FINANCE -26 -Design Implementation Processes

Post 28 -by Gautam Shah


Design professional and Finance: A designer needs to involve own-self where financial viability of a project is discussed. For this designer is expected to have some understanding of basic finance terms. Some of the documents like project reports, estimates, schedules, invoices, etc., generated by the designer must meet the requirements of an accounts department of clients.

Some terms of finance are explained here > Capital, Working capital, Investments, Expenditures, Return, Interest, Dividend, Money, Wealth, Assets, Depreciation, Value, Cost, Price, Costing, Valuation, Cost-based fees, Value-based fees, Cost-plus fees, Managing clients’ money.

Book Keeping > Pixabay Image by cloudhoreca (Oliver. Budapest/Hungary)

Capital is any amount that is spent for creation of wealth in a business. It includes all possible material, non-material, and human inputs. There are two forms of capital. Money, is a fluid and intangible form capital that is used as investment. The other capital is in the form of physical things such as: buildings, machinery and equipment employed for production of other goods and services, talent and experience, i.e. wealth.

Capital Creation occurs through, personal savings, borrowed from some source with attached obligations, or one that can be availed of by selling, renting, transferring in any other manner, whole or part of any tangible or non tangible property. Capital can be in cash, rights (ownership, tenancy, membership, citizenship, patent, copyright), abstract things (prestige, goodwill, expertise, knowledge, skill, information), etc.

Capital or the advantage out of it, are primarily used in creation of assets like fixed assets. Other uses include investment for the purchase of inputs, rents, etc. till an output is readied: working capital. The income earned by capital is profit.

Types of Capital: Capital comes as debts or borrowings, and must be repaid intermittently or in future, as Interest. Capital also comes as participatory investments in the form as equity which may not involve a direct obligation to repay the funds, but requires compensation in the form of a dividend.

Fixed capital is usually defined as that which does not change its form in the course of the process of production, such as land, buildings, and machines.

Circulating or Working capital consists of goods in process and operating expenses, raw materials, and stocks of finished goods waiting to be sold.

Courtyard of Stock exchange in Amsterdam > Wikipedia ART by Emanuel de Witte (1617-1692)

Return on Investments: Interest and Dividend: Investment is any sum that is not used by a person in buying assets but allowed to be used by others for the same purpose. The other party provides some return for the sum allowed to be used for such a purpose. Generally investments are arranged with a fixed rate of interest, but sometimes these are linked to rate of inflation, risk perception, period of borrowing, etc., often called a floating rate of interest. Compared to these when a lender agrees to share the profit and / or loss (but may not participate in matters of other party’s affairs or business), called a dividend. The dividend is dependent on the share of profit being generated from the investment, so it is uncertain and risky, but provides greater advantage.

Gold Assets > Pixabay image by anomalnaya

Assets are resources with economic value that an individual, corporation or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit. An asset is a physical or non-tangible entity with some value of sale, purchase or even possession. Normally we procure entities, with some value now or in future. To ‘own’ here include rights of exclusive possession (traditional ownership), rights of utilization (lease or rent), and other rights (visitation, guardianship).

Assets are capital:It is any entity formed out of capital, and any entity that can be converted back as capital’. In account books, such assets are accounted as capital. Projects on completion become physical assets for the clients. Assets, in economics are stocks of resources that are used for production of goods and services. In classical economics there are three factors of production: Assets, Labour and Land.

One of the high value Art work “When will you marry?” by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)

Design Practice and relevance of Value and Cost : Design practice includes dealing with works of art, artefacts, craft pieces, and many other precious things. It involves identifying objects, judging their true worth, acquiring, producing and sometimes even disposing off such articles. When a designer helps in handling such precious entities, the benefits accruing to the client are several times more than the cost of creation or acquisition. It is very important for a design professional to be able to differentiate between the cost and value.

Cost is the amount of price (money or something else) paid to buy, or produce a thing. Cost of buying includes the cost of production and cost of delivering the thing to the location of use. It also includes any costs of financing the purchase. Cost of production is little more complex, as it is composed of elements such as: cost of materials, labour, and a proportion of the costs for the capital investment required to produce the good or service. Certain costs like rent (for plant, equipment, buildings etc.) remain consistent, no matter how much one produces, and are commonly referred to as the overheads or fixed costs. The variable costs are inputs like materials and wages, these vary according to how much is produced.

When the product is unique or first ever, two categories costs are recognized: Primarily labour and materials’ costs are considered, whereas average overhead cost, predetermined for some production volume are added. However if the product is reasonably known, the overhead costs are actual and exact.

Costing (cost finding) is a tool to derive the cost of a product, providing a service, performing a function, or operating a department. Some of these are historical facts or historic costsHow much did it cost? -while others are predictive or budgetary costsWhat will it cost? Cost has relevance primarily to the person, who wishes to acquire or dispose off the item. But often a person to assess the ‘value’ of an object’ wishes to determine its worth through the costing. Cost of a product is the total expenditure (cost of raw materials, labour, rent for plants, and producers’ profit etc.) incurred to produce or procure an item, or its exact replica. Costing can be conducted through two routes: Cost analysis and Rate analysis. Cost analysis and Rate analysis have very thin differentiation, and so some consider them to be the same.

Labour and Material costs > Wikipedia image by Bill Bradley

Cost analysis takes into consideration all factors that form an item or service. Cost analysis is more effective, for whole items, that is when an item is at a design or conceptual stage, and its parts have not yet been perceived. Yet it requires fairly clear perception of the system. Unless external conditions change, a product of cost analysis is specific, fairly stable, and may not need frequent revisions.

Data Input for Costing

  1. Cost of materials, including cost of royalties, taxes, mining, procuring, producing and all those expenses required to convert the materials into a utilizable raw material.
  2. Cost of materials and other inputs required to effect a service.
  3. Cost of labour required to modify the materials, assimilate into a product, to transport, store and protect it, market it and in some cases trial run it.
  4. Cost of labour for services such as performing, supervising and providing required assurances for the service.
  5. Post production costs are amounts paid to launch a finished product or services in the society, such as: royalties, cess, taxes etc.
  6. Cost of rents or hire charges for plants, tools, equipments to manufacture, erect, install, testing, test operating, transportation, etc.
  7. Expenditure for risks and responsibilities associated with the product generation, installation, operation and maintenance, and conduction of the service.
  8. Cost of investments on resources that are tied up, till about a utilizable product delivered or service is rendered and paid for.
  9. Cost of other overheads such as cost incurred for managing the setup for procurement, production, testing and marketing.


Rate analysis is comprehensive application of various costs (arrived through cost analysis). Unlike cost analysis, the rate analysis takes into consideration the optimum costs of production or supply (economics of volume, batch sizes, packing unit), wastage, residues, etc. External conditions affect a rate, extensively and often unpredictably. Costings made through rate analysis need to be continuously improvised.

Application of Rate Analysis : Items that have not been well detailed, or vaguely or partially conceived, various cost parameters like cost per unit of length, area, volume, or unit of the entity derived from the known situations, are applied. Often cost of a known thing is considered a typical rate and applied to nearly similar things, with accommodation of the variations, as plus or a minus factor. Costing done through rate analysis provides a generalized picture. Rate analysis is preferred for task-based items (assignments that have universal identity).

