The critical role of effective information management in substantiating fee claims

written by
Tra Hoang
Mar 18, 2024
minutes read

Navigating fee claims often presents complex and demanding challenges. However, by adopting effective information management strategies, architectural firms can successfully handle fee claims while safeguarding their reputation.  

The complexity of fee claims

Managing fee claims is a task that demands meticulous attention to detail and requires a significant investment of senior management. This is because the process of examining project information for fee claims is not merely administrative, but rather a critical business activity that demands a strategic approach to information management.  

Senior managers are often required to dedicate a substantial portion of their schedule to thoroughly review every piece of information related to a project, ensuring nothing is overlooked. Whether it’s emails, contracts, or project deliverables, the main objective of sorting information is to compile a comprehensive and undeniable case that substantiates the claim being made, thus maintaining the reputation of the firm.

The downside: Time and resource intensive

The process of sifting through project information for fee claims can be immensely time-consuming and resource intensive. In most cases, relevant project information is rarely stored in a single, consolidated location that can be accessed in an instant. It’s not uncommon for pieces of evidence against a fee claim to be dispersed across different time-variant storage mediums, such as server archives, individual email inboxes, physical documents, or even inactive devices belonging to former staff members.  

Alongside storage locations, the process of gathering evidence against fee claims can also be further complicated by the inconsistency in information filing practices. For example, when emails are filed incorrectly, or documents aren’t named according to standard naming conventions, locating crucial information can become significantly challenging.  

The lack of uniformity and organization means a great amount of valuable time and resources is spent on the daunting tasks of sorting information—time and effort that could otherwise be directed towards the core architectural tasks of design.  

The importance of comprehensive information management

The challenging process of handling fee claims emphasizes the need for comprehensive project information management strategies. It’s essential that architectural firms implement a systematic approach to obtain all relevant project information, both current and historical, in an easily accessible location. Empowering project team members to follow standardized practices for naming, storing, sending, and receiving files can also help streamlining the evidence compilation process in the case of fee claims.  

Recommendations for architectural firms

  1. Implement a robust document management system: Ensure that all project-related documents, drawings, and correspondences are stored in a centralized system for rapid access seamless information retrieval.  
  1. Leverage technology for enhanced information management: Utilize software solutions with advanced document control capabilities such as version control, metadata-driven searchability, or secure archiving.  
  1. Adopt a standardized documentation culture: Provide training sessions for staff members to reinforce the importance of thorough information management. Encourage team members follow industry best practices to organize their project information.  

Subscribe to our newsletter for more insights delivered straight to your inbox:

For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy.

Similar articles