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First day?  First project?  First work?  First group?  First try? Usually, we all do have a thousand of first times, but for the meantime,  I would like to share my own experience of how my first time was when I was part of a group doing our very own first project.

I was excited and very thankful to have experienced it first-hand and be able to take part with enthusiasm on stories for every different side of what goes into a project, general process of how a project is initially planned, developed and completed as well as how much work and detail goes into every part.

The first project is a small one.  It has a scope of extending the house for kitchen area with additional polycarbonate roofing lanai trellis on a  gravel bed flooring and Service area for laundry.  It is a project we decided to get even if we did not profit from it.  It is a project to adjust the area and specification to match the budget of the owner.  More on value engineering without sacrificing quality and function.  See images below for reference on this endeavor.

What we witnessed when we are half the construction was a client which gives you statements like “Architect, what’s that over there? (knowing that the drawing was approved by them before we executed it to the site) Architect, I assumed this was included?  Architect I want this one, maybe you could give us a discount for this item? (knowing that the cost given was exactly lower than the estimated ideal value which can lead us to the deficit).  All of these requests are always welcome, and as much as possible we want to accommodate each of them but we have to always check our budget for the project.  It is stressful to answer this queries, knowing that if you do not accommodate the owner’s request, will always give a negative feedback and these items always took a lot of time from estimating and checking items just to accommodate and relay good info to the owner and in the end the owner will just say the words “expensive and costly.”

But certainly, at the end of the project, what matters the most is what we have learned from this experience. During the tenure of working together, situations cropped up and tested us on the scales of making the decisions and handling the pressures and exceptions.  We learned that there should be a process on approval of finishes before installing and every thing that not clear to owner should be discussed before implementing. We also learned that the team performance is influenced by the kinds of people that make the group and testing certain combinations of personality. But the key to its implementation is how the team analyzes its performance and then adapts the situation so as the result can be achieved.   Team work was definitely one of the most important aspects of our project. We would have been unable to accomplish anything if we had not worked together. Even though the design process was broken up individually, we often consulted with one another when we ran into difficulties with our work. As a result, we managed to achieve a strong outcome thus enhancing our knowledge competencies and empowering group as a whole.

-JMR-

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