Value : Designers often help their clients to acquire or dispose off entities in their completely prepared form. When the transaction originates at producer’s end, it is little above the cost, at a price. Price, reflects the value a producer attaches to the entity. Later transactions may not in any manner relate to entity’s cost.

For a thing to have a value, it must be transferable. A latent value becomes potent when it is perceived that someone needs the entity in some time and space, for a utilitarian or hypothetical purpose. A demand for a perishable commodity, if does not occur within its life span, is irrelevant. Similarly demand for something in a far off place cannot be satisfied, due to transportation hazards and handling problems. Air has a lot of utility but is not scarce. Rotten eggs may be scarce, but hardly have any utility. Friendship is very useful and scarce, but is not transferable or marketable.

Historic cost of creating a painting may be few drops of colour, a canvas and artists’ few moments. But once the fact is accomplished, the painting gains a very high value due to its extra ordinarily high relevance to the society. Relevance of a product in terms of its utility is (more) likely to degenerate over a period of time, but its value may appreciate or depreciate depending on its relevance to the owner or the society.

Price and Value : Prices are effected in money. Prices go up or down depending on the fall or rise in the (universal) value of the money. Any change in money (monetary value) affects the prices of all things across the board. Value of a thing, however, is specific. There cannot be a general fall or rise in value of all things. Value of a thing goes up, when we can acquire or aspire for more or superior things in exchange. Value of a thing goes down, when we can acquire or hope for less or inferior things in exchange. Value is relative, referred in terms of something else.

Value of a thing, cannot be always measured in money. Value has many different connotations, typically, it has relevance in terms of, emotions, remembrances, associations, ageing, maturity, heritage, rarity, ecological, environmental, social, etc.

Valuation, in functional sense, is done to determine what one would gain by acquiring, or forgo by disposing the item, but not necessarily doing so. Value of a product means an addition or deduction to wealth, Cost at the moment of transfer may or may not reflect the value of an item, but it helps in a better judgement of the value.

A rare painting or an antique may have an indeterminable cost, but will have a probable value. Value could be several times more or less than the actual cost of the item. Value is considered to be the true worth of an item, more lasting, but not necessarily reliable. Cost and price are very realistic and reliable, but not always representative of the true worth of the item. Both, perhaps, are required to gain a full insight of the situation.

Monetary versus Non-Monetary Valuations. Monetary valuations are not very different from costing exercises. Value of a thing, cannot be always measured in money. Though here utility, desirability, scarcity, availability and marketability etc. of an item are assessed in monetary terms rather than market equivalent costs of such items.

Valuations of non-monetary type are made to check adherence to values, customs, traditions, ethos, rules regulations, laws, etc. Greater adherence to these issues results into higher value realization for the product. Often negative or repulsive aspects of an entity, such as Hitler’s memorabilia, black magic tools, due to their rarity, invite a connoisseur’s favour. Non-monetary valuations have a relevance only to people who are concerned with it in some way. Non-monetary valuations based on one aspect or few concerns are not very useful, desirable, or even reliable. Non-monetary valuations based on too many aspects are not comparable, so must be scaled into some economic or monetary component. These makes, a valuation very complicated process.

Costing versus Valuation: Costing is a logical (mathematical) process, and any technically proficient person can carry it out. Costing process must always remain justifiable, and requires many exact inputs, including latest market costs etc. Valuations, however, involve many hypothetical judgments, are very subjective, and so may not seem rational. It is the experience of the valuer that imparts some degree of objectivity and also reliability to the valuation. Valuation on the other hand is a subjective judgment, and no explanations may be asked for.

Costing helps a designer in planning, budgeting and auditing the expenditures. Valuation is used to confirm or justify expenditures, indicate non monetary savings, and to convince a client for quandary options.

Design Practice and Cost Determination Methods : Designers choose entities, increase or decrease their usage by predicting the costs. Designers develop their own cost determination methods, appropriate for the jobs they handle, and for types of items specified in their projects. Input data like market rates for materials, parts, components, labour etc. are continuously updated or sought as and when estimates are to be prepared. Updating feedback is also available through the historic estimates conducted on completion of a project.

In design offices predictive cost analysis is made through Rate analysis. Average prices of all commonly used materials, operations, etc. are collected routinely, reformatted and stored. These are presumed as standard rates, and form the basis for the cost analysis. To simplify the process of cost analysis, number of items and their individual rates or prices are reduced by approximation (through definition of a factor for variation) in quantity and quality.

Routine jobs and jobs with substantial intellectual effort : Routine jobs have a determinable cost (and by adding a customary margin of profit, etc. one can derive the price). However, jobs with substantial intellectual effort accomplish more than the cost of implementation. So, dilemmas occur, should one charge a professional fee on the total cost of the job, or value accruing out of the job? Authors of creative efforts must know how to value their accomplishments, and thereby demand a fair compensation for it. Designers need to know both the cost and value of their professional services.

Cost versus Value for Designers : The understanding of Cost versus Value of an entity helps a designer at TWO distinct levels:

1 Determination of Fees: Cost-based, Value-based, Cost-Plus

2 Helping a client for the value-assessment of their possessions.

Cost-based Fees : Design practice follows age-old traditions of Architectural practice. Jobs are generally executed by appointed contractors or selected vendors. These third party (away from the Architect and the Client) business entities present an invoice, which reflects the nearly true cost of the job. Architects base their fees on this foundation after adding certain percentage amount to account for miscellaneous expenses, (such as on power, water, etc.). Substantial part of Designer’s work follows a similar path.

Value-based Fees are charged for jobs like renovation, extension, addition, conservation, etc. that make substantial change to the existing environment, upgrading the commercial value, or advantages deriving out of it. A unique concept that costs very little to implement, provides a substantial benefit to the client. Should one charge a fee on the cost of a job or on the value of the completed job? Here determining an appropriate cost base for fees is very difficult.

Auction at Christie’s > Wikipedia image by Portable Antiquities Scheme from London England

Value Assessment of Possessions : On some sites there are pre-existing structures which are to be only reformed or reused. The design cost of continuing or protecting such structures is difficult to compute, and so must be value-based. Cost of works or supplies by third party vendors and contractors are accountable, but items supplied by the Clients from the existing stock are difficult to document. Cost of Retained Structures, Antiques, Curios, used in a project are often indeterminable, instead their values, if available need to be used. On sites where several Professionals operate simultaneously, exclusive authorship to a creation is disputable, so cost of a patent idea is disputable.

Cost plus Fees Defense contracts

Cost Plus Fees : Fees for very complex jobs, or jobs that are unique, and without any precedents are very difficult to pre-define. A Client wishes to see the job properly done, and the Professional wants a guaranteed, but a fair amount of income. Such jobs are executed on Cost Plus Basis.

The office work of the professional and the site work of the project, both are executed in a very transparent setup. All the expenses at the Professional’s Office (salaries, stationary, conveyance, rents, service charges for equipments, etc.) and at the Project Site (on raw materials (stationary), wages, and salaries, rents for equipments, conveyance, postal and telecommunication charges, taxes, etc.) are well monitored, documented and audited. The Professional is then allowed a percentage over the Audited Costs.

