Working smarter, not harder is the goal of every business; but in architecture, where margins can be thin, it’s an imperative. So how do firms work smarter without spending tons of time wising up? By leveraging artificial intelligence—or AI.
Put simply, AI analyzes huge datasets to solve the historically unsolvable. AI unburdens people from time-consuming activities, like planning projects and work. Our brains aren’t wired to manage dozens of conflicting schedule dates, projects, and staff. But Mosaic—AI-powered resource management software—is here to help architects effectively plan.
Here’s how Mosaic uses AI to optimize planning:
1. Suggesting Projects for People
A core management function is making sure every team member has enough work to keep them busy. But effectively doing that requires a lot of information:
- Which projects is a staff member working on?
- Which projects have upcoming deadlines?
- Are there any outstanding tasks?
- Is there outstanding fee budget?
- What have they been working on recently?
- What skills do they have?
Mosaic takes these data points and more to suggest projects for staff. This ensures that not only is everyone busy, but they’re working on the right projects at the right time. And that translates to a significant increase in utilization, which drives profit.
2. Suggesting Project Teams
Let’s say you need to staff a project starting next month. Traditionally, this is a very time-consuming game of back-and-forth: Who’s available during that time, and do they have the skills? You call, email, and chat—then the schedule changes. The project is delayed, then delayed again. And this is happening across all projects, complicating planning exponentially. But Mosaic can manage it. It analyzes past plans to suggest staff who match work criteria. And thanks to our machine learning, suggestions get smarter over time.
3. Automating Scheduling and Rescheduling
One of the biggest time drains is keeping project schedules current when things constantly change. With Mosaic, you set up your project schedule and work plans. Mosaic then automatically reschedules things based on what’s finished or incomplete, even suggesting staff who can help get work over the finish line before things are due. This functionality is so smart that it received two U.S. patents.
4. Recommending Hiring
As a business leader, you always need to know whether there’s too much work and you need to hire, or not enough work and you need to chase proposals. Mosaic assesses demand for each role and compares it against the capacity of staff in those roles. It then tells you when demand exceeds capacity. When combined with our forecasting, you also get advanced notice on when to hire.
5. Identifying Profit and Loss Sectors
Mosaic analyzes historical data to tell you where you make your money and where you lose it. Our AI pinpoints commonalities between projects to essentially say “do more of this and less of that.” It even analyzes past performance through software integrations, so you know which proposals to drop and which to pursue.
6. Predicting Workload and Revenue
Understanding margins is often what keeps business owners up at night. In architecture, some firms don’t have a clear picture of revenue for next month, let alone next quarter. Or their predictions aren’t accurate—but machine learning can help by analyzing project, planning, and budget data to predict workload and revenue.
By leveraging Mosaic, architecture firms can greatly reduce time spent on planning. This allows more time for billable work, business development, and education. Some architects might be concerned that AI will replace their jobs, but that’s not the case. In fact, AI will enable better, more meaningful work. Like how buildings are enhanced with technology, business management is, too. And firms will make more money—or maybe teams will simply work less. But wouldn’t it be nice to actually choose? That’s the power of AI.