The 50-50 Rule

Jobs vary in the proportion of time required for technical work (“stuff”) vs. people work (communication, cooperation, management, etc.). Some jobs may consist of less than 50% stuff, but most jobs done effectively require at least 50% people work. If you are doing a technical job in architecture (or most any other field), and you think that your job is 100% or near 100% “stuff” and 0% or near 0% “people”, you are probably not doing your job effectively, and you are probably neglecting at least 50% (the “people” part) of your job.

When you develop drawings – plans, sections, elevations, details, etc. – and specifications, you depend on other people to understand and make effective use of those drawings and specifications to produce desirable results. Your work must effectively communicate with others, be they other designers, consultants, owners, users, permitting authorities, estimators, bidders, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, and others. And the value of your work – especially technical work – is diminished by the extent that it does not effectively communicate with others.

While jobs do vary in the actual proportion of “stuff” vs. “people”, a good approach to a technical job is one based on a consideration that at least 50% of the job is people related. That’s the 50-50 rule.

Posted in Design, Practice Management, Project Management, Specifications

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