Investments and Expenditures : Design jobs create assets through substantial investments, or are maintained at their optimum operational conditions through expenditure. Designers need to be aware if their decisions relate to ‘investment’ or ‘expenditures’ in accounting terms. Nominally assets are large physical entities with some life of utility, whereas small things, services, repairs, maintenance activities do not create assets and so are accounted as expenditures.

Heavy equipments are depreciated and set-off against profit > Wikipedia image by MathKnight

Depreciation : Assets once created lose their value, gradually over a period of time even while, being used, not used at-all, under-used, or over-used. Assets, also lose their value suddenly on sale or through accidents. The sudden reduction in the value of an asset is easy to note but the gradual diminution is often not perceptible, and is difficult to account for. The value degradation could be for external or contextual reasons like changed relevance. The value decline for intrinsic causes could be due to the reduced utility of the asset.

Painting-Polishing are considered not asset creating item or Expenditures and so do not qualify for depreciation > Wikipedia image by Biswarup Ganguly

Dilution of Value : Normally dilution of value in an asset can be ultimately adjusted when a less useful object is sold off (at discounted value) or disposed off (at zero or debris value). However, in accounting procedures such loses are discounted on a year to year basis. Normally the income earning capacity falls due to increasing inefficiency arising from physical deterioration. Some assets like adornments go out of fashion very fast whereas electronics see technological obsolescence.

The gradual dilution of value of an item occurs for many reasons:

  • Physical deterioration of the item affecting the possible benefit accruing out of it.
  • Availability of a similar product at a lower price (obsolescence).
  • Fall in value due to changed relevance.

Appreciation of Value of Assets. An upgraded or reconditioned item can once again achieve higher yields. Some items with associated values are considered rare, and become a treasure with high value. The value of a land is due to the location but more due to the circumstantial surroundings.

Some Methods of calculating the Depreciation

These methods or formulas are found in excel or other spreadsheets like programmes. There are many such methods but some basic-simple ones are provided here.

● Straight line method: The rate of depreciation is constant for the entire working life of the capital assets. This is based on three aspects, 1 assets’ cost, 2 the salvage or the book value of the asset at the end of assets’ useful life and 3 the period of useful life of the asset.

● Sum of the years depreciation, to be calculated: This is based on four aspects, 1 assets’ cost, 2 salvage or the book value of the asset at the end of assets’ useful life, 3 the period of useful life of the asset, 4 period for which depreciation is to be calculated.

● Double declining balance method: This method recognizes the substantial consumption of some assets’ service potential in early years. This is based on four aspects 1 assets’ cost, 1 period of useful life of the asset 2 salvage or the book value of the asset at the end of assets’ useful life, 3 period of useful life of the asset, 4 period for which depreciation is to be calculated.

Design Professionals deal with Money, to conduct own commercial organization (professional practice), and sometimes to help a client to implement a project. The second case like situations are rare (but occasionally do happen with small clients). Here a designer gets a free hand, to spend someone else’s money. In a professional practice, however, it is the management of these sums that provide great comfort to the client, but causes discomfort to the tax authorities.

Managing Client’s Expenditures for the Project: Designers can get involved in spending money for and of the client, knowingly and inadvertently. For managing project expenditures some precautions are necessary:

  1. The ideal condition is one where the designer approves bills of expenditure and certifies the payment, client then arranges the payment.
  2. Next option is to operate a joint signatory bank account. This must be operated in the name of client with client as the main operator, and the designer as the authorized signatory. Alternatively a single operator bank account, in the name of a client, but operated by the designer as the power of attorney signatory.
  3. In case 2, a designer must avoid granting payments to own-self such as for professional fees or other chargeable amounts.
  4. Client’s money (in any form) meant for the execution of a project must never be deposited in a designer’s personal account or design company’s account, even for a short duration transfer.
  5. For case 2 (as above) All other transactions must be through cheques drawn to party receiving the payment, and no third party or bearer cheques. No self-cheques for cash withdrawal be made.
  6. All payments to designer own-self, design company or their employees must be made with clients’ own signature on the cheque.
  7. When a bank account as per 2 above, for project expenditure is operated, it is meant for expenditure on the project such as payments for labour, services, materials, other consultant’s fees, etc., but may not include payments for site rent and taxes. For the later, a separate clause must be added to the authorization deed.
  8. The power of attorney or authorization must be for specific period (if necessary with provision for periodic renewal), but not with non-specific mention such as ‘till a project is completed’.
  9. Avoid payments from such accounts that are like investment (including shares, bank deposits or bonds), or speculative spending.
  10. All payments (by client or by designer as an authorized signatory) must be over invoices or vouchers made in the name of the client. Avoid accepting any invoices made in the name of the designer or designer’s company. Write cheques only in the name of the (suppliers, vendors, contractors, etc.) party who generates the invoice (to avoid third party payments).

Project Expenditure by Small and Large Clients : There are some basic differences how small and large clients (and corporate) manage their project expenditure.

● Small clients have the budgeted amount almost ready for investment, as if the entire sum is to be spent immediately, and in one lot. Projects, however small, consist of items that occur in phases, and so do the payments for them. If a designer takes care to prepare, a schedule of expenditure, in addition to the nominal schedule of estimates, a client can be advised on ‘When and What sums will be required’. By properly scheduling the purchases of independent systems to later part of the project one can delay the investments. Such delayed purchases also help in taking full advantage of guarantee and warrantee provisions, and also delay the expenses on risk management costs like insurance. Date of purchase also affects the amount of depreciation (a purchase made during the last few months before the year ends, qualifies for full year’s depreciation).

● Large and Corporate Clients provision money for expenditure as a strategy. They may arrange money for a project from different internal account heads, and also from outside sources like financial institutions. Outside borrowing have to be planned and sanctioned (committed), even before the project is launched. A service charge of 1 to 3 % is levied on the sums sanctioned (but not actually borrowed) as loan (in addition to the interest on the amounts as and when actually borrowed). For this reason loan sanctions, and consequently heavier borrowing are differed as much as possible. Stand alone or complete systems like ACs, elevators, etc. are procured, as late as feasible, but sometimes a little earlier to take advantage of depreciation accounting during a financial year. Such clients usually need not only an estimate but also a very detailed schedule for payments.



HUMAN RESOURCES -18 : Design Implementation Processes

Post 24 -by Gautam Shah


Personnel in an Organization : Personnel are the most important asset for any organization. Organizations hire people with required education, skill, experience, inclination and personality trait. Personnel as Human resource are not only immensely manipulable, but up-gradable to seemingly infinite levels of efficiency. And so organizations recognize, support and even reformat these qualities through formal training and by providing opportunistic exposures.

Foreign domestic workers queuing for contract renewals at Wan Chai Hong Kong > Wikipedia image by Ohconfucius

Employment : Employee and Employer enter into a contractual relationship wherein compensation is offered for the type of services to be rendered. At a very basic level the performance of an employee relates to the profitability of the organization. This is more so in Design organizations where human resources are very important assets, unlike in manufacturing units where productivity of machines and raw material costs have greater significance.

