Project Managers, at any level.”