When it comes to design, knowing the pecking order helps – Lake County Record-Bee

Who is the boss? Who’s next behind the Boss? Do department heads have equal authority at all levels? Who makes recommendations and where do those recommendations go? When and how are suggestions, policy changes or recommendations taken into account for decisions? So who decides?

This network of organizational structure can wrap around an outside contractor – such as your interior design team – and compromise everything from simple initial choices and decisions to the negative influence of the desired turnkey date! It can make your contractor want to run for the hills!

Understanding a business client’s “flowchart” is bigger and more important (for interior design considerations) than you might initially think. Department heads, managers and assistants take their roles very seriously and consider the state of their internal environment to extend and influence “personality!” Of this area! Make changes? Re-design? Changing traffic patterns? Count them on ideation and planning, or prepare for possible turf wars!

Believe it or not, it can cause serious problems in the flow of your interior design project if your designer and your team are not aware of your “internal pecking order”.

At the start of planning your interior design, when there are divisions, departments, and levels of authority, it’s a great investment of time and money to paint the whole picture. Remember that your interior design team will coordinate the areas of design from multiple angles.

There will be very specific considerations where adjacent spaces are contiguous in their design factors, and others where they adjoin different functions and involve different design considerations. To create a harmonious end result from area to area, function in space is as important a consideration as aesthetic design choices that will enhance function. Above all, it is the people in charge of each “department” who know her best.

Will they be empowered to participate, take a stand and make choices?

Your interior designer needs to know who is handling the money and where the money ends. Time spent trying to figure out where the authority lies, to what extent, and with what assurance, is a waste of time and money. Your interior designer does not need (or wants) to get tangled up in turf wars within the company!

Upstream, in the negotiation stages, your interior designer will want to know – clearly – who is authorized to authorize what. Once authorized by your representative, your interior designer is up and running, placing orders, scheduling deliveries and moving on to the next challenge. If the wrong person gives the wrong green light… well, you can imagine how expensive it can be!

Make it clear between yourself and your staff management which part you allow them to manage: color schemes, equipment preferences, floor plan and traffic patterns? Make as much clarification between yourself and your management team as possible before notifying your contractor.

Then, of course, comes the hard part! Can you properly (and confidently) delegate? Or are you really planning to micro-manage? This is another of your interior designer pet headaches! There is a decision… but not really! Forget the part where the head of department who received the authority learns that they really weren’t; it is their internal affair. The problematic part is the part where your interior designer can’t move forward until you sort out your own authority issues!

It helps to know the pecking order, yes; but make sure it is wrinkle free when transferring the authorization information to your interior designer. The best friends of any project are efficiency, economy, precision and compliance! They are best served when the paths are clear!

Robert Boccabella, BFA has been Director and Founder of Business Design Services and Certified Interior Designer in private practice for over 30 years. Boccabella offers Designing to Fit the Vision © in collaboration with [email protected] To contact him, dial 707-263-7073; email him at [email protected] or visit www.BusinessDesignServices.com or on Face Book at Business Design Services.


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