Process of Employment > Wikipedia image by arvind grover from New York city USA

Process of Employment : Employment is a process of mutual choice or selection: Employer chooses the employee to engage, and the Employee selects the employer to work with. The extent of choice and the power to make it, are rarely equal. All democratic Governments’ laws, however have a basic tenet that employer and employee have equal choice. In reality, however, inequalities occur due to discriminations of sex, race, region of origin, age, language, social status, etc. Some of the discriminations though scientifically supportable are not tenable in normal law. Our constitution (Indian), overrides, provides, dictates or recognizes ‘reservations in employment’ for specified classes of people, to eliminate and correct certain historical effects.

Employees working on Calutrons (used for refining uranium ore into fissile material) as operators were unaware as to what they were doing > Wikipedia image

Selection for Employment : Hiring an employee is both a process of Selection and Elimination. The process is so subtly carried out that often applicants do not become aware of it. The Selection is based on

  1. Objective requirements (intellectual) Skill, experience, training, work related abilities.
  2. Subjective requirements Personality traits, initiative, speed of reaction, temperament, memory, power of reasoning.
  3. Physical requirements Age, height, muscle power, health history, abnormality of body limbs and sense-abilities
  4. Other requirements Past record, references, readiness to accept the terms of employment.

Performance of an Employee : The employment is an evolving process, where the employer and employee both try to prove themselves worthy of their roles. These performance appraisals must not only occur at regular intervals, but sometimes as a surprise too. Once a person is employed, the management body of the organization continuously monitors the performance. Performance of an employee is a product of many factors such as individual ability, personality traits, input effort, sincerity, perception of the role, motivating factors, etc. Yet, performance can be conditioned as the enhanced capacity to deal with more complex or new problems, share of responsibility, greater authority, etc.

Employees working in Starbucks, at Taj Hotel, Bombay > Wikipedia image by HAO XING

Perception of Performance : An Employer sees performance as a tool for future efficiency to be gained at a specific cost, whereas the Employee perceives performance as immediate compensation, personal fulfillment, future promotion and skill gain. An employee can be motivated with additional advantage, comfort, increased learning, or even enhanced motivation. The original conditions of employing a person such as the technological relevance, equipments, nature of projects, economics of resources deployment, personal efficiencies, work-culture, change with passage of time.

Job discharge is an eventuality all employees have to be prepared for > Wikipedia image by TriviaKing (talk)DWS

Job Discharge or Termination : Job discharge or termination, has two facets: ONE the employee wishes to cease working with the employer, or TWO the employer desires to terminate the employee.

Employee’s perception could be: insufficient motivation, unsatisfactory compensation, lack of promotion, any other personal (psychological or physical) reasons, or better prospects elsewhere.

Employer’s perception could be: inability to reset with the changed circumstances, lethargy of advancing age, technological irrelevance of the skill, lack of experience, unviable pay-structure, lack of scope for promotion, unacceptable social behaviour, or resistance to relocate at a new location.

Timely job change or termination ? > Wikipedia image

Employee’s Options for Job change : Employee’s options are two fold: Change of employer or renegotiation of terms of employment. In the later case, age of the employee is an important criteria. A person comparatively young in age must move around seeking various jobs to experience the mechanics of employment. A person not so young, will have to select between reduced appreciation of the role and security of reasonable compensation, or enhanced appreciation and uncertain compensation.

Renegotiating terms of Employment > Wikipedia ART by Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914)

Employer’s Options for Employee’s Discharge or Termination : When an employer wishes to remove an employee, there are many legal hurdles, some are convertible into monetary terms. Instead of wasting efforts to surmount such hurdles, employers try to assign different roles, retrain, relocate, assign different tasks, provide punishments, curtail other advantages, to their employees. When, an employee leaves, the organization loses an asset, accumulated mass of knowledge and experience, personalized contacts, a person with proven mode of communication, secrets, patent procedures and formulas etc. Organizations are nominally unwilling to let a reasonably seasoned employee quit.

Hire, Fire and Retrain the Personnel : Small organizations, Whenever circumstances (projects on hand) change, prefer to fire an employee and hire new talent. Larger organizations have greater capacity to recast the role of employee, so would retrain the employee with different exposures.

Group discussions within employees for common strategy > Flickr image by Kennisland 

Realities of Re-employment : For a person who seeks a fresh position, it is time to take advantage of the real and abstract gains of the past, such as experience, personal contacts, specialized knowledge etc. These can now be converted into materialistic things. Such a plan, however, is related to the age of the employee. Re-employment chances begin to tapper off beyond a certain level of age,. An aged person, though well experienced, has reduced learning capability, reduced reorientation faculties, less motivation, less migration capacity and willingness for re-establishment. An aged person may have out-dated knowledge base. An organization looking for consolidation of their business may promote a person from within their cadre, rather then hire someone, who will takes time to attune to their work-style.

Employed Designers under the age of 30 : Designers under 30 years of age have many positive operants in their favour, like: Fresh technological background, some experience, highest mobility or capacity to settle at any geographical location, capacity to work under most difficult conditions, and highest learning abilities. These qualities are very appreciated by all employers, and so desire to hire people either as a complete fresher or with less than 30 years of age (i.e. with 5/6 years of experience).

■ Employed Designers in the age segment of 30-35 : Ideal age for job change is less than 32 years, and designers in the age segment of 30-35 should have changed the job, or do so as early as possible. Alternatively renegotiate the terms of employment and move to higher position like partnership or associateship. This is also perfect age to start own design venture. At these age a person is ready to relocate, take a challenging position, is highly motivated and has reasonably good knowledge base.

■ Designers in the age segment of 35-40 : This is an age segment, when a designer is mature with sufficient work experience, personal contacts, and specialized knowledge, but also begin to have Negative operants like: reduced learning capability, lesser reorientation faculties, less motivation, less migration and reestablishment willingness. It is the last opportunity for seeking change in employment.

■ Designers in the age segment of 40-45 : In this age segment chances of re-employment taper off drastically. Only way a designer can hope to shift the position is by joining another organization as partner, senior associate or a free-lancer. Such opportunities, though are very few, and would demand persons with outstanding competence and capacity to contribute.




Post 16 -by Gautam Shah


Context for Quality : Quality is as much an issue for the conscientious designer, as much as for the project initiators, project users, project operators and the society. It relates to how a project, product or service is carried out or employed, how the external conditions support the usage and how it is perceived ?

Pursuit of quality through micrometer > Wikipedia image by _of_congress/2179237858

Quality as per ISO 8402 : `The concept of quality is the totality of features and characteristics of a project, product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy, stated or implied needs’. Quality is both a perception and a value judgment, concerning human satisfaction; the basis for both is ever changing. The characteristics of a project, product or service, by themselves, cannot determine the measure of quality. A project, product and services when satisfactory in every respect, can fail, if the external use conditions are drastically altered during its execution.

Concept of quality is the totality of features and characteristics > Wikipedia image

Conscience for Quality : Conscience is the inherent ability of every human being to perceive what is right and wrong. With this conscientiousness, we control, monitor, evaluate and conduct all endeavours. Some consider that the innate sense of judgement needs to grow, develop, and further formatted. It must though become a continuing passion of refinement (meticulousness).

Quality of fruits and vegetables > Wikipedia image

A project, product and service, if conscientiously executed, inspires the designer to do better next time. Designers project their professionalism through their attitude and deliverables, both of which converge as pursuit for quality. An enhancement of satisfaction is the key element of quality conscience. The conscience for quality has THREE facets, a Personal need, Governmental requirement and Social obligation. In the First case, it is just too subjective and changeable. In the Second instance, it is often compulsory, restrictive and punitive. In the Last case, there are many stakeholders.


Defining: Consciousness : Consciousness is an adjective, for being aware and responsive to one’s environment, but not being judgmental in terms of good-bad, wrong-right, etc. Consciousness is being aware of all processes and parameters where conscience is checked.

Defining: Conscience : Conscience is a noun which can have many different meanings, but it is the inherent ability of every human being to perceive what is right and what is wrong. It is considered as a quality of one’s character and conduct, reflected by the adherence to moral principles and consideration of fairness and justice.

With conscientiousness, one can control, monitor, evaluate and conduct all endeavours. Conscience is a social facet of the morality, as it is shaped by the person and the society. A quality conscience requires no outside assessor. In commercial fields, conscience is seen in products and services that demonstrate the integrity and social responsibility.

Confusion between Conscience and Consciousness arises, because of the same Latin root (Latin word conscius, meaning with and to know).

Defining: Compliance : Compliance is the act or process of complying to public desire, demands, ideology, traditions or legal, regimen. This is done by coercion or sense of responsibility. This requires extra ordinary effort, compromises and investments, and so it often detested or challenged. Some Governments (like USA) avoid interference, whereas some International agencies have no power to legislate so depend of self-regulation that is akin to conscience.

Quality compliance > US Dept of Agri. 20120106-OC-AMW-0670

Conscience for Excellence : The Conscience as a refinement can be seen in the excellence enhancement and emergence of human relationship, at both, personal and professional levels. It is measured at professional level, as the original expectations (requirements) versus the product formation, service deliverance or adequacy of counselling. For this, It is imperative to formally state the expected use of the system and define ways how its adequacy will be checked.

Laboratory Information Management system LIMS for lab data management > Wikipedia image by JW

Documenting matters related to Quality : For developing quality meticulousness, it is very necessary that all matters relating to quality control are well documented. A well-documented brief serves as a benchmark for assessing the level of the quality being achieved. Wherever Quality control documents that are formal, transparent and accessible, to all stack holders (clients, users, public and competitors), the projects, products and services have greater quality assurance.

Transparency and Compliance for Quality : Quality Conscience and Consciousness are both personal pursuits, yet together cannot offer the Quality at Societal level. The pursuits for quality, even if individual in nature and ever evolving must be transparent. To involve all stakeholders, a designer must declare and continually update the policies relating to quality through open access, public domain documents.

Feedback – Feed-forward systems

Fee-back and Feed-forward systems for Quality control : For ages quality control has been a matter of learning and improvising the process and materials. The learning was a feed-back from the users, as available through selling and using the produce or services. Feed-back is interpreted as adjusting future actions on the basis of past experience or performance. It is a post event report on things that have already occurred and past remains unchangeable. Post industrial age many real time work systems were realized. These were used concurrently with the system eventualities to make ‘course corrections’. But these did not allow strategic planning. So Feed-forward as a future directed system was realized. It is like preventive maintenance or preventive actions to avoid mishaps or cash flow planning for contingencies.





Post 15 -by Gautam Shah


Designers and Quality : A designer, as a professional, strives to assure that projects are completed with planned level of inputs and provide intended benefits. Quality represents the fundamental economics of the input-output equation. The emphasis is upon maximizing the achievements, value addition and minimizing process effort, resource wastage.

Experiment on a Bird in an Air pump > ART by Joseph Wright of Derby 1768

Quality in Design results from `what the product is‘ and `what the users do with it‘. It results from Three-way interaction between:


Judgements for Quality : There are several Primary issues, against which quality judgements are made, like: comfort level, variety, novelty, prestige, economy, size, ergonomics, anthropometrical possibilities, other or optional uses, etc. The Secondary issues include social, cultural, psychological, political and other relevancies.

Chichicastenango Market Guatemala showing buyer-seller meet / Wikipedia Image by Chmouel Boudjnah

Designers are quality conscious on two counts: their own conscience and the public compliance. Designers are conscious that ‘certain personal quality notions’ must be achieved, and ‘certain other public requirements’ must be complied. But consciousness does not translate as conscience, and conscience does not make for compliance.

Types of Design Clients and their Involvement : Designers deal with many types of clients, knowledgeable, curious, domineering, modest and ignorant ones. But, two distinct classes of clients profoundly affect the design process.

One, where the clients are corporate or organizational entities, with factual and detached interest in design.

Two, ‘personal-clients’ who are inquisitive, participatory and subjectively involved.

Jere Davidson engraving a Knife > Wikipedia image by Daviddarom

Strategies for Client Management in Design-I : During the design phase ‘personal or individual clients’ (like a family), a design is a rare event, but initiates multi faceted dreams. The ever evolving dreams consist of unconnected images, friends’ suggestions and other impressionistic situations like media, magazines or real life examples. For a designer the problem occurs in perceiving a holistic image out of it, or in offering and convincing the client about a novel offering that is far more exciting. Most clients do not understand the formal language of drawings or graphical representations. During discussions they grab familiar words or terms and hang on to it. So designers have to be very careful how and what they express.

Ceramist working on object > Pexels Free stock Photos by Regiane Tosatti

Strategies for Client Management in Design-II : Prepare a project brief for determining and stating formally, all requirements, such as: user and other ‘clients’ needs and demands, technical requirements, statutory obligations, prevailing standards, current styles, available technologies, etc. Where the client is not a user, and a product specifier is a marketing team, both of these may not offer much for design requirements, so it is left to the designer to formulate the design brief. The user-client may not understand such briefs, at least initially, so remain non-committal, or in good faith initially allow the designer to proceed.

Design Presentation initiates for clients new process of learning and realizations > Flickr Image by Het Nieuwe Instituut

Strategies for Client Management in Design-III : As a Design gets under-way, and design presentations, in colour, 3D format, reality models, or in virtual animations, the clients ‘truly’ react to the Design. At this stage, clients due to their subjective involvement, become extra perceptive to some aspects of Design. A designer should see this as the inevitable, and be prepared for the accommodation. All re-calibrated designs face a barrage of new demands, requiring substantial to a complete rethink over the design.

Water quality compliance testing > Wikipedia image by US NARA

Strategies for Client Management in Design-IV : A worrying aspect of Design Delivery is over or premature commitments. Both of these create liabilities of promised delivery. Right from meeting for concept design presentation to an execution stage, a designer may over explain a detail orally or in other presentations. Certain details must remain ‘open ended’, allowing scope for improvisations. A premature statement or commitment before all aspects like technical or economics feasibility have been checked, can become embracing. For example, between ‘a red floor’ and ‘bright coloured floor finish’, the commitments are very different. Individual clients are very fast learners, and designers must expect them to be super designers, by the time execution starts. With their fast learning capacity to suggest changes enlarge many-fold, and designers should take this enhanced ability as the readiness to dabble in complex issues of design.

Quality Assurance – Coffee Barista at work > Wikipedia image by Christopher Michel

Strategies for Client Management in Design-V : As the project materializes, the clients begin to have first life size or realistic experience of the designed entity. Designers must ‘engage’ their clients by adequately answering the quarries, offering convincing explanations. Clients derive satisfaction during the project execution phase, when quarries about economic and technical nature are answered with convincing explanations with comparisons among various options.

Client’s feedback > Flickr image by Andypiper

Strategies for Client Management in Design-VI : A project, as it is delivered to an actual occupying-user (who could be a new person, different from the assigning-executing client) the designed entity is revalued. The new person, is less bothered about how a design was evolved, but concerned about the advantage accruing out of it. This could be based on sum effects of many factors like cultural roots, aspirations, economic status, etc.

Tour de France consumer event 2016 – Product checking > Flickr image by Lwp Kommunikacio

Post Delivery of a Project : For Design professionals stacks are very high in seeing that clients derive satisfaction both, during the design and execution phases of the project. In few instances, the design and execution phase converge, so it becomes all the more necessary to keep in touch with the clients. This can be reinforced through casual visits to the project, or inquiries of well being. For a designer interaction with the client begins through the design process and delivery of a final product, but persists as an everlasting relationship. A satisfying design process helps in most appropriate product delivery. And an appropriate product backed by constant concern creates a long-lasting relationship bringing in new projects and clients.



DEALING WITH A CLIENT in a design organization -7

Post 14 -by Gautam Shah


Contacting a Client : Clients and Designers seek each other in many different ways. A client can go about it without any inhibitions, whereas a designer can go about it with certain restrictions, depending on the type traditions and ethics followed by the profession. Client and Designer are primarily introduced to each other by intermediaries like friends and relatives. Secondarily a client may seek a designer through direct contact, on seeing or experiencing the work as a real entity, sketch or a publication of it.

Seeking client and discussing terms are part of every business > Wikipedia image by pmorgan / OR / from

Designer Contacting a Client : A designer on realizing a person’s potential as a client may seek the person directly or through a mutual acquaintance or friend. When a person is a potential client, in the official capacity than an official appointment with the clear declaration of intent is necessary.

Discussions with clients at informal to formal levels > Wikipedia image credit:

 When a client is not aware of a competent designer, or not allowed, or not authorized (e.g. a government official) to deal with any designer, on a person to person basis, an appropriate process for selection is required. The process of selection can be restrictive through invitations offered to, designers with defined level of competence, members of a recognized body, persons of certain location, age, sex, nationality, or religion. For very complex design jobs, selection of a designer is done through pre assessment or a limited competition.

Clientele :Cultivation of social contact is the most common method for a designer to come into contact with a potential client. Other means of Personal approaches include, specific letters, generalized bulletins, telephonic calls and face to face meetings. The impression created through a meeting or telephonic call may not be of desired type and long lasting. Letters are very objective, longer lasting, but have to be brief to be effective.

Wikipedia image by Ken Georgie Mathew

Bio-data or Resumé : This is an ever lasting and effective medium of exposure. These are created to secure a design assignment not for employment. So it must not contain anything beyond professional competence and achievements relevant for that exposure. Concealment or non emphasis of data in such documents is intentional, and generally not unethical, though could be malafide.

Boston Molasses Tragedy of 1919 that initiated debate on Business and Professional ethics

 BOSTON MOLASSES In 1919, North End of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, a large molasses storage tank (15 mts x 27 mts = 8,700 C mts) burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at 56 kilometres per hour, killing 21 and injuring 150. The tank was constructed poorly and tested insufficiently. Steel was not only half as thick as it should have been for a tank of its size, even with the lax standards of the day

Ethics : In dealing with clients, what kinds of behaviour, actions or attitude are considered as unethical, malafide or bad, varies from country to country, region to region, profession to profession, and time to time. In professions where rules regarding behaviour have not been formalized it may vary even from a professional to professional. Members of the society usually know where and how to find a designer in traditional fields but for newer branches of design skills, intermediaries bridge the contact.

Contact between a Client and a Designer : Rapport between a client and designer develops slowly, or is launched formally. Fresh designers are eager to secure the job, whereas established designers may wish to know the client more or understand the design brief well. Clients on the other hand are often shrewd enough to have a free taste of thing to come before formalizing the relationship. Designers need to know, if they take on a project what will be their gain, versus, if they do not take the project would there be a loss, other than the usual non availability of a gain.

A Contract with a client is the Best solution but often a formal consent can serve the purpose > Wikipedia image by Jerome Dessommes – ECRIVAINS CONSULT r

Formal Consent : For a designer requisition of a formal consent from a client, for a job, is a very difficult exercise. A designer begins a job, by investing in labour, stationary and intellectual skills, and a formal commitment binds a designer to deliver the expected services. Whereas, a client awaits with uncertainty whether the designer will at all deliver the services, of required quality and in time. When a designer fails to deliver, wastes clients time and effort (both non calculable entities). And if the client refuses to appreciate a designer’s, all the labour, stationary and intellectual skills (only some of it calculable) are wasted.

Formal Commitment : Ideally best and binding commitment sets in with a contract as per the law of the land. Contract, however, is a very formal expression of intent. It is too much to expect a client and a designer to formalize their relationship with a contract, when they hardly know each other, or have not formulated the project. In the absence of a contract, if both the parties are willing the relationship can be nurtured. At a little later stage, any of the parties may refuse to acknowledge the relationship between them. In such a situation a designer will lose all that was invested in understanding, preliminary working, planning of the project, including some patent ideas. On the other hand, a client will never recover the time wasted in searching, identifying the project, and the designer.

In spite of good rapport with clients Formal commitment is necessary > Pexels free images by

Circumstantial evidences of Commitment : It is very natural that clients and designer are extremely careful about things they say and do. For a designer, (who is operating in the absence of a very formal commitment) it is necessary to create a proof that, a client did commit the job, or at least was aware that the designer is working for the job. The circumstantial evidences of such nature are not generally tenable in court of law, unless corroborated by other circumstantial or real evidences.

CLIENTS contacts

Circumstantial evidences of Professional Relationships : These are proofs that establish the time, location, context, contents, pre and post effects of a happening or an event. It is not full evidence, because it may be lacking in one or many of these factors. Circumstantial evidences are of many types, such as:

Records and minutes of meetings with the client -location, time, context, witnesses, etc., Records of correspondence, messaging, and telephone talks with the client, Replies from the client for the queries, Changes, doodles and notes etc. made on drawings by the client during meetings, Original plans, sketches, writings, data, etc. as supplied by the client, Keys, permissions to visit the site.

A Retainer amount, however, small signifies establishment of relationship > Pixabay image of One Anna (Indian coinage of past)

Retainer Amount : One of the best commitments next only to a legal contract is payment of a Retainer Amount. A retainer fee, however small, signifies establishment of a relationship, between a client and a designer (retainer amount or fee should not be confused with retention money). Ideally a quantum of a retainer amount should be large enough to cover not only the labour, stationary and skill, but the cost of patent ideas (original or exclusive) required to generate a schematic design (or such other stage when fees again become due). The cost of patent or unique idea is collected at first go, because a unique idea or a concept once exposed to an outsider like a client loses its originality and so the value. A formalized relationship has built in compensation procedures, so in case of a failure no one feels hurt. However, when an informal relationship fails, it creates the worst of situations.

Prime information from a client to initiate a design project > Wikipedia image by Eleberthon

Mandatory data or Prime information for Design : Work of a designer begins with the mandatory data / prime information provided by the client. As soon as a potential client is identified, a designer postulates own data requirements. For these first the client’s capacity to furnish or collect is checked. In exceptional cases, where the client is invisible (a social group) very little data is likely to be available. Where a client is incapable of providing the data, it is up to the designer to get the same collected, but with clients’ consent and cost.

Survey Data
Surveys and data collection need consent of client for its cost and ‘other’ uses > PublicDomainImages by WHO, Stanley O. Foster M.D., M.P.H., USCDCP

Ownership and Rights for Data : A designer cannot object to a client’s right to procure the data from other professionals or sources. A designer has no right to use the data collected for and paid by the client, for any other client or purpose. Nominally the person who pays, receives the output, and has the first and exclusive right to it. The party that pays for data, also acquires the inherent risks and liabilities. Whenever a client provides a crucial data like sizes, technical requirements, permissions etc. the transfer of information should be formal and well recorded. Data contributions from independent professionals are favoured, because these provide greater clarity, a counter check, division of responsibilities and dilution of risks.

Small clients and Corporate clients require different ways of relationships > Flickr image by Sustainable Economies Law Centre

Role of Designers with Government and Corporates : Small or improperly organized clients require designer who can handle the job even through its operations phase. They generally leave every thing in the hands of the designer. Government and large corporate organizations have the necessary expertise to divide the routine type of job into tasks that can be assigned to different professionals. Such organizations themselves coordinate all the output from different professionals and take their own decisions and actions. Here the role of a designer is very clearly defined and so is the risks and liabilities. Designers working under a master or assigning professional have no problem regarding data collection, accuracy, liabilities or transfer, since everything is well organized.

Design Assignments : A client realizes the potential for a project when the assets such as land, building, money, and personal qualities like knowledge, expertise, experience, becomes known. In case of physical assets the financial adviser provides clues how to explore the situation suggests the ways and agency who can shape it. Personal qualities motivate a person to pursue an activity, but will still need an agency to formulate the project. Financial advisers and project consultants are the largest referring agencies for designers. Next lot of design assignments arrive from designers of other branches of design.


07 DEALING WITH A CLIENT in a Design Organization –part of the lecture series DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION PROCESSES

JOBS or ASSIGNMENT HANDLING in Design Organizations -05

Post 13 -by Gautam Shah


Projects in Design Organizations : A project is a comprehensive work module, offered by a client. A project is accepted, if analogous to the policy goals of the organization. In Design organizations a project requires distinctive human skills. In Manufacturing organizations there is a heavy dependence on tools, equipment and plants, so the projects are identified for their efficient use. Service organizations are governed by time as key element, so thrive on projects that are time intensive. Projects are divided into smaller units or jobs that are mainly based on routine efforts. Jobs also arrive from internal users like departments.

Pieter bruegel il giovane Estate > Work by sailko > Wikipedia image

Job or Assignments in a Design Organization : A Project is first dealt by a single person, a core group of partner experts or by the entire team of owners. The project may then be handed over to a team leader for further definition. A Job is a trade, skill or schedule specific work modules. It allows individualized attention and effective use of the available resources. Its efficiency of execution or operation can be examined and upgraded independently of other jobs. Jobs are handled on continuous as well as batch bases.

Chocolate making > Wikipedia image by Oriel

 Job or Assignment Handling : Organizations that repeatedly handle very large and complex assignments develop specific departments. Such specific job handling capacities are universal across that class of organizations. So spare capacities are offered to others, and excess work is outsourced. Jobs of routine nature are handled productively within the organization, but novel needs are better outsourced.

Work Places > Wikipedia image

Elements of Jobs in Design Organizations : Design organizations operate with jobs, which have SIX basic elements:

1        Person/ s who assign the tasks, determine roles, perform the tasks, oversee or supervise the task performers.

2        A job consists of Non physical things like, concepts, ideas, themes, and physical things like parts, objects, raw materials.

3        A job requires Information or data as external inputs from clients, internal inputs from organization’s own search, archived data, evaluations, judgments, employees’ know-how, site reports, feedback, by manipulation of various inputs.

4        A job is based on ancillary facilities like Tools, plants, equipments, space, location facilities, methodology, formulations, processes, schedules, acquisition and disposal systems.

5        A job needs Services like conveyance, transport logistics, communication, storage, data management, welfare, resources management, public relations, goodwill.

6        Jobs are dependent on Time as Schedules of delivery, servicing, rate of operation, rate of returns.


Other activities of the organizations : Prime activity of any organization is to earn a gain, but simultaneously many Conventional activities also occur within the organization.

1        Activities for the Sustenance of the organization as a functional entity.

  • Determination and Evaluation of aims, policies, goals.
  • Planning and deployment of financial resources
  • Planning and Acquisition of other facilities
  • Procurement and Upkeep of assets
  • Personnel Management.

2    Peripheral Activities of the organization that add to the advantages for the organization.

  • Public relations
  • Client relations
  • Other relations such as the contractors, suppliers, co-professionals, associates, consultants, free lancers, etc.
  • Facilitating the execution of assignments like raw material procurement, materials handling, erection, execution, manufacturing processes, testing.
  • Tasks’ evaluations like quality controls, testing, certification.
  • Marketing of goods, services, billing, money collection.
  • Servicing like post execution or delivery, servicing, maintenance, guarantees.

 3        Activities for Efficiency and Productivity of the organization

  • Determination and definition of procedures
  • Standardization of inputs, outputs and procedures
  • Information collection, Inquisitions, investigations and surveys,
  • Installation and management of information storage, manipulation and retrieval devices
  • Publications and dissemination of organization’s output (data, concepts, ideas) material.


05 JOBS or ASSIGNMENT HANDLING in Design Organizations –part of the lecture series DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION PROCESSES


Post 12 -by Gautam Shah


Deliverables from Design Organization : A Design organization delivers a product, formulates a concept or renders a service. Commercially these Deliverables take the form of products, projects, reports, plan of actions, advisory, solution, job, assignment, order, commission, etc. Organizations prefer activities, which provide a Direct gain, followed by those accruing some Indirect advantage, and all other work must be avoided.


Deliverables for Whom? : Design organizations deliver an entity to a client, who is external and compensates for it. Design organizations serve an entity to an internal person, department, or an external agency, which was deliberately (planned) created, but for which no definite compensation may be available. Design organizations allow entities to proliferate within the organization (including the sites or at clients’ places) which when properly monitored and exploited improve the efficiency of the organization, its image in the market and core-competence in the field. Such entities could be in the form of products, procedures, styles, judgements, confirmation, rejections, or assurance that every thing operates at desired or predefined level.

Design office deliverables > Pexels image source:

Deliverables and Evaluation of Gains : Organizations audit their work periodically, to see if an activity is providing a gain or advantage, or is neutral. Organizations have a formal or informal setup to continuously evolve their domain of actions. Where for any reason this cannot be carried out impartially, external experts, advisors, evaluators, or auditors are called in. The evaluation results in recognition of deliverables, categories, types of clients or beneficiaries (paying now, rendering an indirect advantage, non paying, or neutral).

Trucks designed by Luigi Colani > Wikipedia image

Deliverables, Evaluation and Reorganization : Clients are forced or encouraged to move to other categories with assurance of linked advantages (e.g. legal ownership, guarantees or warrantees) and satisfaction (service and operational support). An audit of activities identifies departments with high public exposure (that offer too many freebies). These are reorganized by moving them to the internal zones or as separate entities. Client definition helps the organization to identify internal departments, their inter-dependency and external bearings.

Freebies offering for Temple of Ramesses II at Abydos > Wikipedia image by Olaf Tausch

Deliverables, Evaluation and Reorganization (contd.) : Departments when realize the true value, decide whether to source their needs from within the organization, or out-source them on the basis of a cost-benefit ratio. Internal users of organizations, show an irresponsible tendency to in-source their demands. An internal audit can help tag such transactions. This ultimately helps in determination and recovery of the realistic costs. In design organizations technical talents like drafts-persons, model makers, site supervisors, messengers, etc. form a common pool, which is sourced by different project teams, but at a cost to be accounted for. In manufacturing units the use of a plant, equipment, tool and human resources are accounted into the component or project.

Frequent evaluations of Deliverables are necessary for productivity > Wikipedia image by Klean Denmark

Examples of Reorganization of Deliverables : Designers charge payable-extra fees for drawing documents, site visits and other consultants’ costs, and not include in the basic design fee. Doctors charge consulting and surgical fees, but charges for an operation theatre and medicines are payable-extra. Manufacturers often charge extra for delivery, site installation, test-run and the warrantee. These all are attempts to classify the costs as the compulsorily payable and negotiable. A professional may provide a free counselling to a friend, but charges for the services rendered and goods delivered. TV and car manufacturers provide a cost-less guarantee or extended warrantee for their products to achieve brand faithfulness. Doctors and other estate developers etc. often provide free advice, ideas, consultancy etc. to know a client, but soon enough, the client becomes a recipient of charged product or service.

Design Deliverable > Renault twin turbo engine > Wikipedia image by Thesupermat

Examples of Reorganization of Deliverables (contd.) : Production organizations do not offer direct deliveries, but prefer independent sales agencies. Professionals offer their services through project consultants or such intermediaries. There are many architects and interior designers who work on exclusive basis with builders, estate developers, etc. Service agencies may not take individual jobs but prefer to work for clients as retained agents.

Moxie Sozo, Boulder, Colorado – based design agency > Wikipedia image by Moxie Sozo

Types of Clients for Designers : The client for a designer may be a person, business or governmental organizations or a group of users or beneficiaries. A client can have an assignment which is first time endeavour with a possibility of continuing as a venture, or a sure-footed enterprise. A client has Four types of advantages: Estate (space), Money (or other investable things), Idea, or Experience.


Who is a Client? : A client is one who needs services of an expert to solve a specific problem. A client, may or may not be aware of someone else’s extra ordinary proficiency, and so assign someone to search the ‘expert’. In few instances, it is the expert who makes the ‘client’ realize ‘what the problem is and how it can be solved’? Clients would like to deal with a person, who is competent and but shows a predictable and socially acceptable behaviour. Clients realize that to secure services of an expert one must pay out compensation or a consideration.

Clients’ Disabilities : Clients’ disabilities are on several counts. 1 Entities are not always simple, easily selectable, readily available or producible. 2 Do not have a personal capacity to judge the appropriateness of decisions. 3 Are not fully aware of the needs, problems. Clients are not aware of the type and degree of skills required. 4 Clients are not either resourceful or incapacitated for taking decisions and actions by any extraneous cause.


How-why do Clients retain or hire Designers? : Sometimes, a client, who wishes to hire services of a professional, has no competence of checking the suitability of a professional for a particular job. Therefore, he may hire an intermediary capable of finding and appointing a suitable professional for the job. The job of an intermediary agent in this case is like that of any other competent and socially acceptable person, the professional.

Professionals are hired by clients, who may themselves be professionals of different skills, both ultimately serving a real client. Primarily, there is the classic relationship of a client to a professional and secondarily the relationship is professional (now a client) to professional/s.

Professionals also serve the role of a client when  retained by other professionals >  Wikipedia image by Smallworldsocial > Permission for reusing this file >

Types of Clients : Individuals : At simplest level the client is representing own-self, or perhaps the family. A professional is generally in a position to define the identity of an individual client. Such a client is very real and visible in personality and is interactive, i.e. one can get certain amount of feedback during the job.

Walt Disney discussing Disneyland plans to Orange Country officials in 1954 > Flickr image by Orange Country Archives

Types of Clients : Specific Group of Persons : A specific group of persons, who have formed the group on their own initiative or have become members of a suitable existing group. Clients representing a specific group are partnership firms, private or limited companies, corporations, societies, associations, and in many instances government departments and semi-government organizations. When there is a specific group as a client, its leader or the representative behaves like a real and visible client. It is not very difficult for a professional to generalize and determine the characteristics of a specific group client.

Marjah elders schedule regular meetings, offer bridge to community
Afghan elders meet in Shura in Marjah > Flickr image by ResoluteSupportMedia

Types of Clients : General or Non-specific Group of People : General or non-specific groups of people are stakeholders or beneficiaries, classified per some norms and supposedly represented by public organizations or the government. These are set of people who may not be aware, of their being a party to a group. Person/s who represent such generalized or non-specific group, functions as a client with or without their mandate. For such groups, the real user is invisible and sometimes unreal, and direct design feedback is unavailable. The designer may need to overwork to identity the ‘client’.

Other ways of categorizing Clients : Assigning Client is person assigning the job (eg. government official) but not likely to use the entity created or derive any benefit. Often an active citizen may generate a debate in the society for an issue and ultimately provide sufficient leadership input, so to become defacto conceiver and executioner of the project. In complex projects, there may not be a single or identifiable personality acting the role of a client. Non clients or multi clients have little interest in the project, except marketability and adequate financial return. Marketing or other specialists as clients form a design brief.

Dealing with different types of Clients : Clients are easy to deal, if they are real, singular, grouped and well organized. They are not very difficult to handle even when are invisible or generalized, but are well defined. Design process moves very fast and efficiently, when clients’ feedback is certain and predictable. Design out-put for organized and well-defined clients, are likely to be very relevant, and survives or operates better. Variety of problems can occur with clients. In case of an individual as a client, only personal whims can cause a problem. In case of a specific client representing a formal or informally constituted group, the relations and position vis a vis, the group may not remain constant. With group clients or committees all decisions and actions are necessarily formal, and so there are inherent delays, but job commitment is not a major problem.